Student Exploration: Plate Tectonics

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1 Name: Date: Student Exploration: Plate Tectonics Vocabulary: collisional boundary, convergent boundary, crust, divergent boundary, earthquake, lithosphere, mantle, plate, plate tectonics, transform boundary, volcano Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo. Use your world map to answer these questions.) 1. Volcanoes are openings in Earth s crust where lava, gas, and ash can erupt. Where on Earth are active volcanoes located? 2. An earthquake is a violent shaking of Earth s surface. Where on Earth are earthquakes most common? Gizmo Warm-up Volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains, and many other features of Earth s surface owe their origin to the movements of plates: enormous, slowly-moving sections of Earth s crust. The theory of plate tectonics describes how the plates move, interact, and change the physical landscape. The Plate Tectonics Gizmo shows a cross-section, or side view, of Earth. (Not to scale.) Above the cross section is a bird s-eye view (overhead view) of the same location. 1. Turn on Show labels. What are the layers of Earth that you can see? 2. How many plate boundaries do you see? (A boundary is the edge of a plate where it meets or touches another plate.)

2 Activity A: Sliding plates Select BOUNDARY A. Question: What happens when plates slide past one another? 1. Observe: The arrows below the BOUNDARY A label will move the plates. Click the left arrow once to see how the plate moves. How would you describe 2. Sketch: Draw a bird s-eye view of the plate boundary before and after the plate motion. Draw an arrow mean!

3 Activity B: Colliding continents Select BOUNDARY B. Question: What happens when two continents collide? 1. Observe: Click the left arrow four times to see how the plate moves. How would you describe

4 Activity C: Oceanic crust meets continental crust Select BOUNDARY C. Question: What happens when ocean crust collides with continental crust? 1. Observe: Click the left arrow four times to see how the plate moves. How would you describe

5 Activity D: Spreading plates Select BOUNDARY D. Question: How is new crust formed? 1. Observe: Click the right arrow four times to see how the plate moves. How would you describe

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