Plate tectonics is relatively new, put forth in the last 30 years or so — its forerunner was the now-discarded continental drift theory. The theory states that Earth's outer shell is made up of huge slabs of rock called plates that glide over the planet's inner layer, or mantle. As these plates shift, they sometimes collide with other plates, making for some interesting, and even deadly, results on Earth's surface, from erupting volcanoes, to earthquakes, to new mountain ranges. Here's a look at Live Science's news and features related to this constantly moving jigsaw puzzle.
The world's highest mountain system may have reached 60% of its current elevation before the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates crashed into each other, giving the peaks an extra push.
Researchers analyzing ancient deposits in Australia found evidence that Earth's layers started to get mixed up — a fingerprint of plate tectonics — about 1.3 billion years after the planet formed.
Strange, never-before-seen movements in the East Africa Rift Valley appear to be driven by super-heated rock from deep beneath Earth's surface.
Will the East African Rift split the continent and create a new ocean, or will it fizzle out?
A new model shows how the planet's surface evolved over the past 100 million years, from the shifting of tectonic plates to the movement of sediments.
Faults in the Earth are categorized into three general groups based on the sense of slip, or movement, that occur along them during earthquakes.
Scientists in India are planning to measure Mount Everest again, in order to settle the question of whether it shrank in the last earthquake.
Earth's outer shell is made of rocky rafts that dive beneath each other. The diving plates weaken, but do not break, according to a new study.
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