Volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes… Examine how plate tectonics affect our world.
Look around you. It may seem that Earth is perfectly still. But its outer shell or surface is actually moving all the time.
Earth’s thin outer shell is broken into big pieces called tectonic plates. These plates fit together like a puzzle, but they’re not stuck in one place. They are floating on Earth’s mantle, a really thick layer of hot flowing rock.
Even though plates move very slowly, their motion, called plate tectonics , has a huge impact on our planet. Plate tectonics form the oceans, continents, and mountains. It also helps us understand why and where events like earthquakes occur and volcanoes erupt.