Plate Essay, Research Paper

Plates The structure of the earth is made up of many layers, but the crust and theupper mantle make up the lithosphere. The lithosphere is divided intoindividual sections called plates. The rest of the mantle makes up theasthenosphere. Convection in asthenosphere causes the plates to shift andmove about. We can tell where the plates are or have been becausevolcanoes and earthquakes have their own boundaries when the are active. Tectonic plates have three relationships with each other. The haveconvergent boundaries when they collide, divergent boundaries when theymove apart, and transform boundaries when they slide past each other. Thefriction and heat caused by the plates sliding all over the place causesvolcanoes if it melts the rock and earthquakes if the plates slip while slidingaway and towards each other. The purpose of this lab was for us to investigate and learn about the threedifferent kinds of plates. The model was used just like any model; To helpus understand the different plates and how they work. The model is a greatway to help show something which is confusing to tell in words. The lab was to construct a model showing the different kinds of boundaries. First we needed three worksheets each with a different plate on it, and threetacks to hold the plates in place. With scissors we cut out the plates and

then we stuck the tacks through designated holes. With everything in tactyou could move the model and see how the three plates slid back and forthagainst each other. 1. Along the East Rise, the plates spread farthest apart in the south (apposedto the north) 2. A convergent plate boundary exists along the Aleutian Islands of Alaskaand also along the Andes Mountains in South America. Since they areconvergent boundaries, that means plates around these two areas arecolliding. 3. It would take Los Angeles 19,444,444.44 years to reach the location thatSan Francisco is in now. .6 miles = 1km 350miles La to San Fran 583.33 km =350 miles 583.33/.00003 = 19,444,444.44 1cm = .00001km Although this model was very helpful, it wasn’t accurate. First of all, themodel didn’t show all of the plates on the earth. I think it would beimportant to see all of the plates to fully understand the plate tectonictheory. The model also doesn’t show convection in any way. Convectionwould be important to show in the model because it and the combined forceof gravity’s what really moves the plates of the earth. The model doesn’thave much identified landscape. There are a couple volcanoes labeled, butthere has to be more then one mountain range on the earth.

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