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.
Magnetic data suggest Seattle's fault line formed 55 million years ago, when the southern half of a subducting chain of volcanic islands piled onto the continent and tore apart from the northern half.
Magma flowed into the dike beneath Grindavík at a rate almost 100 times higher than what was seen in the eruptions that took place between 2021 and 2023.
The Indian plate may be peeling into two as it slides under the Eurasian plate, tearing Tibet apart in the process.
Scientists have identified three definitive supercontinents in Earth's history and predict the landmasses we live on today will come together again in the future.
A new method of assessing tsunami risk in New Zealand finds that giant waves could hit the country's shores once every 500 years.
Scientists have pieced together the remnants of a continent that broke off from western Australia 155 million years ago and seemingly vanished as it drifted northward toward Southeast Asia.
Scientists have fully mapped the lost continent of Zealandia in a world first, discovering new details about how it broke away from the supercontinent Gondwana through the ignition of a huge volcanic region tens of millions of years ago.
This excerpt from Michael Mann's latest book looks at the Cambrian explosion, the Great Dying and how dinosaurs were able to take over thanks to changes to the climate 250 million years ago.
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.
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