Answer to Question #167093 in Physical geography for Melissa

Question #167093

What causes tectonic plates to move

Expert's answer

The convection currents are how the materials inside the mantle heat up and rise to the earth's surface while the cooler materials sink. As the cooler materials sink the earth's surface, it then heats up and rises again. This continuous cycle is established as hot liquid rising and the cool liquid sinks. These interchanging currents cause the tectonic plates to move. Additional mechanisms that may aid in plate movement involve ridge push, slab pull, and trench suction. In ridge push and slab pull, the gravity acting on the plate's cause's movement. These movements may sometimes be towards each other and sometimes away from each other.

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