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Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics
This article describes the theory of plate tectonics and its relation to earthquakes and seismic zones. Materials include an overview of plate tectonics, a description of Earth's crustal plates and their motions, and descriptions of the four types of seismic zones.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • Visual:
    • Illustration - scientific
    • Map
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
Subject:
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
    • Geophysics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
USGS-authored or produced data and information are in the public domain. While the content of most USGS web pages is in the public domain, not all the information on our site is in the public domain. Some images/graphics are used by USGS with permission. For other uses, you may need to obtain permission from the copyright holder under the copyright law. You are welcome to make a link to any of the Web pages USGS has published on the Internet. There is no need to request permission. Use of the USGS visual identifier (logo) is restricted to official publications. We will identify material we use from sources outside of USGS, and request others do the same when using information published by USGS. Credit can be provided by including on the page (or via a link to a credits page) a citation.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-000-259
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Earth's history
        • Structure of the earth system
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural hazards
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural and human-induced hazards
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Earthquake Hazards Program
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/