The Movement of Earth’s Lithospheric Plates

What do you think happens when plates move away from each other? Do plates ever move toward each other? What would happen if two plates met? What might happen if plates slide past one another?

57 thoughts on “The Movement of Earth’s Lithospheric Plates

  1. Lithospheric plates are the crust part of the mantle, or the rock, solid part. If they move away from each other, I suspect that it would reveal a giant crack, that does to the asthenosphere. If they did move toward one plate, they would be moving away from another, So I infer that if that happened or if two plates met, then there would be an earthquake. If they slid past one another, I also think it would cause an earthquake, and I think the plates are called tectonic plates.

    • David you are right. It seems like new a lot about the tectonic plates. I did not know very much about them in the being but now I know a lot. I know how earthquakes are started, it is because of when one plat moves next to another plate it make a vibration which is an start of a earthquakes. I was wondering if there is any more things you wanted to learn about the plates.

      • Thank you Mikey. Do you know if the source, or focal point of the earthquake can be caused at all the different type of plate boundaries?

    • David, I think if they moved away from each other nothing would happen, but I like your idea because I had the same idea. I also learned that if to plates met they would create a mountain or volcano but sometimes the mountain folds. When two plates slide past another they create an earthquake and that could be quite catastrophic if the earthquake was powerful enough. I think you did a really good job and your ideas were good.

  2. well… I think that the tectonics move towards each other and push up against each other, think of your hands laying palm down facing each other on the table, now think of moving your hands towards each other until they steeple. That’s the plates moving, right?

  3. If the 2 plates met there would each other be an earth quake because they would probely bump into each other when they would meet. If the plates slide past each other they would probely still start an earthquake because they are still moving

  4. I think when plates move away from each other it can cause land masses to come apart, but if they move towards each other one would be moving away from another so the same reaction would happen as if they were moving apart. If these plates were to meet or to slide past one another then I believe it could cause an earthquake.

  5. I think that if they move apart from each other wouldn’t cause a distribution? Would the plates just collide and get destroyed causing a earthquake if they move apart?

  6. I think plates move away from each other is by a earthquake because a earthquake is one of the worst natural disasters on our earth. We think the ground is very stable but really? It’s not. It actually moves a lot. But how plates move is when two plates move away from each other lava or magma comes out of the earth. This mostly happens at the bottom of the ocean where the earth crust is very thin. The collision between two continental plates crunches and folds the rock at the boundary, lifting it up and leading to the formation of mountains and mountain ranges. I think that’s how it’ll happen if they meet.

  7. What I think it that when the plates move away from each other I think that there is going to be this gap and there are going to be alot of gases coming out. I think that when the plates move towards each other they make vibrations which leads to earth quakes. When the plates slide pass one an other I think that is going to do the same think as when the plates meat.

  8. When lithosheric plates move away from each other I am assuming that it would cause an earthquake causing the crust of the earth to split causing a crack in the surface reasons as to why I think this is because lithoshoeric plates are pretty much a part in the earths up most layer, so I’m guessing that plates can also move towards each other causing the surface crust to crash into each other forming what we call mountains. I’m not to sure what would happen if two plates slide past each other though. Its kinda hard for me to picture, if I were to take a guess id say what would happen is that it would cause an earthquake but not that bad of an earth quake.

  9. If the plates met they could crash and make a massive earthquake. And if the plates moved away from each other there would be less earthquakes. Yes the plates move toward each other but not often. If the plates slide past one another it would also make an earthquake i am guessing because i relly dont know much about it.

  10. I think that when the Tectonic Plates move away from each other, ravines are formed because of the separating rock. Yes, the Tectonic Plates move towards each other all the time. When they meet, they can cause mountains to form, but it takes millions of years to do that. I think that when the Plates slide past one another that the vibrations caused by it would cause an earthquake. What do any of you guys/girls think will happen?

    • Hi Kaid, I think you were on to something. You were talking about ravines, but ravines under water caused by plate movement are called trenches. Do you know about the San Andreas fault? The fault is actually not formed at a convergent, or divergent plate boundaries (they are not moving away, or towards each other), but is actually at a transform boundary . Here is a link talking more about it. https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/earthq3/safaultgip.htm
      Also, ravines do not really associate with plates that much, but do you think that trenches can be formed at Convergent, transform, and Divergent plate boundaries?

  11. I think when two plates move away from each other it like lava rises up..?
    But when two plates met each other they can form mountains because of
    all of that force pushing them together. And when they slide past
    each other they basically make earthquakes and they don’t form anything new.

  12. I think when plates move apart from each other it creates a gap that maybe another plate fills in. I don’t think plates move towards each other because if they did it may cause a natural disaster like a sink hole. If a plate slides past each other then it may cause an earthquake. (it would cause vibrations)

  13. If the Lithospheric plates were to move away from each other I think they will create a hole, crack, or a divide in the Earth’s land masses. The Earth’s plates do move toward each other because sometimes when they meet earthquakes happen. I also think that if the slid past another they would also create an earthquake, because the plates touch and when the plates touch an earthquake happens

    • true, but when they go towards each other they make mountains and mountain ranges, when they move away from each other they makebig cracks that lava comes out of.

  14. To be honest I do not really know… but if I had to guess, my prediction would be that if plates move toward each other than It would cause an earthquake, considering the plates would crash into each other. I think that there wouldnt be much change if they moved away from each other. Other than that I have no clue.

    • You did a good job Karlye, especially considering that you didn’t know anything and you were guessing. I had the same guess at the beginning! I would’ve explained more about what you thought was going to happen if the plates were to move apart if I were you. But other than that I think you had a great guess.

  15. I don’t know about this kind of thing but if I were to guess, I would say that if two plates hit each other that it may cause vibrations in the earth. I think the plates would be more likely to move apart then move towards each other. Once again I don’t know anything about this.

    • To add onto my original post, the lithospheric plates can move in different ways. They can be convergent, divergent, or transform. Convergent is when they collide and go up sometimes causing folding mountains, divergent is when plates pull apart. Transform is when the sides of two plates rub by each other. When lithospheric plates hit they cause vibrations causing a earthquake.

  16. when two plates move away from each other it causes valcanos on the fault line to erupt and create new crust. yes two plates can move towards each other and when that happens its called compression boundaries . when two plates meet it causes one plate to move under and one over and its causes both of them to be under constant pressure.

  17. i think that the plates are the crust of the world and that they can move in any direction if that means away,closer,side by side moving different directions which means i think if they move away from each other that a giant crack will form on the earths surface. if they move together they would probably form mountains and hills when they meet in one spot and don’t stop moving closer. finally i think if they slide by each other they will cause an earth quake.

    • to add to my previous answer there are three different types of lithosphere plates theres divergent, transform, and convergent. divergent is where they pull away from each other. convergent is when they collide creating mountains and volcanos. transform is when they rub past each other sometime creating earth quakes. divergent and convergent can also do others things such as creating, relocating, and getting rid of lakes. to show that i am correct about my data here is a link to prove i am right.
      http://www.livescience.com/37706-what-is-plate-tectonics.html

  18. if the plates moved apart it would probably cause a hole or something like that and if the plates collided it would probably make one bit higher and if they slide past one another you got me there.

  19. I think if the plates split it would crack, that magma can escape through, I think over time the plates would move back together (or the magma would fill the gap, then harden). If 2 plates met I think it would pile up, and go upwards to create a mountain. If the plates moved together it would cause an earthquake.

  20. i think when plates move away from eachother it creates a space or a thinner layer, im guesses they do move back to each other maybe once they meet agian they crash slightly i dont know, after they slide pass maybe they move back into place.

  21. If they slid past each other and they are on each other it will cause an Earthquake, if it was sliding by and they hit each other, I think it would make a huge crack in the Earth.

  22. I don’t really know anything about lithospheric plates but from the reading we did last week I think that they are like or maybe even the tectonic plates but with a different name.

  23. I think that the plates are the crust so that they can change how they act like and how the move away and move closer togeather and it will make earthquakes and make giant cracks in the ocean floor and will form mountains, hills and they will move away from each other and it will cause an earthquake.

  24. What I think happens when the plates move away from each other is probably causing something to other things around them. I am actually not sure if the plates move toward each other, but I think that they do. I mean don’t. shoot. I mean’t do/don’t. I honestly don’t know. But what I think would happen if the plates slide past one another is probably causing the mantles to move and which would create and earthquake. Also, one more thing, I don’t know that much about this.

  25. If the plates do move apart from each other I think it will be replaced by new plates like the mantle,but if the plates ever move toward each other it would probably squash the houses in between them.If two plates met they would probably crush a couple small towns or a lot of houses,but if two plates go past each other they would probably hit one side of the other plate.

  26. I don’t know much about them,but like josh i think they might be like tectonic plates,because they might just me a huge thing of rock.If someone could get back to me that would be great.

    • This is good, but what do you think will happen when these things in the question happen? For example, when plates slide past each other, earthquakes can occur. When plates move toward each other, mountains and volcanoes can appear. So what do you think will happen when two plates move away from each other?
      oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/facts/plate-boundaries.html
      Maybe this link will help.

  27. I think that the plates would make a giant crack in the earth cause little bits of rock to float up, letting Magma rise up. Plates could move towards each other, but one would be pulling away from each other, causing a Magnetic Force. If they were to touch, I think that the plates and everything else would be messed up. It’s not likely that it would occur because of a very strong force of Gravity that helps things pull away from each other.

    • I now know how Mountains form, they form when two plates meet. I also know that when the plates move away from each other, Volcanoes form and Magma spills out. In an Investigation that we did recently, some Volcanoes aren’t as active as they used to be. Sediment is the stuff at the bottom of an Ocean, so, when land pushes together, the Sediment becomes rock on land. There are two types of Plate boundaries, one of them is Transform and the other is Convergent.
      http://www.livescience.com < Planet Earth

  28. If a plate were to move away from or toward another plate it would leave a gap. To try and cover this gap the plates would follow along with the movement of the first plate. Although this would cause a chain reaction leaving it to seem as though the plates shall move and shift for millennia to come. I think if two plates were to meet one would try to slide over the other making it higher than the other. I think that if they were to slide past each other the plates would scrape the other as it goes on its way.

  29. I’m no scientist and I have no clue whatsoever what would happen if lithospheric plates moved away from each other. My best guess is that they would probably leave some type of gap or hole. I also have no idea what would happen if the plates went toward each other. Probably not much considering they are not touching each other yet. However, if two plates met it could cause a mountain and if two plates were to slide against each other it could cause an earth quake.

  30. I think that when two plates away from each other then that would cause earthquakes to happen and for a fissure to be created. Yes plates do move toward each other which would also cause earthquakes however its when they collide then they make a mountain. As for when the slide by each other I don’t know that one.

  31. Convergent plates are tectonic plates that move towards each other and fold on top of the other. Divergent plates move away from each other, and transform plates move side by side. These plates move only a mere 3-5 centimeters per year. If a person lives near a plate boundary no matter if it’s convergent, divergent, or transform, they would probably get injured or the buildings near them would fall or break, because a plate moving could cause earthquakes, considering the vibrations and waves that move through the earth when a plate moves.

  32. The lithosphere part of the the mantle the rigid part of the mantle. The lithosphere is about 100 km thick but thats still fairly thin compared to the mantle that’s 3000km thick that’s over 1500 miles long!

  33. when two plates move away from each other it causes a divergent boundaries. Yes plates do move towards each other and when they do it causes earthquakes and volcanos to erupt

  34. When plates move apart from each other is called divergent plate boundaries. Plates that move towards each other are called Convergent plate boundaries. When two plates meet they can over lap and create mountains. When plates slide past one another its called transform plate boundary. When they do earthquakes can occur along the fault.

  35. I think that plates that move toward each other are called convergent and then when plates that move away from each other are called divergent plate
    boundaries. I think when plates move past each other they create an earthquake..
    Still a little confused..

  36. What do you think happens when plates move away from each other? As they are separating the crack is filling in with new rock. Do plates ever move toward each other? What would happen if two plates met? Yes, plates do move toward each other, one plate will go under the other. What might happen if plates slide past one another? It would cause an earthquake.

  37. Yes, it is possible for plates to move away from each other it is called a Divergent Plate Boundary.Yes to the plates moving towards each other also,it is called a Convergent Plate Boundary.Convergent Plate Boundaries are what form Mountains,volcanos,and if they rub(or slide) against each other they can even cause earthquakes.When they move away from each other nothing really happens.Hope this post helps you out,contact if any questions.Remember don’t get your info. from Wiki Ethier use a reliable source like sciencemag.org

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