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15 Cards in this Set

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The single, giant landmass that existed more than 200 million years ago

Continental Drift

The theory that all continents are fragments of Pangea, that have been and continue to be drifting apart


The preserved remains or traces of an ancient organism

Alfred Wegener

A German scientist who theorized that Earth's continents had once fit together like pieces of a puzzle and then drifted apart

Mid-Ocean Ridge

An undersea mountain chain where new ocean floor is produced

Sea-Floor Spreading

The formation of new ocean floor rock as lava erupts from the rift valley created as two plates diverge or spread apart

Lithospheric Plates

A number of rigid, but moving, pieces of the Earth's surface

Rift Valley

An opening that is formed when two plates diverge (spread apart)


A V–shaped valley on the ocean floor where old ocean floor is subducted


The process in which crust plunges back into the interior of the earth and is melted back into magma

Plate Tectonics

Theory of the formation and movement of the plates that cover Earth's surface (it links continental drift and sea-floor spreading)

Transform Boundary

A plate boundary at which two lithospheric plates slide past each other

Divergent Boundary

A plate boundary at which two lithospheric plates move apart

Convergent Boundary

A plate boundary at which two lithospheric plates come together


A break or crack in Earth's surface, along which rocks move.