Posted December 20, 2022 / Nature
Tectonic plates are large pieces of the Earth's crust and upper mantle that move slowly over the surface of the planet.
They are constantly moving due to the motion of the Earth's lithosphere, which is the outer layer of the planet that includes the crust and the upper part of the mantle.
The movement of the tectonic plates is caused by convection currents in the Earth's mantle. The mantle is the layer of the Earth that is located below the crust and is made up of hot, molten rock. This rock is in a constant state of motion due to the heat that is generated by the decay of radioactive elements in the Earth's core.
As the mantle rocks heat up, they become less dense and rise towards the surface. As they cool, they become denser and sink back down into the mantle. This constant movement creates convection currents in the mantle, which drive the movement of the tectonic plates on the surface of the Earth.
The movement of the tectonic plates can also be influenced by other factors, such as the weight of mountains and the presence of oceanic trenches. The movement of the plates can result in the creation of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the formation of mountain ranges.