PLATE TECTONICS


Plate tectonics is a method or way of understanding the land-water distribution of the earth.

Tectonics is a sort of movement of plates.

The uppermost outer solid and rigid layer of the earth is called crust.

Its thickness varies considerably.

It is as little as 5 km thick beneath the oceans at some places but under some mountain ranges, it extends up to a depth of 70 km.

Below the crust, denser rocks are found, known as mantle crust.

This upper part of mantle up to an average depth of 100 km from the surface is solid.

This solid mantle plus upper crust form a comparatively rigid block termed as lithosphere.

Mantle is partially molten between 100 km to 250 km depth.

This zone is said to be asthenosphere, also known as Mohr discontinuity, a simplification of Mohorovicic, the name of the seismologist who discovered it.

The lithosphere is broken into several blocks.

These blocks are known as plates, which are moving over asthenosphere.

There are seven major plates.

—-Eurasian plate

—-African plate

—-Indo-Australian plate

—-Pacific plate

—-North American plate

—-South American plate

—-Antarctic plate

Apart from these major plates minor plates are about 20 in number, a few important among them are : Arabian plate, Philippine plate, Cocos plate, Nazca plate, Caribbean plate, Scotia plate.