Plate Tectonics Topics


Plate tectonics theory explains many of the processes and structures in geology.  Geologists believe that the earth’s internal heat causes the movement of large tectonic plates, creating the surface features that we see around us.  This theory incorporates old ideas about geoclines and mountain building, continental drift, and the more recent concept of seafloor spreading.  Virginia’s geology is now understood in terms of plate tectonics theory.

Main topics in this chapter:

6.1  Theory Development

6.2  Principles of Plate Tectonics

6.3  Plate Tectonics History of Virginia