Tectonic Plate Boundaries

Class Period:
Tectonic Plate Boundaries
Earth Science 3b: Students know the principal structures that form at the three different kinds of
plate boundaries.
The lithosphere is broken into pieces called __________________. Each plate is composed of
_______________ crust and/or _______________ crust. These plates meet at what are called
________________________. There are three types of tectonic plate boundaries:
1. Divergent Boundaries—
2. Convergent Boundaries—
3. Transform Boundaries—
Movement at plate boundaries forms a wide variety of topographic features (including
_____________, ____________, and ______________) and are the cause of
1. Divergent Plate Boundaries
At divergent plate boundaries, two pieces of the _____________ move
When two plates pull apart, they may form a ___________________, a steep valley
between mountains or highlands.
As the plates continue to pull apart, __________ will rise from the asthenosphere (upper
part of the mantle). The magma comes out at earth’s surface as _________ and hardens to
form _____________. This creates _______________________ and is the cause of
Gently-sloped _______________ may also form along divergent boundaries as the
plates pull away and allow magma to rise to earth’s surface.
Draw a divergent boundary:
Comprehension Check: What 3 features form at divergent plate boundaries?
2. Convergent Plate Boundaries
At convergent plate boundaries, two plates move _______________. The features that
form at these boundaries depend on the types of crust that are colliding.
Class Period:
Oceanic-Oceanic and Oceanic-Continental Convergence
At these boundaries, one plate will slide under the other and go back into the mantle. At
an oceanic-continental boundary, the ____________ will always slide under the ____________.
The sliding of one plate under another is called _______________. The part of the plate that
goes under is called a ___________________________. __________________, deep
depressions in the seafloor, are formed at subduction zones.
As one plate subducts, the plates grind past one another. This creates _____________.
Also, the subducting crust is subject to a lot of heat and pressure, which may cause the
rock to melt and erupt through the overlying crust. This causes a steep-slope _____________.
Notice that many volcanoes lie on convergent plate boundaries.
Continental-Continental Convergence
When two continental plates collide, both are too thick and light-weight to completely
subduct. Instead, they will hit and push the ground upward to form ____________________.
This is what created Mount Everest!
Draw an oceanic-continental convergent plate boundary. Label the ocean trench, subduction
zones, and volcanoes that form.
Draw a continental-continental convergent boundary. What feature forms at this boundary?
3. Transform Plate Boundaries
At transform plate boundaries, two plates slide past each other in
____________________________. Large ____________ form at transform boundaries.
Faults are simply cracks in the ______________.
As the two plate grind past each other, ________________ are created.
Class Period:
The ________________________, located in California, is along a transform boundary.
The Pacific plate is moving northwest as the North American plate slides past it in a relative
southeast direction.
Draw a transform boundary.
1. Use the picture to answer the questions below.
a. Draw and label the mid-Atlantic Ridge. At what type of boundary does this form?
b. Draw and label the Marianas Trench. At what type of boundary does this form?
c. Draw and label the Himalaya Mountains. At what type of boundary do these
d. Draw and label the San Andreas Fault. At what type of boundary does this form?
Class Period:
More Practice
1. Ridges are formed when
a. Two oceanic plates move away from each other
b. Two oceanic plates move towards one another
c. Two continental plates move towards one another
d. Two continental plates slide past one another
2. Which of the following occurs at a subduction zone?
i. One tectonic plate slides under another
ii. Earthquakes occur
iii. Ocean ridges form
iv. Ocean trenches form
a. i only
b. i and iv only
c. i, ii, and iii
d. i, ii, and iv
3. The Atlantic Ocean is getting bigger as a result of seafloor spreading. Which of the
following is the cause of seafloor spreading?
a. Plate tectonic movement at divergent boundaries
b. Plate tectonic movement at convergent boundaries
c. Plate tectonic movement at transform boundaries
d. Earthquakes
4. Many earthquakes in California occur near the San Andreas Fault. Which of the
following statements describes the San Andreas Fault?
a. It was created when a strong earthquake broke the lithosphere
b. It is located along a transform boundary
c. It is getting wider as the North American plate and Pacific plate pull apart
d. Mountains will eventually form there
5. Describe a transform boundary and all of the features that occur there.
6. Describe an oceanic-continental convergent boundary and all of the features that occur
there. Use complete sentences.
7. Describe a continental-continental convergent boundary and all of the features that
occur there. Use complete sentences.
8. Describe a transform boundary and all of the features that occur there. Use complete