Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes and Volcanos

Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes and Volcanos

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  • Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift states that continents can drift apart from one another and have done so in the past.
  • Alfred Wegener
  • The theory of Pangea is that all the separate landmasses were once joined as a single landmass but over the years, they eventually drifted apart.
  • In a transform boundary, when two plates slide horizontally past each other it is called a strike-slip. This is also referred to as shearing.
  • During a divergent boundary, tension builds within the plates. As a result, faulting can occur.
  • Subduction happens when an oceanic plate slides under the continental plate creating a subduction zone. The continental plate is on top of the oceanic plate because its density is higher.
  • Oceanic crust is made of basalt and is more dense than continental crust which is made of granite.
  • The presence of volcanic activity at the Mid- Atlantic Ridge and the creation of new seafloor (seafloor spreading) is evidence that the American continents are moving away from the African and Eurasia continents.
  • Cool Air
  • Convection Current
  • Warm Air
  • Triangulation is a way of determining something's location using the locations of other things. It is commonly used by geologists to find the locations of Earthquakes, and is also used to determine spacecraft location.
  • A seismograph is another way of tracking earthquakes by measuring P and S waves.
  • The Ring of Fire is an area at the edge of the Pacific Plate that experiences a lot of earthquakes. It has 452 volcanoes (more than 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes). The Ring of Fire is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt.
  • The Richter Scale ranks an earthquake's magnitude on a numeric scale. For example, a 0-2 magnitude is not felt by people while an 8 and up destroys buildings, bridges, and roads.
  • Explosive volcanoes, when erupted, produce clouds of hot debris and gas which shoots out of the volcano. When nonexplosive volcanoes erupt, they create lava flows.
  • Shield volcanoes are built out of layers of lava from nonexplosive eruptions. 
  • The large composite and generally cone-shaped volcanoes form along plate boundaries called subduction zones where one of the Earth's plates moves below another.
  • Cinder volcanoes are small and made out of pyroclastic material from moderately explosive volcanoes.
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