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A Science Odyssey Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker

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Text Version of Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker

Build mountains. Trigger volcanoes. Create new sea floor. You now have the power to change the landscape with the slightest push of your mouse. Four types of plate tectonic activity are demonstrated in this feature. Keep an eye on the map to see where in the world the activity takes place.


Divergent Boundary
Also known as spreading boundary, a divergent boundary occurs where two plates move apart, allowing magma, or molten rock, to rise from the Earth's interior to fill in the gap. The two plates move away from each other like two conveyor belts moving in opposite directions.

For more on divergent boundary, go to The Sea Floor Spread.


Convergent Boundary
Also known as subduction boundary, a convergent boundary occurs where one plate slides under another as the two are pushed together. If there is land at the edge of one of these plates, the ocean plate will subduct, or slide under that plate.

For more information, go to The Continental Slide.


Collisional Boundary
A collisional boundary occurs where two land masses on plates are pushed together. Trying to occupy the same space, the land masses buckle and fold, creating mountain ranges.

For more information, go to The Continental Crush.


Transform Boundary
A transform boundary occurs where two plates slide against each other. But rather than sliding smoothly, the plates build up tension, then release the tension with a spurt of movement. This movement is felt as an earthquake.

For more information, go to Slippin' and a Slidin'.





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