The surface of the Earth is broken upward into large plates. It’s easy to confuse these plates when using the Earth’s crust – the particular thin outermost layer on the Earth. But there is more on the structure of the Globe than this simple image of an ‘cracked egg-shell’.

The Earth’s layers could be defined in two various ways – based on the actual chemical composition or the mechanical properties on the rock. To understand just what exactly plates are, it is essential to understand both of the different models.

When we consider tectonic or lithospheric china, we mean the sections into which the lithosphere is cracked. The surface with the Earth is divided in 7 major and EIGHT minor plates. The largest plates will be the Antarctic, Eurasian, and North Usa plates. Plates are on average 125km thick, reaching optimum thickness below mountain ranges. Oceanic plates (50-100km) are thinner than the continental plates (up to 200km) and in some cases thinner at the ocean ridges the location where the temperatures are higher. Some plates are large enough to contain both continental and oceanic crustal portions (e. g. the Africa or South American plates) when the Pacific Plate is almost entirely oceanic.


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