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5.1: Introduction to Plate Tectonics

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    Learning Objectives

    This chapter has several goals and objectives:

    • Compare and describe each of these Earth layers: lithosphere, oceanic crust, and continental crust.
    • Describe how convection takes place in the mantle and compare the two parts of the core and describe why they are different from each other.
    • Explain the concepts of the following hypothesis: continental drift hypothesis, seafloor spreading hypothesis, and the theory of plate tectonics.
    • Describe the three types of tectonic plate and how the processes lead to changes in Earth’s surface features.

    Essential Questions

    • What is the driving force of plate tectonics and how does this impact earthquakes and volcanoes around the world?
    • How does the theory of plate tectonics help explain the different types of earthquakes and volcanoes around the planet?
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