Spark image

Tectonic Plates and Continental Drift

T he surface of the Earth divided into a number of large 'slabs' of rock called tectonic plates. The divisions between these are shown in the map. These plates are not stationary but are moving very very slowly across the surface of the planet. In some places they are sliding past each other, in some places they are colliding and in others they are moving apart. This movement is known as continental drift. The movement of the Indo Australian plate towards the Eurasian plate caused the formation of the Himalayas.

The places where the plates meet are regions of high volcanic activity and where the danger of earthquakes is high. Notice the San Andreas Fault in California and the origin of the 2005 tsunami in Indonesia lie along the meeting point of two tectonic plates.
© Keith Gibbs 2013