Significance of Plate Tectonics

While scientists are sure that the core of Mars is not active, which means no plate tectonics; they cannot be sure that there was never a time when there were.

Plate tectonics explains the origin and distribution of:

The above image shows fifteen of the main tectonic plates and their boundaries.

A map of the tectonic plates can be found at:

Some sources continue to show the Indian and Australian plates featured here as a single Indo-Australian plate.)


The fact that large portions of the ocean floor, as well as continental expanses, seem to be "solid plates" has tended to discredit the term - continental drift - and to establish the alternative term - plate tectonics.

Great animations of continental drift due to plate tectonics on: .

If you know why something happens it will be easier to predict future plate tectonic movement by looking for the signs of an approaching earthquake or volcanic eruption and so minimizing the danger by taking the actions necessary because so far it is impossible to stop them and if it were the earth would not be able to release its underground pressure and shake itself...

The most widely accepted theory in this field is that of plate tectonics.

Plate Tectonics - University of Waikato

1963 Two British geoscientists, Fred Vine and Drummond Matthews, propose a hypothesis that elegantly explained magnetic reversal stripes on the ocean floor. They suggested that the new oceanic crust, formed by the solidification of basalt magma extruded at mid-ocean ridges, acquired its magnetisation in the same orientation as the prevailing global magnetic field. These palaeomagnetic stripes provide a chronological record of the opening of ocean basins. By linking these observations to Hess's sea-floor spreading model, they lay the foundation for modern plate tectonics.

Plate Tectonics in action / expanding earth hypothesis …

1960s-present day. There was an increasingly wide acceptance of the theory of plate tectonics. A concerted research effort was made into gaining a better understanding of the boundaries and structure of Earth's major lithospheric plates, and the identification of numerous minor plates.

Important discoveries in paleomagnetism led to the development of plate tectonics.

Plate tectonics with fixed continents: a testable hypothesis -- II.

The broad region of intensetectonic deformation in this basin indicates that the basement has a block structure, and presents amajor puzzle for plate tectonics, especially since it is located in a “midplate” setting.
Smoot and Meyerhoff (1995) have shown that nearly all publishedcharts of the world’s ocean floors have been drawn deliberately to reflect the predictions of the plate-tectonics hypothesis.

Introduction to rocks and the rock cycle in the context of Plate Tectonics

Tectonic evolution of the Caribbean region: alternative hypothesis.

The was observed long before plate tectonics became a theory. Now we know that the volcanic activity around the Pacific Ocean is caused by the subduction of the Nazca, Pacific, Cocos, Juan de Fuca, and Philippine plates.

Quartz may play a major role in the movements of continents, known as plate tectonics.Credit: USGS

Rotating plates: new concept of global tectonics.

1965 The Canadian J. Tuzo Wilson offered a fundamental reinterpretation of Wegener's continental drift theory and became the first person to use the term 'plates' to describe the division and pattern of relative movement between different regions of the Earth's surface (i.e. plate tectonics). He also proposed a tectonic cycle (the Wilson cycle) to describe the lifespan of an ocean basin: from its initial opening, through its widening, shrinking and final closure through a continent-continent collision.