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Plate Tectonics Lab #2

In this lab, you will access the Internet to review the basic types of Plate boundaries. 


Boundary types

GO to


1.      When was the idea first proposed that the continents were not always in the position they are in today?


2.      When was the idea of plate tectonics accepted?


a. Look at the picture in the top corner of Pangea. What two continents was Africa next to when it was whole? _________________________ and _______________________.

b. When did Pangea start rifting apart?


4. Click on The Sea Floor Spread: divergent plate boundaries

a.       Draw a picture to show the movement of plates alongside the mid ocean ridge.  Label the lithosphere and mantle (asthenosphere) in your diagram.  Use arrows to show the movement of heat and plates.







b.      What is created in the rift valley where the two plates shift apart?


c.       How quickly are the plates moving?



5. Click on the Continental crush

a. When oceanic crust and continental crust meet which one sinks and why?




b. Name three mountain ranges that formed from collision zones.




6. Go to slippin' and a sliding

1.      Draw a diagram to show the movement along transform boundaries.






2. What two plates are involved in the movement along the San Andreas



Earthquake and volcanic activity

GO to

This is a map of volcanic activity and plate boundaries.

1. What are the names of the plates?                                                                        





2.      In general, volcanic activity coincides with plate boundaries, but there are exceptions. Name two plate boundaries that do not have heavy volcanic activity.



3.      Name two places that have volcanoes that do not occur at plate boundaries.



GO to


1.      This website shows recent earthquakes. The map you have is of Japan.  The circles represent earthquakes and the yellow represents plate boundaries. Do the circles follow any pattern?



2.      The color of the circles tells you the depth.  At what depth did most earthquakes occur?

3.      Which was the deepest one?

4.      The size of the circles tells you about the magnitude.  What was the approximate magnitude of most of the Earthquakes?


GO to

Compare the earthquake data for S. America. The western side of S. America is along a subduction zone where the Pacific plate is meeting with the South American plate.

1.      Where are the earthquakes most shallow along this boundary?

2.      What happens to the depth of the earthquakes as you move inland?


3.      WHY does the earthquake depth change?



Look at the map as a whole. 

4.      Where do the deepest quakes occur?

5.      What is the depth of most quakes in the United states?

The Alleutian Islands are along the Northern part of the map and are the result of two oceanic plates colliding.  Look at the Earthquake depths.

6.      Is it increasing in depth towards the north or towards the south?


7.      Based on the earthquake information decide whether the pacific plate is sinking underneath the N. American plate and heading north or whether the N. American plate is sinking under the Pacific plate and heading south.  Support your answer with your knowledge of subduction and use the earthquake data as evidence to support your theory.






8.      Are there any places that earthquakes occur that are NOT along a plate boundary? (if yes, list one)




GO to

This site shows map reconstructions of where continents were years ago.  Scroll down to the bottom where there is a list of time periods.

Select Permian

1.      How long ago is this?


2.      What continent was next to Massachusetts?


Click on the BACK button. Select Late Jurassic

3.      How long ago is this?

4.      What area split apart first as Pangea broke apart?


Click on the Back button and select Cretaceous

5.      How long ago was this?

6.      What area of the US is under water?


7.      Name one other country under water?


8.      What oceans have started to form?



9.      Where is North America attached to Europe?


Click on the back button and select Future World

10.  What changes will take place over the next 50 million years?



Click on the back button and select future world +100

11.  Where are new subduction zones?


12.  What has happened to the mid-ocean ridge?


Click on the back button and select Future world plus 250

These maps are a hypothesis about the future of the world.  What do you think would eventually happen to Pangea Ultima use the past to support your argument.