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Section 3
What Drives the Plates?

In this section you will find materials that support the implementation of EarthComm, Section 3: What Drives the Plates?.


Inquiring Further

  1. To learn more about the driving forces behind plate tectonics, visit the following web sites:

    "What Drives the Plates?" from This Dynamic Earth, USGS
    Reviews the theories behind convection cells as the driving force of plate tectonics and also takes a look as to whether these mechanisms operate now, or in the past, on other planets.

    Plate Tectonics: The Mechanism, Museum of Paleontology, University of California at Berkeley
    Describes some of the features of plate tectonics.

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Resources

To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites:

Evidence for Earth's Layered Structure

"Earth's Interior and Plate Tectonics" by R. Hamilton, from Views of the Solar System by C. Hamilton, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Reviews the divisions of the Earth's interior, including the percentage of the Earth's mass that each division encompasses, the depth of each division, and their physical properties. Also includes a review of the lithosphere and plate tectonics.

"The Interior of the Earth" by E.C. Roberston, USGS
Information about the make-up of the crust, the mantle, and the core, and how each was "discovered" and studied.

The Flow of Matter and Energy within the Earth

"What Drives the Plates?"  from This Dynamic Earth, USGS
Reviews the theories behind convection cells as the driving force of plate tectonics and also takes a look as to whether these mechanisms operate now, or in the past, on other planets.

Plate Tectonics: The Mechanism, Museum of Paleontology, University of California at Berkeley
Describes some of the features of plate tectonics.

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