Search through the collection of expeditions, blogs, and resources specific to the topic of plate tectonics.

Plate Tectonics Expeditions

Te Kura Kohatu – School of Rock 2018

School of Rock 2018 will focus on Pacific Rim geology and the science research of the JOIDES Resolution. Field trips will explore the fascinating geological history of the Auckland NZ region, including arc and intraplate volcanism (Rangitoto Volcano above), and deep sea sedimentary processes.

Brothers Arc Flux

Expedition 376 will study submarine hydrothermal systems at the Brothers Volcano in the Kermadec-Tonga Arc.

Hikurangi Subduction Margin Coring and Observatories

Scientists will study core samples and install two observatories to better understand the processes and conditions that underlie slow slip events at the Hikurangi Subduction Zone.

Australia Cretaceous Climate and Tectonics

Deep into the Cretaceous hothouse period

Tasman Frontier Subduction Initiation and Paleogene Climate

Expedition 371 aims is to improve the understanding of the role of plate tectonics in global climate evolution over the past 60 million years. To achieve this, the expedition primarily focuses on obtaining a precise date and metics which will allow the testing of alternate geodynamic models.

South China Sea Rifted Margin B

Along the South China Sea Rifted Margin (SCSRM) a thinning crust of Earth’s outermost shell, the lithosphere, creates a mystery to unravel. Expeditions 367 and 368 of the International Ocean Discovery Program worked together over the course of 4 months at sea to uncover the processes of continental break up. By retrieving core samples from the bottom of the SCSRM the team of 66 international scientists looked back in time, the geologic record, at the opening of SCSRM.

South China Sea Rifted Margin A

Which tectonic model is the one in action in the South China Sea? One of these two already known or even a third one? This was the main goal of Expedition 367 (and 368 also) in the South China Sea (SCS). By drilling along the SCS rifted margin scientists wanted to understand the mechanisms of lithosphere extension during continental breakup in a magma-poor rifted margin.

Mariana Convergent Margin

The scientists on this expedition hoped to learn (1) how sediments, fluids and chemicals move and cycle through the earth’s crust; (2) the role of tectonics and mud volcanoes in transporting fluids and sediments in subduction zones; and (3) how these physical and chemical movements impact living organisms.

Sumatra Seismogenic Zone

Why do earthquakes happen where and when they do? This expedition observed the sediment that gets scraped off the seafloor before getting caught in faults where earthquakes occur.

SW Indian Ridge

Scientists investigated the transition to Earth’s mantle, the creation of mid-ocean ridge basalt, and the limits of life in Earth’s crust.

Indonesian Throughflow

The JOIDES Resolution investigated the northwest Australian shelf to answer questions about tectonics, Australian monsoon, and the development of ocean currents in this region.

Arabian Sea Monsoon

Scientists sought to understand the interaction between the Himalayas and Tibetan plateau uplift and the development and evolution of the Indian summer monsoon.

Bengal Fan

Scientists explored the relations between the growth of the Himalaya, the development of the monsoon cycle, and past global climate.

Izu-Bonin-Mariana Rear Arc

Scientists targeted the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc, off the southern coast of Japan, to understand the initiation and evolution of oceanic arcs which produce a string of volcanic islands above the subduction zone.

Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc Origins

Scientists studied both the sediment of the oceanic crust and igneous basement to identify processes associated with subduction.

Izu-Bonin-Mariana Forearc

What happens at the edges of large oceanic plates when subduction begins?

South China Sea Tectonics

Scientists investigated the formation of the South China Sea, a marginal sea in the Western Pacific located south of China and between the Philippines in the east and Vietnam in the west.

South Alaska Tectonics & Global Change

Scientists explored the evidence of glacial erosion and established the timing of advance and retreat cycles of ice sheets in the Southern Alaska Margin.

Hess Deep Plutonic Crust

Scientists sampled, for the first time, primitive magmatic rocks of the lower crust in the oceanic Pacific in order to understand the manufacturing process of the oceanic crust at a fast-spreading rift.

Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project

Scientists investigated how earthquakes form (seismogenesis) where plate boundaries exist, specifically in subduction zones.

Atlantis Massif

Expedition 340T measured rock properties, how they varied with depth, and whether adjacent seawater temperatures changed. These data tested hypotheses about how crust forms and evolves at the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Lesser Antilles Volcanism and Landslides

An expedition to drill into volcanic landslide deposits (underwater avalanches) to investigate the long term geological history of the region and potential for natural hazards.

Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project

Scientists focused on the boundary conditions of lithology, fluid flow, and thermal structure that trigger unstable slip in the seismogenic zone to better understand the processes that control large earthquakes at these sites.

Superfast Spreading Rate Crust 4

Scientists drilled a deep hole into intact oceanic basement to understand the formation of oceanic crust and the magmatic rocks of the lower crust.

Louisville Seamount Trail

Scientists studied cores to better understand the movement and evolution of a hotspot that created a chain of underwater volcanoes.

Cascadia ACORK

A new subseafloor observatory (ACORK) was installed to mon­itor pressure at different depths in the ocean floor over time.

Shatsky Rise

Scientists explored the process of mantle convection and its impact on Earth’s surface through volcanism.

Plate Tectonics News

Classroom Activities About Plate Tectonics

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  • Drilling
  • Earthquakes
  • Geochemistry
  • History of Earth
  • Plate Tectonics
  • STEM Careers
  • Tsunami

From the Mountains to the Ocean

In 2004, a magnitude >9 earthquake struck North Sumatra and the Andaman-Nicobar islands leading to a huge tsunami. In order…

Modeling the Rock Cycle

The rocks that make up the Earth are constantly being recycled. One form of rock is often changed into another…

Density of Oceanic Crust

Certain properties of a substance are both distinctive and relatively easy to determine. Density, the ratio between a sample’s mass and…

An Expedition to the Seafloor

The goal of the Deep Sea Drilling Project was to investigate the sediments and rocks beneath the deep oceans by…

The Race is On…with Seafloor Spreading

Seafloor spreading is one component of the theory of plate tectonics. At mid-ocean ridges in many of the world’s oceans, new…

Continents and Currents

During World War II, an American attack transport captain, named Harry Hess, noticed that the size of submarine volcanoes became…

Episode 6: In Search of Ancient Lava Flows

This is a product of Borehole Research Group, to see more Click Here!

Like a Bolt from the Blue

Utilizing a series of clathrate   structures, the poster reveals new windows of scientific research     currently being performed in the complex study of gas hydrates. By visualizing the face of each clathrate structure through an image, the poster simplifies chemical concepts, enabling students to learn

What is a Core?

Subduction Zone Conditions

Plate Tectonics: Scientific Ocean Drilling Contributions

Sediment Deposition Supports Seafloor Spreading

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

Understanding Seafloor Spreading with Nannofossils

Modeling Plate Tectonics

It’s Sedimentary, My Dear Watson