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disasters10.05notes

disasters10.05notes - 1 3.2 Ch 3 Plate Tectonics and...

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3.2: Ch. 3 – Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes Date: 10/05/09 Faults: ruptures in the Earth, where tectonic plates move away from, past, and into other rigid plates. (Fig. 3.17) The greatest earthquakes in the world occur where plates collide with each other (i.e., at the edges of the tectonic plates). Divergent, or pull apart, motion at spreading centers causes rocks to fail in tension , mainly due to the high temperatures. This usually leads to small earthquakes that do not pose an especially great threat to humans. Transform, or slide-past, horizontal motion at transform faults causes the rigid plates to fracture . This leads to large earthquakes , as the irregular plate boundaries retard movement because of the irregularities along the faults. It takes a lot of stored energy to overcome the rough surfaces, non-slippery rocks and bends in the faults. Convergent, or come together, motion at subduction zones and in continent-continent collisions store immense amounts of energy that are released in Earth’s greatest tectonic earthquakes . Pacific Plate: (a) spreading centers along east and south edges; (b) transform faults in northeast edge and extreme southwest; (c)rest of plate subducts .
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