Plate Tectonics and Landform Processes Thesis

Plate Tectonics and Landform Processes

The Aleutian Islands, Alaska

The Aleutian Islands are located along the southwestern coast of Alaska, ad at the northern edge of the Pacific plate. This plate runs along the Pacific coast of North America, with its well-known faults — the San Andreas and the Denali — causing the strike-slip plate motion that is familiar to residents of the Pacific coastal areas. However, at the Aleutian Island location — a convergent boundary — the strike-slip behavior changes to that of subduction. So, rather than the grinding of the North American plate and the Pacific plate against one another, at its northern edge, the Pacific plate drives under the North American plate. The 150 islands that make up the Aleutian arc create a sort of barrier between the Bering Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The Aleutian Islands are part of the emergent peaks of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is a submarine mountain range that is the result of movement of the Pacific plate as it shifts downwards under the Bering Sea plate.

The action of the crust of the Pacific plate being pulled under the North American plate exposes it to intense heat which causes the crust to melt. Some of the melted crust finds its way back to the earth’s surface in the form of volcanoes. In fact, the volcanic action is so dramatic and persistent along the northern edge of the Pacific plate that an arc of volcanic islands has formed. This string of volcanoes is called the Aleutian arc and it extends over a length of 1,550 miles from western Alaska to the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. Volcanic activity is frequent in the Aleutian arc, which unfortunately has created economic repercussions. There are times when it is not possible for air traffic to follow prescribed flight paths; the volcanic ash and smoke produced by the volcanoes interferes with planes in the Asia-North America-Europe flight paths. Interestingly, 40 of the 76 volcanoes in the Aleutian Island chain have erupted during the last 250 years.

The Kuril Islands have been formed by the same forces as the Aleutian Island. The Kuril Islands stretch from the Siberian Kamchatka Peninsula to the Hokkaido a Japanese island to the south. Here too, for this island group, a lithoscpheric slab is being subducted under another slab. The edges of this slab melts when it has reached a depth with sufficiently high degrees of temperature, and the melted material from the slab rises and leaks into the earth’s crust to form a series of volcanoes. The volcanic island arcs take shape on the opposing edge of the subducted slap, and a trench is always associated with the subducting slab.

The Rift Valley, Africa

The earth is covered with a rigid outer layer called the lithosphere which consists of rock plates that float on the denser fluid layer beneath them. As heat from the interior of the earth causes deep movements to occur, the rock plates move slowly — about two inches per year — across the surface of the dense fluid layer. When the movement of the plates is away from one another — a divergent boundary — a rift is formed that widens over time. New plates are created when a rift splits apart older plates. The Rift Valley in Africa is typical of a rift which is an elongated basin that is bounded by the opposing and steeply dipping faults. The process is exceptionally well illustrated in East Africa, such that the newly forming plate has been named the Somalian plate.

An upswelling in the crust can form a dome that splits, typically into a Y-shaped fracture. The Great Rift Valley is part of a triple rift that is occurring between Saudi Arabia and Africa. The two arms of the Y-shaped fracture are in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, while the stem of the Y is the Great Rift Valley. A deepening and widening rift will permit the surrounding waters to enter the fracture. Eventually a new sea or gulf will form on the land side as the Somalian plate separates from the Nubian plate of Africa.

Because most of the rift activity occurs on the ocean floor, the only two places on earth where the results of two major tectonic plates moving apart can be seen are the Great Rift Valley of eastern Africa and Pingvellir in the Reykjaneshryggur-Langjokull rift system of Iceland in the North Atlantic. The Pingvellir area shows the crustal rifting and volcanism characteristic of sea-floor spreading below.

The Alps, Europe

The development of The European Alps was not a straightforward occurrence, if only because so many different forces were in play over many millions of years. The Alps extend from southern Europe into Asia Minor, northern India, Russia, and China. The Alpine/Himalayan System consists of sediments deformed by convergent margin collisions between continents. The northward movement of the African plate caused collision with the Eurasian plate. This activity partly closed the Tethys Sea and created the Mediterranean Sea. Much of the structure of The Alps consists now of piles of allochthonous (original position) thrust sheets or nappes that were driven against the older landmasses or carried up onto them. A nappe is a large segment of rock that has been thrust far away from its original position by the thrust faulting of plate collisions between continents. The folds of the nappes bend back over themselves, like what is seen in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland — the open Jura-type decollement folds — and are sheared or break into large recumbent pieces. A thrust fault is particular kind of low dip-angle fault that forms during the compression and deformation of a region. The actual tectonic transport of the sheets involved both compression and gravity gliding — some of which was submarine — off of the raised tectonic welt. Also, there is evidence — in the form of the presence of nappes and decollement — of shortening of the crust through subduction. Further folding and deformation occurred by lateral compression (orogeny), beginning in the Late Mesozoic and ending in the Miocene. The High Alps exhibit a ruggedness that is due to the uplift that continues into the present, and also by erosion of Pleistocene glaciers.

The Himalayas is another example of mountains formed by a continent to continent collision. India is embedded in the Indo-Australian plate and it pushes relentlessly into the Tibetan region of the southern edge of the Eurasian plate. The towering sharp peaks of the Himalayas are still thrusting up by the action of the two plates, which has exhibited bending, twisting, and folding at the collision zone.


Aleutian Islands, (2011). Retrieved

Island Arc Formation, Windows to the Universe, National Earth Science Teachers Association. (2011). Retrieved

Mosar, J. (1999). Present-day and future tectonic underplating in the western Swiss Alps: reconciliation of basement-wrench-faulting and decollement folding of the Jura and Molasse basin in the Alpine foreland, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 173, 143 — 155. Retrieved


The Aleutian Islands, The North American Tapestry of Time and Terrain, (2011). Retrieved

The Great Rift Valley will lead to the Somalian plate, (2011). Retrieved

Wood, J. And Guth, A. (2011). East Africa’s Great Rift Valley: A Complex Rift System. Michigan Technological University. Retrieved / east-africa-rift.shtml

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper