Do you know what type of plate boundary is one that is most often seen when looking at a world map? It’s called a transform plate boundary, or more commonly known as a “fault-line” plate boundary. In this article we will explain what this type of plate boundary is and why it is classified in this way. Read on to find out more about this unique type of plate boundary!
When dealing with the tectonic plates which form the surface of the earth, it is useful to classify them into types of plate boundaries, which describes how the plates interact with each other. A convergent plate boundary is when two plates are moving towards each other. This causes one plate to be subducted below the other, forming a mountain range. The specific type of plate boundary which occurs in this case can be identified by two subtypes:
- Oceanic-Oceanic Convergent Plate Boundary: these two types of plate boundaries occur when two oceanic plates come together and one is subducted below the other.
- Continental-Oceanic Convergent Plate Boundary: these two types of plate boundaries occur when an oceanic and a continental plate collide, with the oceanic plate subducted below the continental one.
It is important to note that the collision of the two plates creates an intense amount of pressure, which in turn causes the creation of a mountain range. In both subtypes, mountain building occurs on the continental plate, and the oceanic plate becomes thinner until it eventually melts when it reaches a depth approximately 400 km below the earth’s surface.
As you can see, it’s clear why a name is important when talking about different plate boundaries—it helps us identify the various types of boundaries and more easily explain how they interact with each other. Knowing the different plates and their boundaries are a key to understanding the planet we live on. Now that you know what a name for this plate boundary is and why it is important, you’re one step closer to being a geology expert!