Question: Which Process Causes The Continents To Move?

What causes the tectonic plates to move?

The heat from radioactive processes within the planet’s interior causes the plates to move, sometimes toward and sometimes away from each other.

This movement is called plate motion, or tectonic shift..

What are the 4 types of plate tectonics?

Tectonic Plates and Plate BoundariesConvergent boundaries: where two plates are colliding. Subduction zones occur when one or both of the tectonic plates are composed of oceanic crust. … Divergent boundaries – where two plates are moving apart. … Transform boundaries – where plates slide passed each other.

What are the 4 evidence of continental drift?

They based their idea of continental drift on several lines of evidence: fit of the continents, paleoclimate indicators, truncated geologic features, and fossils.

What are the 3 theories of plate tectonics?

Plates interact at three types of plate boundaries: divergent, convergent and transform. Most of the Earth’s geologic activity takes place at plate boundaries. At a divergent boundary, volcanic activity produces a mid ocean ridge and small earthquakes.

What ocean was formed when Pangea broke apart?

Atlantic OceanPangea: Early Triassic Period The first oceans formed from the breakup, some 180 million years ago, were the central Atlantic Ocean between northwestern Africa and North America and the southwestern Indian Ocean between Africa and Antarctica.

What are 5 pieces of evidence that support continental drift?

In the early part of the 20th century, scientists began to put together evidence that the continents could move around on Earth’s surface. The evidence for continental drift included the fit of the continents; the distribution of ancient fossils, rocks, and mountain ranges; and the locations of ancient climatic zones.

What is the process that moves the continents?

Today, we know that the continents rest on massive slabs of rock called tectonic plates. The plates are always moving and interacting in a process called plate tectonics. The continents are still moving today. Some of the most dynamic sites of tectonic activity are seafloor spreading zones and giant rift valleys.

What caused the continents to drift?

The causes of continental drift are perfectly explained by the plate tectonic theory. The earth’s outer shell is composed of plates that move a little bit every year. Heat coming from the interior of the earth triggers this movement to occur through convection currents inside the mantle.

How did the continents move from being part of Pangea?

Scientists believe that Pangea broke apart for the same reason that the plates are moving today. The movement is caused by the convection currents that roll over in the upper zone of the mantle. … About 200 million years ago Pangaea broke into two new continents Laurasia and Gondwanaland.

What is it called when the continents and plates move?

When the continents and plates move it’s called continental drift. Think of the molten rock in the asthenosphere, not as rock, but as a liquid. It has currents and it flows just like any other liquid. When the floating plates spread apart, it’s called a spreading center.

What is the best evidence of plate tectonics?

Modern continents hold clues to their distant past. Evidence from fossils, glaciers, and complementary coastlines helps reveal how the plates once fit together. Fossils tell us when and where plants and animals once existed.

How do we know Pangea existed?

The rock formations of eastern North America, Western Europe, and northwestern Africa were later found to have a common origin, and they overlapped in time with the presence of Gondwanaland. Together, these discoveries supported the existence of Pangea. … Modern geology has shown that Pangea did actually exist.