How Plate Tectonics Shapes the Landscape

Plate Boundaries

a) The Location of Earthquakes

The image below shows most of the earthquakes that have occurred since 1898.

Do you think earthquakes can happen anywhere or are the some places that they are more likely to occur.


b) Location of the Earth’s Volcanoes


c) Plate Boundaries

Can you see a link between the location of volcanoes and the location of earthquakes.

Is there a pattern? Compare the two maps above to the one showing plate boundaries below. What do you notice?

Look at the direction the plates are moving.

plate boundary blank with arrows.png

The theory of plate tectonics and how it shapes our planet:

d) The different types of plate boundaries

Constructive or Divergent Plate Boundary. (The Mid Atlantic Ridge)

Why is it Constructive?


Destructive Plate Boundary or Subduction Zone (The Andes in South America)


Conservative Plate Boundaries (The San Andreas Fault)


Here’s a great summary with some interactive challenges.