Earth Science

Geological Activity from Plate Tectonics Processes

Mountain Building

Study Tip
Diverging sounds like dividing, which means to separate, so diverging plates separate from each other.

What Do Converging Plates Create?

  • Converging plates create mountain ranges through three combinations of plate types—continent-continent, continent-ocean, and ocean-ocean.
  • The converging plates smash together and upward to create mountain ranges, and stress from these uplifts causes folds, reverse faults, and thrust faults.
  • Subduction of oceanic lithosphere at convergent plate boundaries also builds mountain ranges on continental crusts.
Study Tip
Diverging sounds like dividing, which means to separate, so diverging plates separate from each other.
Study Tip
The same way a person may cast a shadow over another person when they stand under the sun, planets or celestial bodies that have aligned themselves cast shadows over one another as well.
Mountain Building
Illustration of converging plates
Illustration of converging plates
Faults
Illustration of diverging plates

How Does Divergence Create Mountains?

  • Divergence, or the plates spreading apart, can also create mountain ranges.
  • Alternating mountains and valleys are created when tensional stresses pull the crust apart, breaking it into blocks that slide along faults. These are known as basin-and-range, where the uplifted blocks, or ranges, are known as horsts and the basins are called grabens.
Concept Check
  • Make sure you know the difference between convergence and divergence.
  • Be able to define uplift.