Plate Boundaries (Fault Lines)

Types Of Boundaries


Destructive plate boundaries also know as convergent or tensional boundaries. A destructive boundary happens when an oceanic and a continental plate meet, and the oceanic plate is forced under the lighter continental plate. Friction and rubbing between the plates causes the melting of an oceanic plate and also creates earthquakes. When the oceanic plate melts magma pressure rises and gets through the cracks in the earths crust and erupts onto the surface.

An example of a destructive plate boundary is when the Nazca plate is forced under the South American Plate.


A collision boundary also known as convergent boundaries or compressional boundaries. Occurs when two continental plates meet, but neither plate is forced under the other, and so both are forced to fold up and to form mountains. An example of a collision plate boundary is the alps.


A constructive plate boundary also known as a divergent boundary, happens when any type of plate moves in the other direction to the other. Because of the gaps created in the earths crust, volcanoes are formed as magma wells up to fill the gap, and eventually new crust is formed.

An example of a constructive plate boundary is the mid-Atlantic Ridge.


A conservative plate boundary, also known as a slip or transform plate margin, happens where plates slide past each other in opposite directions, or in the same direction but at different speeds.

Friction is eventually overcome and the plates slip past in a sudden movements causing an earthquake releasing seismic waves from the focus across the epicentre and thus shaking the earths crust.

An example of a conservative plate margin is at the San Andreas Fault line in California.


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