Look around you. It may seem that the
is perfectly still. But the Earth's outer shell or surface is actually moving all the time.
The 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 the Earth's mantle, a really thick layer of hot
flowing rock. The flow of the mantle causes the plates to
move in different directions. When the edges of plates
meet, four things can happen:
Even though plates move very slowly, their motion, called plate tectonics, has a
huge impact on the Earth.
form the oceans, continents, and
mountains. It also helps us understand why and where events like earthquakes occur
and volcanoes erupt.