Triassic Period

Continents During the Triassic Period

What are the consequences of continental plate movements?

As the term implies, the movement of the continental plates changes the positions of the continents. Along the continental boundaries, volcanoes and mountains form as the plates interact with each other. Some continents slowly crash into one another, forming huge mountain chains, such as the Himalayas in Asia (from the collision of the Indian and Asian plates). Other plates slide under one another in areas called subduction zones. The Andes Mountains are the result of a subduction zone between the Nazca and South American plates. Still other plates slip right by one another, such as the Pacific and North American plates. In this case, the slipping of the plates creates the San Andreas fault in California.

But there are other consequences of continental plate movement. In particular, this process also opens and closes the seas, changing ocean currents—and thus climates—around the world. In addition, volcanoes can form as plates sink under each other, and earthquakes can occur.


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