Plate Tectonics

Alfred Wegener

Alfred Wegener was a German Polar researcher, geophysicist, and meteorologist. He was known for his Continental Drift Theory.

Convergent Boundaries

An actively deforming region where two or more tectonic plates or fragments of the lithosphere move toward one another and collide.

Divergent Boundaries

A linear feature that exists between two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other.

Transform Boundaries

Places where plates slide past each other.

This picture shows the three different types of tectonic plate boundaries.

Tectonic Plate Off the Coast of Washington

The Juan De Fuca plate is just off the coast of Washington.

Effect on Cascade Range

The Cascades were formed by the subduction of the Juan De Fuca, Explorer, and the Gorda Plate under the North American Plate along the Cascadia subduction zone.

Convection Currents

Convection Currents are the transfer of heat by the mass movement of heated particles in the area of colder fluids.

Rift Zone

A feature of some volcanoes, especially shield volcanoes, in which a linear series of fissures in the volcanic edifice allows lava to be erupted from the volcano's flank instead of from its summit.

Subduction Zone

A subduction zone takes place at convergent boundaries when a tectonic plate moves under another tectonic plate.

Channeled Scablands

The Channeled Scablands are a barren, relatively soil-free landscape in eastern Washington, scoured clean by a flood unleashed when a large glacial lake drained. They are a geologically unique erosional feature in the U.S. state of Washington.