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What on Earth is Plate Tectonics?
This web site was put together by the U.S.G.S. (United States Geological Survey) and the N.P.S. (National Park Service) and provides an overview of plate tectonics. It begins by explaining about the Earth's core, mantle, and crust. It then discusses the crustal plates and the types of plate boundaries (convergent, divergent and transform). The lesson ends with paleogeographic reconstructions of plate distributions from the past 650 million years.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • Visual:
    • Map
    • Visualization - scientific
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
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. 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 such as: Credit: U. S. Geological Survey U. S. Geological Survey/photo by Jane Doe (if the artist is known) USGS/Ft. Collins, CO (if originating office but not the artist is known)
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-000-428
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: Melanie Moreno
United States Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey