Earth’s lithosphere is divided into plates that are in motion with respect to one another. The lithosphere is composed of the crust and upper portion of the mantle. There are two different types of lithospheres — oceanic and continental — that have very different physical and mineralogic characteristics. The ocean lithosphere is relatively thin, young, and dense. The continental lithosphere is relatively thick, old, and less dense.
The student will investigate and understand geologic processes including plate tectonics. Key concepts include a) geologic processes and their resulting features; and b) tectonic processes.