Physical Geology - Plate Tectonics

Physical Geology

Plate Tectonics - The Dynamic Earth

Shallow earthquakes in yellow and deep earthquakes in red

You may wish to print a copy of the lecture outline on Plate Tectonics(minus the illustrations) and you have two options:

Chapter Objectives


Class Notes

Internet Resources

  1. Review - Plate Interactions

  2. Plate Tectonics - the Cause of Earthquakes In the early 1960s, the emergence of the theory of plate tectonics started a revolution in the earth sciences. Since then, scientists have verified and refined this theory, and now have a much better understanding of how our planet has been shaped by plate-tectonic processes. We now know that, directly or indirectly, plate tectonics influences nearly all geologic processes, past and present. Indeed, the notion that the entire Earth's surface is continually shifting has profoundly changed the way we view our world."

  3. Plate Tectonics from the United States Geological Survey

    "Convergent Boundaries ... "Hot Spots" ... Plates ... Plate Tectonics ... "Ring of Fire"... Sea-Floor Spreading ... Spreading Ridges ... Subduction Zones ... Submarine Volcanoes ... "

A Virtual Field Trip to Mount Saint Helens

    The Cascade mountain range in the Pacific northwest is a geologically active area. The Juan de Fuca plate is moving to the east and is being subducted beneath the North American plate which is moving the west. Review the before and after aspects of the most recent eruption of Mount Saint Helens


Learning about geology from a computer screen is only half as fun as enjoying it in the field!


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Copyright by John C. Butler, July 29, 1995

Check out this panoramic view of the Himalayian Mountains which were produced by continent/continent collision.