Subduction is a geological process that takes place at the boundaries between tectonic plates in which one plate is forced underneath another. Subduction occurs when the massive pressures of entire continental or oceanic tectonic plates collide, over the course of millennia, and one slowly is subsumed underneath the other.
Subduction often results in spectacular natural geographic phenomena. Geological subduction is exemplified by the Himalayan Mountains, the earthquakes of the American Pacific coast and the volcanic activity that gave rise to the island of Japan. Subduction is one of the most immense physical processes on Earth, shaping the face of the Earth itself.Learn More
Tectonic plates move horizontally past one another at transform boundaries in either strike-slip or aseismic motions. Earthquakes and tsunamis occur when the pressure locking plates in a strike-slip boundary releases suddenly. Volcanic activity, while common at convergent and divergent plate boundaries, is rare at transform borders.Full Answer >
Tectonic plates and metamorphism are related because the geothermal gradients and metamorphic rocks produced during these phenomena are greatly affected by the movement and heating of the tectonic plates. When Earth?s lithosphere is broken up during the movement of tectonic plates, solid state re-crystallization occurs, and this process is known as metamorphism.Full Answer >
Scientists measure plate tectonics using GPS satellites, and they use computer models that simulate the motions of Earth's tectonic plates to try to predict future plate movements. By using GPS satellites in tandem with GPS receivers on the ground, scientists measure the rate of movement of the Earth's crust.Full Answer >
Areas where tectonic plates make contact with each other are known as convergent boundaries. Collisions between two plates are very slow, with movement of only a few centimeters per year occurring at the convergent boundaries.Full Answer >