Shaping of Nz

Topics: Plate tectonics, Volcano, Earth Pages: 3 (972 words) Published: March 9, 2013
The causes of tectonic plate movement and how different processes have shaped New Zealand’s landforms occur nearly every single day. In fact one of these processes is happening right now, somewhere on the Earth. The 3 major processes are folding, faulting and volcanism. While these take place, another “force” is also acting, changing the shape of our continents, and Earth itself, the tectonic plate movement. Earth's outer shell, long thought to be a continuous, unbroken, crust is actually a fluid mixture of many irregular rigid segments, or plates. Comprised mainly of cool, solid rock, these enormous blocks of Earth’s crust vary in size and shape, and have definite borders that cut through continents and oceans alike. There are nine large plates and a number of smaller plates. Of the nine major plates, six are named for the continents embedded in them: the North American, South American, Eurasian, African, Indo-Australian, and Antarctic. The other three are oceanic plates: the Pacific, Nazca, and Cocos. There are 3 primary types of Tectonic Plate boundaries: Divergent boundaries; Convergent boundaries; and Transform boundaries. As the giant plates move, diverging (pulling apart) or converging (coming together) along their borders, tremendous energies are unleashed resulting in tremors that transform Earth’s surface. While all the plates appear to be moving at different relative speeds and independently of each other, the whole jigsaw puzzle of plates is interconnected. No single plate can move without affecting others, and the activity of one can influence another thousands of miles away. For example, as the Atlantic Ocean grows wider with the spreading of the African Plate away from the South American Plate, the Pacific sea floor is being consumed in deep Subduction trenches over thousands of miles away. In plate tectonics, a convergent boundary is an actively deforming region where two (or more) tectonic plates collide. As a result of pressure, friction, and...
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