What is an example of a divergent plate boundary?
Iceland is an example of a country undergoing a continental divergent boundary. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge divides Iceland and is the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. When divergent boundaries occur under continental plates, they form a rift valley.
Divergent boundaries in the middle of the ocean contribute to seafloor spreading. As plates made of oceanic crust pull apart, a crack in the ocean floor appears. Magma then oozes up from the mantle to fill in the space between the plates, forming a raised ridge called a mid-ocean ridge.
- The Earth's crust is split into sections called tectonic plates. Divergent boundaries are where two of those plates are moving away from each other. When this happens, magma rushes up to fill the gap, creating brand new crust. Plates can be separated into two types: oceanic and continental.
- Plates move away from one another at divergent boundaries. This happens at mid-ocean ridges. Plates move towards one another at convergent boundaries; one plate is forced below another in a process called subduction. Earthquakes and composite volcanoes are common at this type of boundary.
- Transform Plate Boundaries are locations where two plates slide past one another. The fracture zone that forms a transform plate boundary is known as a transform fault. Most transform faults are found in the ocean basin and connect offsets in the mid-ocean ridges.
Effects that are found at a divergent boundary between oceanic plates include: a submarine mountain range such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge; volcanic activity in the form of fissure eruptions; shallow earthquake activity; creation of new seafloor and a widening ocean basin.
- Transform boundaries are where two of these plates are sliding alongside each other. This causes intense earthquakes, the formation of thin linear valleys, and split river beds. The most famous example of a transform boundary is the San Andreas Fault in California.
- Transform boundaries are places where plates slide sideways past each other. At transform boundaries lithosphere is neither created nor destroyed. Many transform boundaries are found on the sea floor, where they connect segments of diverging mid-ocean ridges. California's San Andreas fault is a transform boundary.
- Most active divergent plate boundaries occur between oceanic plates and exist as mid-oceanic ridges. Divergent boundaries also form volcanic islands which occur when the plates move apart to produce gaps which molten lava rises to fill.
Updated: 12th November 2019