Q | Science homework help


Plate Tectonics

The Learning Objectives for Chapter 2 and this web quest is to learn about and become familiar with:

  • Plate Boundary Types 
  • Plate Boundary Interactions 
  • Plate Tectonic Map of the World 
  • Past Plate Movement and the supercontinent Pangea
  • Hot Spots of Hawaii and Yellowstone 

Part 1:  

Part 2. Types of Plate Boundaries 

There are 3 types of plate boundaries and a fourth called a “plate boundary zone” in which the type of plate boundary is not clearly defined. 

Use your lecture notes and navigate to the following website:  http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/understanding.html 

Learn about the three types of plate boundaries and answer the questions below. 

1. What are the three types of plate boundaries in the addition to the plate boundary zone? 

2. What directions do the plates move relative to one another in a divergent plate boundary?

3. What is a spreading center and what is made at one? 

4. Name one spreading center (or divergent plate boundary). 

5. What are the three types of convergent plate boundaries?

6. What two kinds of crust are involved in a subduction zone?

7. What type of convergent boundary is the Himalaya Mountains formed by? 

8. What happens along a transform plate boundary? 

9. Name a famous transform fault in western North America. 

10. Which plates are sliding past each other along the San Andreas Fault? 

Part 3. Plate Boundary Interactions 

Use your lecture notes from Chapter 2 and navigate to the following website: 


View the short video to review the major types of boundaries again.  

11. List and define the 3 major types of plate boundaries.  

Now, navigate to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSKzdbEVsI8

View the animation about “Seafloor Spreading.” 

12. What is happening to the plates at the red line in the center of the screen? 

13. What is the red line? 

Now, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt_jJUnTFhg&t=2s

Click on the picture labeled “Subduction”. Wait for it to load, and there should be another movie.

14. What two kinds of convergence are shown in the movie? 

Part 4. Plate Tectonic Maps 

Now go to http://denali.gsfc.nasa.gov/research/lowman/Lowman_map1_lg.jpg 

You will see a plate tectonic map of the world. Rest the mouse on the bottom right corner of the map and after a couple of seconds an enlargement icon should appear. Click on this icon to see the map in full size. Now you can use the scroll bars on the side and bottom to maneuver around the map. 

15. Using the key at the bottom of the map, what is happening in Idaho, tectonically speaking? 

Read the following article about the Java Trench: https://sites.google.com/a/apps.hopkinsschools.org/plate-tectonics—regions/home/java-trench

Next, view the following animation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDXCuzRgNGA

This is where the Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate interact. 

16. What kind of plate interaction occurs here and was responsible for the December 26, 2004 tsunami? 

Next, navigate to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIuk2blBzHs

17. How does the plate boundary along the west coast of the United States change over time? 

Next, view https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLahVJNnoZ4

Wait for the movie to download (sorry for the commercial). This is a movie showing how the plates looked around 150 million years ago, when all the continents were together forming the “supercontinent” Pangea, and how the plates moved through time to their present configuration. 

Now, if you would like to try to control the plate tectonic movement at your speed of choice, go to 


18. What continents did North America used to be attached to during Pangea time? 

19. What happens to North America in the future?

Part 5. Hot Spots 

Now, go to the website: http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/hotspots.html

Read and learn about hot spots. 

20. What are hot spots and how might they impact human populations? 

Part 6. Plate boundaries Map 

Please review the following plate boundaries map http://d32ogoqmya1dw8.cloudfront.net/files/NAGTWorkshops/intro/activities/plate_boundaries_student_hando.pdf

Next, view the following specialty maps assigned to you. 

Homework: Prior to next class 

Familiarize yourself with each map. Compare each map with the original plate boundaries map. What does each map show? What are the major categories for each map (hint: use the key for each map that explains colors, symbols, features, etc.)? Provide a major example for each category. How does each map relate compare to the original plate boundaries map? Where is major activity occurring? What did you learn? What questions do you still have?  

Global Seismicity 


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