Definition of plate tectonics in US English:

plate tectonics

plural noun

  • treated as singular A theory explaining the structure of the earth's crust and many associated phenomena as resulting from the interaction of rigid lithospheric plates which move slowly over the underlying mantle.

    • ‘In the 1960s a conceptual revolution, the theory of plate tectonics, changed the way earth scientists thought.’
    • ‘Moreover, holistic method has proved useful in the hard sciences, for example in the geological theory of plate tectonics.’
    • ‘The theory of plate tectonics holds that the entire crust of the earth is broken into six large pieces and many smaller ones.’
    • ‘In plate tectonics, fragments of crust move independently along the surface of the viscous mantle.’
    • ‘I need to devote a whole article to plate tectonics to explain this more clearly, but for now, I will try to explain this in simple terms to illustrate the concept.’
    • ‘In any case, many of Wegener's ideas clearly served as the catalyst and framework for the development of the theory of plate tectonics three decades later.’
    • ‘He was instrumental in conducting research that led to the development of crustal-plate motion concepts and the theory of plate tectonics.’
    • ‘The scientists working on this project say the discovery could change theories on plate tectonics dramatically.’
    • ‘Scientists were surprised by this finding because andesites on Earth are typically created by processes associated with plate tectonics.’
    • ‘Not only is everything evidence for plate tectonics, but plate tectonics explains everything!’
    • ‘On the modern Earth, plate tectonics assembles and destroys continents.’
    • ‘In the early 1960s, the emergence of the theory of plate tectonics started a revolution in the earth sciences.’
    • ‘Even though the theory of plate tectonics is now widely accepted by the scientific community, aspects of the theory are still being debated today.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, the Earth's internal structure influences plate tectonics.’
    • ‘Must we reject the theory of plate tectonics because the movement of the earth's crust cannot be reproduced?’
    • ‘He covers the modern history of the science of plate tectonics, explaining why Indonesia has so many volcanoes and earthquakes.’
    • ‘Like a miniature version of Earth's plate tectonics, thin slabs of basalt crust jostle about, driven by the heat below.’
    • ‘Although the concept is fatally flawed, the idea of a dynamic Earth helped usher in the concept of plate tectonics.’
    • ‘The discovery of Earth's stripes, in the 1960s, led geologists to accept the theory of plate tectonics.’
    • ‘The surface of Venus appears to be dominated by volcanic hot spots rather than spreading and subduction associated with plate tectonics.’


plate tectonics