What is tectonic plates?

What Does tectonic plates Mean

In order to fully understand the term tectonic plates, it is necessary, first of all, to proceed to determine the etymological origin of the two words that give it its shape:

-Plate comes from the French "plate", which is used to refer to something flat. and thin that is placed on a thing.

-Tectonics, for its part, derives from the Greek “tektonikos”. A word is that is made up of two clearly differentiated elements: “tecton”, which is synonymous with “worker”, and the suffix “-ikos”, which is used to indicate “relative to”.

A plate can be some kind of table or plate that performs certain functions or is used to display information. Tectonic , for its part, is an adjective that, in the field of geology , is used to describe what is linked to the structure of the Earth's crust.

The concept of plate tectonics refers to the segments of the lithosphere that move over the upper mantle of the planet . It should be noted that the lithosphere is the terrestrial surface layer whose most important characteristic is rigidity.
The lithosphere, therefore, is made up of various tectonic plates that move and interact. In the shock regions of the tectonic plates , telluric, volcanic and seismic activity develops, promoting the development of elevations.
It is also important to know that precisely these plates and the movements they perform give rise to the creation of various types of limits:

-Divergent limits , which is where the plates separate from each other. They can be found in locations such as the Great Rift Valley.

-Convergent limits, which, for their part, are the areas in which the aforementioned plates join each other. Examples are found in the Mariana Trench in the North Pacific Ocean.

-Transforming limits, which are those spaces where the plates, in relation to each other, move sideways. In this case, the best example is the San Andrés Fault, known for the fact that these aforementioned limits led to the well-known earthquake that affected the city of San Francisco in 1906.
Among the fifteen largest tectonic plates in the world are the African, the Eurasian, the coconut, the Arabian or the Antarctic.
The theory linked to the origin and characteristics of tectonic plates was consolidated from the 1960s . Scientific evidence supports that currently our planet is the only one in the Solar System that has active tectonic plates, but it is believed that, in ancient times, Venus and Mars also had plates of this type.
The most important tectonic plates on Earth are the Eurasian plate , the North American plate , the South American plate , the African plate , the Pacific plate , the Indo-Australian plate, and the Antarctic plate . There are also secondary plates , microplates, and other kinds of plates.

The plates can be classified according to the type of crust they present. It is possible to distinguish between the continental crust (which has an average thickness of thirty-five kilometers) and the oceanic crust (whose thickness does not exceed ten kilometers).

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