What kinds of plate boundaries are there?


The three types of plate boundaries are divergent plate boundaries, convergent plate boundaries and transform plate boundaries. Divergent plate boundaries occur in places where two plates are moving away from each other. When two plates are being forced together, they are called convergent plate boundaries. Finally, transform plate boundaries occur in places where two plates are moving in opposite directions and rubbing against each other.

Divergent boundaries feature fissures through which lava flows. Additionally, plumes of superheated water rise from such boundaries when the water is exposed to the molten lava from within the Earth. As the lava moves out of the rift, it cools and hardens against the edges of both separating plates. In this way, divergent boundaries produce the material that forms the Earth’s crust.

Convergent boundaries are areas where earthquakes are common. Frequently, the pushing of the two plates causes a high mountain range or deep oceanic trench to form. Convergent boundaries often cause volcanoes to form parallel with the rift. When one plate is forced below another plate, it is called a subduction zone.

Transform boundaries do not produce magma. Instead, transform boundaries cause numerous earthquakes as the plates attempt to slide past each other. The crust near such boundaries is crushed, but neither created nor destroyed.

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