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Geosciences LibreTexts

7: Plate Tectonics and People

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  • Over geologic time, plate movements in concert with other geologic processes, such as glacial and stream erosion, have created some of nature's most magnificent scenery. The Himalayas, the Swiss Alps, and the Andes are some spectacular examples. Yet violent earthquakes related to plate tectonics have caused terrible catastrophes -- such as the magnitude-7.7 earthquake that struck the Chinese province of Hebei in 1976 and killed as many as 800,000 people.

    Contributors and Attributions

    W. Jacquelyne Kious and Robert Tilling ("The Dynamic Earth" via the U.S. Geological Survey)

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