Plate Tectonics Key Concepts
- Virginia has a billion-year-long tectonic and geologic history.
- Virginia has five physiographic provinces produced by past tectonic and geologic activity.
- Each province has unique physical characteristics resulting from its geologic past.
- Geologic processes produce characteristic structures and features.
- Weathering, erosion, and deposition are interrelated processes.
- The core, mantle, and crust of Earth are dynamic systems, constantly in motion.
- Earth's lithosphere is divided into plates that are in motion with respect to one another.
- Most geologic activity (e.g., earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building) occurs as a result of relative motion along plate boundaries.
- Plate motion occurs as a consequence of convection in Earth's mantle. Plate tectonics is driven by convection in the mantle.
- There are two different types of crust - oceanic and continental - that have very different characteristics.
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