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After completing this chapter you will understand:

  • How the rigid geosphere (the lithosphere) is broken into pieces called plates. 
  • How and why plates move.
  • How plate movements cause many changes in the lithosphere including the formation, growth, or splitting of continents, the formation of mountains, and the formation or destruction of ocean basins. 
  • Plate movements shape Earth’s physiography and influence climate and biome development.
  • The five major physiographic realms in the United States.
  • How Earth’s dynamic geosphere and changing physiography have influenced where people live. 

Use the navigation on the left to explore this unit's chapter and investigations.

Investigation 9.1 Next Arrow