It’s been a few weeks since we began Science class and we’ve learned a lot of interesting things, and some of those things include, landforms that form at convergent boundaries, landforms that form at divergent boundaries, how convection currents work inside the earth, the theory of plate tectonics, and don’t even get me started on the process that adds new material to the ocean floor. And fun fact, very few people actually remember what they learn during the first few months of school. And that’s understandable. However, you need to understand that everything you learn in school is really important whether you realize it or not. And you might think, ‘Oh I’m never gonna need those things that very few people end up using after they graduate college!’ and yes, you’re probably right, however, learning these things not only gives you something really cool to break the ice with but it also matters to people around you. Being able to reflect on what you have learned over the years is really cool when you’re older.
Remember when we learned about convergent boundaries all those months ago? Well at those convergent boundaries multiple landforms form. Just people there are a lot that doesn’t mean that we’re about to explain all of them. Today we’re only going to explain two of them – and those two landforms happen to be mighty mountain ranges and volcanoes. Not all volcanoes are the same. The characteristics that identify the different types of volcanoes include their form, size, types of eruptions and even the type of lava flows they produce. However, how volcanoes form is going to knock your socks off! Volcanoes are formed when magma from within the Earth’s upper mantle works its way to the surface. At the surface, it erupts to form lava flows and ash deposits. Over time as the volcano continues to erupt, it will get bigger and bigger And if you thought that was cool then you’re going to find mountain characteristics even cooler. Mountains, however, have some different characteristics, and those include, they rise prominently above its surroundings, generally exhibiting steep slopes, a relatively confined summit area, and considerable local relief. Mountains generally are understood to be larger than hills, but the term has no standardized geological meaning, but did you ever question how they actually form? I know I did, so let’s quickly explain that as well, movements of tectonic plates create volcanoes along the plate boundaries, which erupt and form mountains. A volcanic arc system is a series of volcanoes that form near a subduction zone where the crust of a sinking oceanic plate melts and drags water down with the subducting crust. That is how mountains and volcanoes form along convergent boundaries, and very few people actually remember about the opposite of convergent boundaries, which are
On the flip side, divergent boundaries also form landforms, and are you wondering what characteristics these landforms have since you forgot them? Well to be exact divergent boundaries actually end up forming, mid-ocean ridges and rift valleys. This uplifting of the ocean floor occurs when convection currents rise in the mantle beneath the oceanic crust and create magma where two tectonic plates meet at a divergent boundary. When the two plates pull apart, magma rises to fill the crack on each incline. As the magma pushes above the mantle, the pressure decreases and cools down the hot, molten rocks. Some characteristics for Mid-Ocean Ridges is, when the two plates pull apart, magma rises to fill the crack on each incline. As the magma pushes above the mantle, the pressure decreases and cools down the hot, molten rocks. Some characteristics of a rift valley are linear-shaped lowland between several highlands or mountain ranges, and obviously, to understand this you need to understand what type of crust of diverging, and the type of crust that is diverging is, the magma also spreads outward, forming new ocean floor and new oceanic crust. When two continental plates diverge, a valley like a rift develops. In conclusion, divergent boundaries are cool, and you should pay more attention when people talk about them in class.
Now, remember when we learned about convection currents? Yeah, well do you remember anything about how they work inside the Earth? Neither do we, so today we’re going to explain it, not just for you but for us as well. Convection currents work in many different ways, one including, convection currents are the movement of fluid as a result of differential heating or convection. In the case of the Earth, convection currents refer to the motion of molten rock in the mantle as radioactive decay heats up magma, causing it to rise and driving the global scale flow of magma. Another way they work is actually quite interesting, the Earth is made out of a number of different layers, and though we live on the crust of the Earth there are miles of Earth beneath our feet. Yet most of the Earth beneath us isn’t solid, it is made out of semi-liquid molten rock that cycles and flows through convection currents in the mantle.
There’s also a thing called plate tectonics, and nobody ever remembers how they came to be! Now, of course, everything in Science started off with a theory, even the simpler things we take for granted; like gravity. That was once just a theory and people thought that ‘When things go up, they must come down’ was the dumbest statement, however, if that started off as a theory and it’s that simple then plate tectonics also started as a theory. Now, how to begin describing the theory of plate tectonics without sounding too geeky or smart? Well, the easiest way to begin is to tell you what the theory of plate tectonics states which is, it explains the formation, movement, and subduction of Earth’s plates. Another fun fact about plate tectonics is, plate tectonics is the geological theory that states that pieces of Earth’s lithosphere are in constant, slow motion, driven by convection currents in the mantle. Although that sounds cool and all, plate tectonics get boring after like five seconds thus, we’re moving onto another subject, still science though, so if you’re tired of it then I apologize, but too bad.
Now, for whatever reason whoever created this assignment decided to call seafloor spreading, description of the process that continually adds new material to the ocean floor, don’t be fooled by this insane fact. But today we’re going to explain how they actually work. The theory that ocean floor moves like conveyor belts, carrying continents along with them, is literally all that seafloor spreading explains. At the mid-ocean ridge, molten material rises from the mantle and erupts. The molten material then spreads out, pushing the older rock to both sides of the ridge. As the molten cools, it forms a strip of solid rock in the center of the ridge. Then more molten material flows into the crack. This material splits apart the strip of solid rock formed before, pushing it aside. Henceforth, even though we all forgot what they meant seafloor spreading is very important.
In conclusion, plate tectonics has many important layers, from landforms that form at convergent boundaries, to a description of the process that continually adds new material to the ocean floor, you should pay more attention during science class because what you learn is really, really important! Please, pay attention during science class because everything matters in the long run, and if you don’t pay attention then you’re gonna regret it later in life, and if you regret it later in life you’re gonna question why you never pay attention in eighth-grade science class.
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