You are watching: What happens when two continents collide
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When continent plates collide, hills form. The least understood of all tectonic boundaries, continent plates have higher density, occasionally reaching reduced than the mantel. Once these plates collide, the reminiscent of the force of two bulls butting heads. While some subduction deserve to occur, the effects at these limits often incorporate a wide-ranging and creased hill range, extreme crumpling, faulting and also a condensed, thickened area within the collision zone.
Where plates meet in bowl tectonics, three varieties of borders form: convergent, divergent and transform. Convergent limits include when two continent plates collide, 2 oceanic bowl converge or once an oceanic key meets a continental plate. Several occasions can occur. Generally, when the oceanic plate hits a continental one, the continent plate uplifts, and the oceanic plate goes in ~ it or subducts. As soon as two oceanic bowl collide, the older, heavier plate usually subducts beneath the other.
Continental plates commonly do no subduct in ~ oceanic plates due to the fact that of exactly how thick and also buoyant they are. Instead, continent plates generally bend, break and crumple, creating folds, special creases and also mountain ranges like the Andes, Swiss Alps and also the Himalayas. Rocks trapped within the collision zone experience changes due to the fact that of the extreme heat and squeezing. Dubbed metamorphic rocks, girlfriend can uncover slate, gneiss and schist in these mountain ranges. This contains the eroding Appalachians, which at one time stood together high or higher than the Himalayas, and also formed as soon as the north American bowl collided with Gondwana, a super continental plate that included South America and Africa at one time.
In locations where oceanic plates collide v continental plates, volcanoes regularly form, like the volcanoes that circle the Pacific Ocean called the Ring the Fire. Follow me the Pacific plate in the Northwestern united States, the Cascade Mountain variety consists of numerous volcanoes created by the oceanic key subducting beneath the continental one. Change boundaries also form, favor the san Andreas fault zone, where the two sides of the fault move in opposite directions sliding previous each other. The Pacific bowl on the west grinds horizontally to the southeast, when the north American plate moves northwest.
As a journalist and editor for several years, Laurie Brenner has covered plenty of topics in her writings, but science is among her an initial loves. She stint as Manager the the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in California's gold nation served to deepen her attention in scientific research which she currently fulfills by writing for online science websites. Brenner is likewise a released sci-fi author. She graduated from san Diego's Coleman university in 1972.
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