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Geography - Plate Tectonism and its consequences

Lourembam Devraj Singh
09/07/2019 0 0

Introduction : 

The movement of the earth's plate relative to each other due to the adiabatic force generated by the thermal energy from earth's interior is called as plate tectonics. The earth's plate can generally be of 2 types - Continental plate (which is completely located in the continental part eg.  eurasian plate)  and Oceanic plate (which is completely located in the ocean plate eg.  Pacific plate).  Due to plate tectonics,  many geophysical phenomena occur resulting formation of many geomorphic landforms. 

Plate tectonics can broadly be classified into 3 major types as under-

1)  Convergent Plate Tectonics:

When two plates move towards each other ie converge,  they collide with a release of strong wave of energy in the form of earth quake.  Due to this collision,  one plate moves over another and heavier plate subducts into the other plate thereby,  undergoing a process called folding of plates resulting the formation of Fold Mountains. When this type of tectonics occurs in the middle of the ocean,  the resultant earthquake is coupled with the formation of a gigantic wave of water called Tsunami. 

Example: Formation of the Himalayas due to the convergent plate tectonics of Indian  Plate and the Eurasian plate which causes folding of the plates resulting the distinct formation of 3 folds as the 3 important ranges of the Himalayas as the Himadri,  the Himachal and the Siwalik. 

2)  Divergent Plate Tectonics:

When one plate moves away relative to another adjacent plate creating a vent or gap between them,  it is called Divergent Plate Tectonics.  It occurs both in the continental surface as well as the oceanic surface.  Due to this tectonics,  a gap is generated between the plates from which magma from the asthenosphere comes out in the form of volcanos and results the formation of volcanic mountains. If this happens in the middle of the ocean,  it results the formation of mid oceanic ridges. 

Example: Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean is the adjoining regions of many plates such as Indian Plate,  Pacific Plate, Sunda Plate,  Philippines Plate,  etc.  Which is prone to volcanic activities,  earth quake and tsunamis. 

3)  Transform Plate Tectonics:

When one plate slides over another plate perpendicularly,  it is called Transform Plate Tectonics.  Due to this tectonics,  faulting occurs which is a process by which a portion of land gets displaces from its earlier position. 

Example: Formation of San Andreas Fault in California due to the transform plate tectonics of the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. 

Thus,  plate tectonics is a natural phenomenon which results the Continental drift (proposed by Alfred Wegener)  and Sea Floor spreading ( proposed by Henry Hess) and is land forming in nature. 

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Geography - Plate Tectonism and its Consequences
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