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Why is it important to know about plate tectonics and earthquakes?

Why is it important to know about plate tectonics and earthquakes?

Plate boundaries are important because they are often associated with earthquakes and volcanoes. When Earth’s tectonic plates grind past one another, enormous amounts of energy can be released in the form of earthquakes.

As plates move, they get stuck in places, and enormous amounts of energy build up. When the plates finally get unstuck and move past each other, the energy is released in the form of earthquakes. Earthquakes and volcanoes are common features along tectonic plate boundaries, making these zones geologically very active.

How do you prove plate tectonics?

Evidence from fossils, glaciers, and complementary coastlines helps reveal how the plates once fit together. Fossils tell us when and where plants and animals once existed. Some life “rode” on diverging plates, became isolated, and evolved into new species.

How do earthquakes provide evidence for plate tectonics?

Plate tectonics theory implies the Earth crust is made up by rigid plates that wander around independently from each other. Likewise, this implies that the plates may end up bouncing into each other. Earthquakes should be located at those places where plates collide or separate o rub to each other.

What can earthquakes tell us about the Earth?

By placing seismometers around the world, scientists can get a clearer picture of how tectonic plates are moving. They can even detect earthquakes that occur on the opposite side of the earth and nuclear explosions. The data from earthquakes can also give us insight into the different layers of Earth’s interior.

What can students do with a plate tectonic map?

Students compare their results with a plate tectonic map to investigate the relationship between plate boundaries and the locations of earthquakes and volcanoes. This activity permits students to use graphical displays (e.g., maps) of large data sets (earthquake and volcano locations) to identify spatial relationships with tectonic margins.

What causes the Earth to rupture during an earthquake?

Over time stresses in the Earth build up (often caused by the slow movements of tectonic plates). At some point the stresses become so great that the Earth breaks. An earthquake rupture occurs and relieves some of the stresses (but generally not all).