Tectonic plate boundaries, artwork

Tectonic plate boundaries, artwork

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Credit: CLAUS LUNAU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tectonic plate boundaries. Artwork showing two types of boundary associated with the formation and destruction of an oceanic section of a tectonic plate. At mid-ocean ridges, molten magma (red) welling up from the mantle below forms new seabed. The seabed either side of the ridge moves away (arrows) in a process called seafloor spreading. The denser seabed is pushed downwards (right) when it reaches the less dense continental portion of the tectonic plates. This area is known as a subduction zone, and ocean water gets trapped helping to form types of magma that erupt as coastal volcanoes (far right).

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