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Earth Science - Plate Tectonics

Chapter 4 - Plate Tectonics

SEISMIC WAVEA vibration that travels through Earth carrying the energy released during an earthquake.
PRESSUREThe amount of force pushing on a surface or area.
CRUSTThe layer of rock that forms Earth's outer surface.
MANTLEThe layer of hot, solid material between Earth's crust and core.
LITHOSPHEREA rigid layer made up of the uppermost part of the mantle and the crust. One of four spheres into which scientists divide Earth.
ASTHENOSPHEREThe soft layer of the mantle on which the lithosphere floats.
OUTER COREA layer of molten iron and nickel that surrounds the inner core of Earth.
INNER COREA dense sphere of solid iron and nickel in the center of Earth.
HEAT TRANSFERThe movement of energy from a warmer object to a cooler object.
RADIATIONThe direct transfer of energy through empty space by electromagnetic waves.
TRANSFORM BOUNDARYThe transfer of heat from one substance to another by direct contact of particles of matter.
CONVECTIONThe transfer of heat by movement of a fluid.
DENSITYThe amount of mass in a given space; mass per unit volume.
CONVECTION CURRENTThe movement of a fluid, caused by differences in temperature, that transfers heat from one part of the fluid to another.
PANGAEAThe name of the single landmass that broke apart 225 million years ago and gave rise to today's continents.
CONTINENTAL DRIFTThe hypothesis that the continents slowly move across Earth's surface.
FOSSILThe preserved remains or traces of living things.
MID-OCEAN RIDGEThe undersea mountain chain where new ocean floor is produced; a divergent plate boundary.
SONARA system that determines the distance of an object under water by recording echoes of sound waves; gets its name from SOund NAvigation and Ranging.
SEA-FLOOR SPREADINGThe process by which molten material adds new oceanic crust to the ocean floor.
DEEP-OCEAN TRENCHA deep valley along the ocean floor through which oceanic crust slowly sinks toward the mantle.
SUBDUCTIONThe process by which oceanic crust sinks beneath a deep-ocean trench and back into the mantle at a convergent plate boundary.
PLATEA section of the lithosphere that slowly moves over the asthenosphere, carrying pieces of continental and oceanic crust.
SCIENTIFIC THEORYA well-tested concept that explains a wide range of observations.
PLATE TECTONICSThe theory that pieces of Earth's lithosphere are in constant motion, driven by convection currents in the mantle.
FAULTA break or crack in Earth's lithosphere along which the rocks move.
TRANSFORM BOUNDARYA plate boundary where two plates move past each other in opposite direction.
DIVERGENT BOUNDARYA plate boundary where two plates move away from each other.
RIFT VALLEYA deep valley that forms where two plates move apart.
CONVERGENT BOUNDARYA plate boundary where two plates move toward each other.

Creekland Middle School

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