Breakthrough Achieved in Explaining Why Tectonic Plates Move the Way They Do Researchers have developed a new theory to explain the global motions caused by tectonic plates on our planet’s surface. Apparently, The new theory expands on the existing theory of plate tectonics and the new findings will help scientists to better understand the evolution of the Earth with a focus of understanding “the tectonic evolution of western North America, in the past 50 million years”. What was previously not understood very well seems to be explained with the new understanding that Earth’s plates are not driven from the bottom up, as previously thought, rather the plates themselves are controlling the process and the actual movement, in a top-down system, more than the mantle underneath. This article relates to our week 8 studies on Plate Tectonics which taught us that earths surface is made up of 12 large plates and several smaller ones. Tectonics relates to the word architect and means building or to put together. Plates are rigid sheets of rock that are moving.
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