Introduction to Tectonic Forces

Learning Outcomes

This chapter has several goals and objectives:

  • Describe the causes of tectonic stress and how they influence earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • Understand where earthquakes and volcanoes are located around the world and why.
  • Explain geologic structures that lead to folding and faulting of the physical landscape.
  • Determine how the composition of magma determines the explosiveness of the volcanic eruption.
  • Describe the various types of fault lines and volcanoes and the landforms they form.

Essential Questions

  • Could humans live in places along the Wasatch Front without the Wasatch fault and the earthquakes it causes?
  • How does plate tectonics explain where and why earthquakes and volcanoes occur where they do?
  • What role do earthquakes and volcanoes have on civilization? What benefits do they bring us?
  • How could understanding Earth’s tectonic forces help save lives?
  • What beneficial roles do tectonic forces have ecologically and for humanity?