Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

Plate Boundaries 101

  • Page ID
    185463
  • To Do To Answer
    Read about plate boundaries
    • What are the main types of plate boundaries? What are the characteristics of each?
    • What is a subduction zone?
    • What is a trench?
    • Why are there so many earthquakes and volcanoes around Ring of Fire?
    • What type of boundary shows the concept of seafloor spreading that we explored in the last session?
    • Sketch a drawing of each type of plate boundary and label the parts. 
    • How fast do plates move?
    • Describe the technologies used to measure plate movement.
    Explore this interactive diagram
    • Give an example of where each kind of boundary can be found. 
    Try this activity to model plate boundaries
    • How did this activity model plate boundaries?
    Read about Island Arcs and Hotspots
    • What are "island arcs"?
    • How do the Hawaiian Islands and other volcanoes that form in the interior of plates fit into the plate-tectonics picture?
    • Click on the "Prominent world hotspots" map. Are most hotspots found on a plate boundary or away from a plate boundary?
    • Yellowstone is a well known Hotspot. How did it form? How many eruptions of Yellowstone have been cataloged? Is Yellowstone still an active hotspot?

     Consider using the attached worksheet to organize information about plate boundaries.