What Causes Tectonic Plates To Move?

What Causes Tectonic Plates To Move

Are you afraid of what causes tectonic plates to move that later turns out to be earthquakes? Before being too scared about it you should read this article that will help you to understand the tectonic movements. I will describe the points that are causing the plates to move which forms cracks and openings in the ground. Why there are earthquakes as well as volcanoes after changes in tectonic plates. You will come to know different reasons for what causes tectonic plates to move in below.

What Causes Tectonic Plates To Move?

Before understanding what causes tectonic plates to move brainly question you need to know what does the tectonic plates mean. The big masses of the soil layer are inside the earth’s crust and mantle surface are called tectonic plates. A combination of the continental crust and oceanic crust forms the tectonic plates where different layers of rocks like basaltic, felsic granites, etc are present. The tectonic plates move mainly because of hot flowing rock which separates the layers. Let us see why do the plates move short answer further in detail.

What Causes Tectonic Plates To Move Reasons

I have enlisted the general reasons for what causes tectonic plates to move.

  1. Slipping Of Plates
  2. Collision Of Plates
  3. Spreading Of Plates
  4. Subduction Of Plates
  5. Convection
  6. Gravity Pull

What Causes Tectonic Plates To Move Reasons

Below I have described what causes the tectonic plates to move in full. Here you will come to know the reasons and the effects of movements in tectonic plates.

  1. Slipping Of Plates

Slipping event is what causes tectonic plates to move on earths surface in the first place. The cracks that you can notice at the time of the normal earthquakes. The plates will slip either in front or back motion or just move in the same direction. For example, when a boat leaves from the port and passes where other boats are in the same place but still look like moving. This movement can happen in the parallel direction either opposite or same.

  1. Collision Of Plates

The second reason for how is the earth’s surface affected by the movement of the tectonic plates is the collision effect. When the several layers of plates crash with each other they form different folds which look like small mountains. Collision is what makes the massive plates move towards each other. The different rocks come to the earth’s surface which contains different layers of the crust. Every year the movements in mountains can be seen also the increase and decrease in lands surface is caused by the same reason.

  1. Spreading Of Plates

One of the important points from what causes tectonic plates to move and shift is the spreading of the surfaces. The plates start separating slowly from each other after moving because of the geological effect. Surfaces leave the place and create openings for volcanoes. This can happen in continental land surfaces as well as inside oceanic land surfaces. The inner layer comes towards the upper part when land surfaces move away from each other.

  1. Subduction Of Plates

Subduction is what happens when tectonic plates move upon one another to entirely cover the layer of the plate. This can be seen at multiple sites located in the ring of fire also known as earthquake-prone areas. The weight, mass, and density are the main cause for the sinking of the plates on each other naturally. Many geologists try to understand the mechanism of the subduction of plates which is one of the important points in tectonics.

  1. Convection

The hot fluid magma is what causes tectonic plates to move convection currents in the earth’s core. The principle in the movement of plates due to currents of heat is also called plate tectonics. With the convection process, the cooler layer goes below where sold layers come to the upper side. The convection current causes the lithospheric plate to move or shift from the original place. Plates move because the magma is a molten mass that can move and the plates or surface on it is floating.

  1. Gravity Pull

There is a gravity pull from what layer of earth causes tectonic plates to move in downward directions is the lithosphere. Results like landslides or sinking of land can be seen after this event. Rotation of the earth along its axis is also related to the earth’s gravity, hence the land surface will be pulled into the earth’s surface. The density factor pulls the heavier layers more deep into the earth’s mantle.


What Are The 3 Causes Of Plate Movement?

The 3 important causes of plate movement are as follows:

  1. The flow of the hot convection current in the earth’s core.
  2. Gravity pulls the earth’s surface towards the center.
  3. Due to effects like slide, collide, spread, and subduction of the layers in the earth’s crust.

How Do The Tectonic Plates Move?

The tectonic plates move as follows:

  • Moving in the sideway direction that is anti-parallel to each other.
  • Crashing on one another.
  • Tectonic plates move in opposite directions from each other.
  • Sinking in the earth’s core due to gravity pull.
  • One layer moves below the other layer.

What Causes Tectonic Plates To Move GCSE?

The flow of the convectional currents causes tectonic plates to move in the GCSE. Plates may be diverged or converged because of the heat flowing in the earth’s mantle.

Where Are The Tectonic Plates Moving?

The tectonic plates mainly move as per the hot magma carrying them with the convectional currents. However, you can see that the plates move in the opposite direction, close to each other, or one upon the other direction.

Are Tectonic Plates Still Moving Today?

The plates are always moving and interacting in a process called plate tectonics. The continents are still moving today. Some of the most dynamic sites of tectonic activity are seafloor spreading zones and giant rift valleys.

How Are The Tectonic Plates Moving?

The movement of the plates creates three types of tectonic boundaries: convergent, where plates move into one another; divergent, where plates move apart; and transform, where plates move sideways in relation to each other. They move at a rate of one to two inches (three to five centimeters) per year.


Today we discussed what causes tectonic plates to move for different reasons. I told you about how the movement in the earth’s core is related to the movement of the surface layers. You understood what happens after moving tectonic plates in several directions. Many of the new and important terms that you were not knowing before were mentioned above. I described how forces like gravity, convection currents are involved with the earth’s tectonics. Now your all doubts are cleared after reading what causes tectonic plates to move. 

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