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Transform Boundary Definition

A transform boundary is where two plates slide past each other. For example, a transform boundary can cause major earthquakes as Earth's crust shifts.

View Lesson on Tectonic Plates
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Tectonic Plates

Fun Facts

  • There are more than 20,000 earthquakes that happen on Earth each year.
  • The San Andreas fault is a transform boundary with a history of major earthquakes.
  • Transform boundaries can cause the ground to shake from plates locking and releasing.

Why Do We Need To Know About Transform Boundary

Learning about transform boundaries helps us know how the Earth’s surface changes and why it’s important to study these changes to predict natural disasters. Scientists who study earthquakes, called seismologists, use this information to make early warning systems. These systems can save many lives and reduce damage to buildings.

Knowing about transform boundaries is key not just for predicting earthquakes, but for understanding when volcanoes might erupt. This information is very important for keeping people safe and planning cities. It shows how studying Earth sciences has a big impact on our lives and why jobs in this field are important.

Frequently Asked Questions

Describe the layers of the Earth.
The Earth’s crust is the top layer. Next comes the mantle which is made of hot solid rock that can move very slowly over years. The inner-most layer is the core. The core is the hottest but is a solid due to being made mostly of iron and nickel under intense pressure from all the rock above it.
Describe the 3 main kinds of plate boundaries.
Convergent boundaries are where boundaries move towards each other. Divergent boundaries are when plates move apart. Transform boundaries are when plates slide past each other.
What is Pangea?
Pangea is a super continent predicted by the theory of continental drift. Scientists believe that about 240 million years ago all the continents were one large one called Pangea. The land of Pangea then broke apart due to tectonic plate movement and moved over millions of years. This idea is well supported by multiple lines of evidence.
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