What is the involvement of plate tectonics in volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis?

You will need to address the following criteria:

  • Identify and describe the involvement of plate tectonics in the natural disaster
  • Discuss the impact of the natural disaster on humans and their environment

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Plate tectonics is a scientific theory that states the Earth's outer crust is composed of plates. The ways these plates interact can cause visible activity at the surface and sometimes it can cause natural disasters. Volcanoes can occur where two plates are pressed together. If the plates meet in a certain way, they can push each other up to form a mountain. Sometimes, magma builds under the mountain. As the plates slip and shift, the magma can be released at the surface forming a volcano. Earthquakes also happen along tectonic fault lines. Plates either slip past one another or one plate can slip under another. The energy released during this slipping and grinding is felt as an earthquake. When an earthquake occurs on the ocean floor, it can cause tsunamis or tidal waves. Not all plate interactions have disastrous consequences, but sometimes natural disasters are the result of the shifting in the Earth's crust.
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial