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There are six main continental plates. They include the North and South American plates, the African plate, and the Antarctic Plate. Most of Europe and Asia are on the Eurasian plate. India, Australia, and most of Oceania share what's been called the Indian-Australian plate. Current data show that the Indian-Australian plate seems to be breaking up. So, it is now often mapped as two plates. 35 Where Plates Meet Tectonic plates are constantly moving. They move apart, crash together, and slide against one another.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, casting a shadow over part of the Earth. 60 ecosystem An area that includes all the plants, animals, and non-living natural things, such as sand, rocks, and soil fossil Remains of an ancient plant or animal that have been buried and preserved in or as rock geology The study of Earth, mainly through rocks, and how it has shaped and changed Global Positioning System (GPS) A network of satellites used to locate points on Earth greenhouse gases A group of gases in the atmosphere that trap heat close to Earth’s surface; examples include carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and gases used in aerosols called chlorofluorocarbons igneous rock Rock formed when magma or lava cools industrial revolution A period in the nineteenth century when inventions such as the steam engine and machines, along with the widespread use of coal as an energy source, allowed goods to be produced in factories in great amounts nuclear reaction Atoms splitting apart and releasing energy, which smashes into more atoms, causing them to split oblong When a circle, square, or sphere is slightly stretched in one direction orbit The path of a planet around a star, or of a moon or other satellite around a planet petrified Something that has turned into stone plume An upward flow of molten rock through the mantle landform A physical feature of the Earth’s crust, such as a mountain or valley principle of uniformitarianism The idea that the processes changing the Earth today are the same as those that did so in the past.
Thousands of earthquakes happen every year. Many are so small that they cause little or no damage. Others happen deep in the ocean, where there are no buildings to collapse and injure people. 5 8 Damage total; waves seen on ground surface The Richter Scale In 1935, a California seismologist named Charles Richter developed a new scale for measuring earthquakes. A seismograph measures the shaking on the ground. The greatest amount of energy recorded by a seismograph, following an earthquake, is used to give a Richter magnitude.