NVCC Plate Tectonics Lab

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Name _____________________________
GOL 105: Physical Geology
Plate Tectonics Lab
(2020 revision)
Maps to use:
This Dynamic Planet (USGS publications) –
A Global Map/Atlas – The National Geographic Map below can be used or an
equivalent one that includes geographic and sea floor features.

Please save this document on your computer with a file name including your name before
entering your answers into the tables provided, then save your copy & submit it via Canvas.
Directions:
Please identify several examples of each of the following plate tectonic settings using the
maps referenced above. Please read the legend at the bottom of the This Dynamic Planet
Map which explains the symbols used on the map. For each example, provide a geographic
name for the setting (e.g., the Andes Mountains, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, etc.) and identify the
tectonic plate(s) that are involved. The plate names are identified on the This Dynamic Planet
Map.
The This Dynamic Planet Map does not provide the names of associated geologic features. To
find these you will need to use an atlas. Several geographic atlases can be found online (The
link above is for the global atlas from National Geographic), or you can use one that you may
have access to at your home. Be sure you find an atlas that contains the geographic names of
the ocean floor features in addition to the geographic names of land features. Some features
may have more than one geographic feature associated with them. For instance, an oceancontinent convergent boundary can be identified by the deep-sea trench or by the continental
volcanic arc. You will only need to identify each setting with one prominent geographic
feature, but listing more than one will be useful for you.
Finally, list the general geologic phenomena or features that are typically associated with each
type of plate tectonic features. These can include the following:
• small shallow earthquakes
• large deep earthquakes
• volcanoes
(volcanic island arcs, continental volcanic arcs, or hot spot volcanic tracks)
• deep sea trenches
• oceanic ridges (spreading centers)
• continental mountain ranges (non-volcanic)
Don’t list specific place names or landscape features (like “Mount St. Helens”) – the goal here
is to see what all the examples of this particular type of boundary have in common (like “deep
earthquakes, volcanic island arcs, and deep sea trenches”).
Divergent Boundaries:
Identify five (5) different divergent plate boundaries (spreading centers) on the earth.
What general geologic features/phenomena (i.e., earthquakes, volcanoes, trenches,
mountains, etc.) are associated with this boundary? Be careful, not all features
labeled “ridge” on the map are tectonic spreading centers.
Name
Geologic Features/Phenomena
Plates Involved
Convergent Boundaries:
Ocean-Ocean
Identify three (3) different ocean-ocean convergent boundaries. Be sure to indicate
which two plates are involved in the collision, and which plate is being subducted.
What general geologic features/phenomena are associated with this boundary?
Name
Geologic Features/Phenomena
Plates Involved
Ocean-Continent
Identify three (3) different ocean-continent convergent boundaries. Be sure to
indicate which two plates are involved in the collision, and which plate is being
subducted. What general geologic features/phenomena are associated with this
boundary?
Name
Geologic Features/Phenomena
Plates Involved
Continent-Continent
Identify at least one (1) continent-continent convergent boundary. Be sure to indicate
which two plates are involved in the collision. What geologic features/phenomena are
associated with this boundary?
Name
Geologic Features/Phenomena
Plates Involved
Transform Boundaries:
Identify four (4) different transform faults on the surface of the Earth. What geologic
features/phenomena are associated with this boundary?
Name
Geologic Features/Phenomena
Plates Involved
Hot Spots:
Identify five (4) active hot spots on the surface of the Earth. What geologic
features/phenomena are associated with this boundary?
Name
Geologic Features/Phenomena
Plate Involved
You can determine if an ocean basin is getting bigger or smaller through time by estimating
the percentage of its perimeter that is composed of deep-sea trenches. If more than half the
perimeter (>50%) is composed of deep-sea trenches, it is likely that the ocean basin is
currently getting smaller over time. If less than half the perimeter (
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