Q:

What is the difference between constructive and destructive forces?

A:

A constructive force creates or builds something on the earth. For instance, volcanoes are built up by constructive tectonic plate movement. Destructive forces like tornadoes and tsunamis tear down or wear away parts of the earth.

Tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes are all examples of destructive forces. The Grand Canyon is a result of destructive force. It was carved by water, which is one of the three agents of erosion. Erosion is a natural destructive process in which rock, soil or sediment is displaced or worn away. The other two agents of erosion are wind and ice. Ice erodes in the form of glaciers, forming valleys, and moraines. The third agent of erosion, wind, carries grains of sand that wear away at rocks.

Destructive forces can also be constructive. For example, as wind carries sand away from one region, it moves it to another and constructs sand dunes. Likewise, water forms deltas by depositing sediment at the mouth of a body of water.

The movement of tectonic plates can be constructive, forming volcanoes as plates converge or diverge. Iceland was formed, for example, by moving plates. Volcanoes are a destructive force because their eruptions destroy trees and other landmarks, but the magma they produce can be constructive as it dries on land to form mountains. Tectonic plate movement can cause earthquakes, which is another example of a destructive force that breaks apart land. Often, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur simultaneously as the result of plate tectonics.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where does the sun's energy come from?

    A:

    The sun's energy comes from the nuclear fusion reactions that happen within its core. When atoms of hydrogen come together in the core of the sun, they fuse to become another element: helium. This reaction produces energy.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are examples of biotic and abiotic factors in a desert biome?

    A:

    There are several biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) factors that are common to all types of desert biomes, or ecosystems, including cacti, fire ants, high daytime temperatures and sand. Biotic factors also include plants and animals such as sagebrush, scorpions, lizards and snakes. Abiotic factors include low temperatures at night, wind, and lack of rainfall.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes temperatures to change on Earth?

    A:

    Some of the things that cause temperatures change on Earth include the greenhouse effect, the amount of heat from the sun reaching Earth, deforestation and changes in Earth's surface with regards to reflectivity. Temperature change on Earth has become a major topic of debate in recent years because of its negative effects.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a saltwater biome?

    A:

    The saltwater biome refers to the world's saltwater bodies. The saltwater biome is found all over the world, in the form of oceans, seas, bays and gulfs. More commonly called the marine biome, the saltwater biome differs in a number of important ways from freshwater biomes. Marine biomes are home to innumerable species of fish, plants, mammals, algae, bacteria and invertebrates.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore