By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. We and our partners will store and/or access information on your device through the use of cookies and similar technologies, to display personalised ads and content, for ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. Vulcanism is related to tectonic plates in divergent and convergent margins. The plates — interlocking slabs of crust that float on Earth's viscous upper mantle — were created by a process similar to the subduction seen today when one plate dives below another, the report says. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Your Privacy Controls. Thus, it might be said that tectonic processes built the Alps, but erosional processes gave the Matterhorn its unique profile. In addition, the intrusion of molten rock into the crust from below can raise the surface. Whereas erosion shapes landforms, their origins lie in tectonic processes that build the major structures of the Earth. Information about your device and internet connection, including your IP address, Browsing and search activity while using Verizon Media websites and apps. Many mountain ranges consist of chains of volcanoes that are made up of rocks derived from depths of tens of kilometres below the surface. Similarly, the folding of rocks at the surface creates the … In some areas, these processes create and maintain high elevations such as mountains and plateaus. Plate tectonics is the theory that tells us that the outer layer of the Earth is divided into several plates along the planet which slide over the mantle and the inner rocky layer located above the nucleus. Corrections? 'pertaining to building') is a scientific theory describing the large-scale motion of seven large plates and the movements of a larger number of smaller plates of Earth's lithosphere, since tectonic processes began on Earth between 3.3 and 3.5 billion years ago. They include mountains, plateaus, and rift valleys. Omissions? In the limits of the plates, different friction forces are produced which surpass the resistance of the rocks producing a sudden energy release and therefore earthquakes are produced. Likewise, subsidence of the Earth’s surface can occur by the cooling and the thermal contraction of the outer 100 kilometres of the planet. Tectonic plates are formed by pieces of lithosphere that can move and are composed mainly of the oceanic crust or abysm (silicon and magnesium) and the continental crust. This action helps prevent erosion of our planet’s atmosphere and eliminates highly energetic particles that could damage DNA. Tectonic plates are those that can give us an explanation about the formation of a simple pit at the bottom of the sea to the highest mountain on the planet, and this has happened on earth for thousands of years. Many other mountain ranges have been formed by the overthrusting of one terrain or block of crust over an adjacent one, which is another mechanism that uplifts the surface (Figure 1). Many other mountain ranges have been formed by the overthrusting of one terrain or block of crust over an adjacent one, which is another mechanism that uplifts the surface (Figure 1). Finally, heating and thermal expansion of the outer 100 to 200 kilometres of the Earth can uplift broad areas into either mountain ranges or plateaus. The theory explains how the lithosphere is structured and how tectonic plates located on the earth’s surface move through its slides. There are large volcanic cracks in the ocean basins and volcanoes in the plates. Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.