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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.

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