Monday, 18 July 2016

What questions can you ask about plate tectonics when you are standing in front of a rock exposure?

New ELI today - 'Questions for any rock face 11: tectonic plates. What questions about relationships to tectonic plates might be asked at any rock exposure?'
The questions provided ask pupils to relate their observations from a rock exposure to the ‘bigger picture’ of plate tectonics.
Many more ELIs helping to teach plate tectonics can be found on our website.


Ibrahim Me said...

How come the two plates form the upper and the root of the mountain at the same vertical section ? and how come the root (the sub surface part) is longer than the upper part, realizing that the upper face no resistance while root face great resistance to be formed?

Earthlearningidea Team said...

Ibrahim, thank you for your questions. I think some of the meaning has been lost in translation, but maybe the following will help:
1. The diagram is not really to scale, so we should not try to relate the height of the mountain chain (up to 9km), with that of the root (up to 90 km).
2. The "upper part" includes rocks derived by scraping sea-floor sediment up into the continental shelf and continental rise, so we must count this in as well as the bits which appear above sea level.