Techtonic Plates Essay, Research Paper
Lab Report The structure of the earth is made up of many layers, but the crust and the
upper mantle make up the lithosphere. The lithosphere is divided into
individual sections called plates. The rest of the mantle makes up the
asthenosphere. Convection in asthenosphere causes the plates to shift and
move about. We can tell where the plates are or have been because
volcanoes and earthquakes have their own boundaries when the are active.
Tectonic plates have three relationships with each other. The have
convergent boundaries when they collide, divergent boundaries when they
move apart, and transform boundaries when they slide past each other. The
friction and heat caused by the plates sliding all over the place causes
volcanoes if it melts the rock and earthquakes if the plates slip while sliding
away and towards each other.
The purpose of this lab was for us to investigate and learn about the three
different kinds of plates. The model was used just like any model; To help
us understand the different plates and how they work. The model is a great
way 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 three
tacks 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 tact
you could move the model and see how the three plates slid back and forth
against each other.
1. Along the East Rise, the plates spread farthest apart in the south (apposed
to the north)
2. A convergent plate boundary exists along the Aleutian Islands of Alaska
and also along the Andes Mountains in South America. Since they are
convergent boundaries, that means plates around these two areas are
3. It would take Los Angeles 19,444,444.44 years to reach the location that
San 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, the
model didn’t show all of the plates on the earth. I think it would be
important to see all of the plates to fully understand the plate tectonic
theory. The model also doesn’t show convection in any way. Convection
would be important to show in the model because it and the combined force
of gravity’s what really moves the plates of the earth. The model doesn’t
have much identified landscape. There are a couple volcanoes labeled, but
there has to be more then one mountain range on the earth.