A tectonic earthquake occurs where tectonic plates meet, an area known as the boundary. Plate size can vary greatly, from a few hundred to thousands of kilometers across; the Pacific and Antarctic Plates are among the largest. Giant earthquakes will more likely occur in subduction zones where one tectonic plate goes under another. Such active plate tectonics make studying global tectonic history, especially for the ocean plates, difficult for times greater than 200 million years ago. tectonic plate synonyms, tectonic plate pronunciation, tectonic plate translation, English dictionary definition of tectonic plate. Plate tectonics definition is - a theory in geology: the lithosphere of the earth is divided into a small number of plates which float on and travel independently over the mantle and much of the earth's seismic activity occurs at the boundaries of these plates. Plate tectonics definition: Plate tectonics is the way that large pieces of the Earth's surface move slowly around. Plate tectonics is the theory that Earth's outer shell is divided into several plates that glide over the mantle, the rocky inner layer above the core. These slabs move, collide and slide along each other over a period of millions of years. | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples Continents that fit together like puzzles display how far tectonic plates have moved. This is the British English definition of tectonic.View American English definition of tectonic.. Change your default dictionary to American English. Plate tectonics is a theory of geology.It explains movement of the Earth's lithosphere: this is the earth's crust and the upper part of the mantle.The lithosphere is divided into plates, some of which are very large and can be entire continents.. Heat from the mantle is the source of energy driving plate tectonics. Tectonic plates are pieces of the rocky outer layer of the Earth known as the crust. Learn more. Tectonic definition is - of or relating to tectonics. The tectonic plates are about 100 km (60 miles) in thickness, with continental plates tending to be thicker than oceanic ones. n. Oceanic plates consist of thicker basaltic rocks, compressed by the pressure of kilometers of water.

Exactly how this works is still a matter of debate. Plate size can vary greatly, from a few hundred to thousands of kilometers across; the Pacific and Antarctic Plates are among the largest. When two plates push into each other, they form a convergent plate boundary.For example, the oceanic Nazca Plate off the coast of South America along the Peru-Chile trench pushes into and is subducted under the South American Plate.