When plates move past each other

Part of Hall of Planet Earth.

When Plates Move Past Each Other AMNH/R.Mickens

When oceanic or continental plates slide past each other in opposite directions, or move in the same direction but at different speeds, a transform fault boundary is formed. No new crust is created or subducted, and no volcanoes form, but earthquakes occur along the fault. The transform fault boundaries connect spreading centers and subduction zones, which are the other elements of the jigsaw puzzle of the Earth’s plates.