Plate Tectonics

DVD (Chaptered)
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3-Year Streaming
Plate Tectonics (25:00)
Item# 34722

Studies of our planet’s crust, or lithosphere, suggest that it’s not a single solid layer at all. This video illustrates the process of scientific inquiry by studying the evolution of our understanding of plate tectonics, the dynamics of those ever-shifting slabs of earth we call solid ground. Beginning with Alfred Wegener’s hypothesis of continental drift, the program discusses major and minor plates, types of plate boundaries, and the concepts of spreading and subduction. Earthquakes and volcanoes are also addressed. A viewable/printable instructor’s guide is available online. Correlates to National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, and Standards for the English Language Arts. A Cambridge Educational Production. (25 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (7)

1. Pangaea and Continental Drift (03:39)
 Available for Free Preview

Earth's dynamic structure always changes. Plate tectonics theory suggests that the earth's surface is made up of plates that have moved throughout history. The theory of continental drift is the forerunner of plate tectonics theory.

2. Magnetic Reversals (02:16)

WWII submarine reconnaissance activity revealed, a pattern of magnetic stripes on the ocean floor, indicative of earth's continuous changing magnetic field. Continental drift and sea floor spreading give rise to the modern theory of plate tectonics.

3. Mechanical Layers of the Earth (03:09)

Earth's crust is divided into major and micro plates that float around independently on top of the hot mantle below. Two layers of Earth's crust, the lithosphere and the asthenosphere, are the most important in the mechanics of plate tectonics.

4. Earth's Changing Surface (03:08)

Plate tectonics are responsible for the largest forces that change the earth's surface over time. Modern technology such as the global positioning system makes it possible to track plate movements of the earth's crust.

5. Tectonic Plate Boundaries (02:40)

When huge slabs of the lithosphere plow into each other, slabs fold to form mountains. Different positional relationships among plates are called divergent, convergent, and transform boundaries.

6. Faults and Earthquakes (03:32)

Where plates slide and scrape alongside each other, resulting strains cause faults or cracks to develop in the earth's crust. When big faults move, the energy released results in earthquakes.

7. Strata and Shield Volcanoes (04:35)

Underwater volcanic activity occurs along divergent plate boundaries of the sea floor. Most of Earth's active volcanoes take place along convergent boundaries, such as in the Ring of Fire around the Pacific Ocean.

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