The theory of plate tectonics states that the Earth's solid outer crust, the lithosphere, is separated into plates that move over the asthenosphere, the molten upper portion of the mantle. Oceanic and continental plates come together, spread apart, and interact at boundaries all over the planet.
Considering this, why do tectonic plates?
The plates move because of convection currents in the Earth's mantle. These are driven by the heat produced by the decay of radioactive elements and heat left over from the formation of the Earth.
What formed the tectonic plates?
Stable convection cells formed in the mantle and started driving plate movements and subduction, and plate tectonics began to shape the Earth's surface, the researchers believe. Since then, most new crust has made its way to the surface of the Earth at spreading centers and subduction zones, Naeraa said.
What causes tectonic plate motion?
Tectonic shift is the movement of the plates that make up Earth's crust. The heat from radioactive processes within the planet's interior causes the plates to move, sometimes toward and sometimes away from each other. This movement is called plate motion, or tectonic shift.