, Accretionary wedges (also called accretionary prisms) form as sediment is scraped from the subducting lithosphere and emplaced against the overriding lithosphere. Region of active deformation between colliding tectonic plates, Convergent boundaries and natural disasters, "Dehydration and partial melting in subduction zones: Constraints from U-series disequilibria", "Global seismic tomography: A snapshot of convection in the earth", "Buoyancy-driven, rapid exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphosed continental crust", 10.1130/0016-7606(1975)86<377:SAAIT>2.0.CO;2, Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis, North West Shelf Operational Oceanographic System, Jason-2 (Ocean Surface Topography Mission), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Convergent_boundary&oldid=985528485, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 26 October 2020, at 13:50. Continents collide where subduction completely closes an ocean. Earth’s tectonic plates, which move horizontally with respect to one another at a rate of a few centimetres per year, form three basic types of boundaries: convergent, divergent, and side-slipping.Japan and the Aleutian Islands are located on convergent boundaries where the Pacific Plate is moving beneath the adjacent continental plates—a process known as subduction. The crusts of the continents are too thick and buoyant to subduct, forming a collisional mountain range, such as the Appalachian/Ouachita/Marathon chain in the eastern United States and the Brooks Range in northern Alaska. For example, Indonesia is known for having one of the most active chain of volcanoes in the world. Three series of volcanic rocks generally form arcs, Tholeiitic (low iron basalts), calc-alkaline (moderately enriched in potassium and incompatible elements), and alkaline (highly enriched in potassium) which are very rare. This material is also available as a free iBooks textbook and iTunes U course. Find out what you can do right now to protect yourself in the event of an earthquake. A subduction zone consists of material scraped off the ocean floor near the coast (accretionary wedge) and a chain of volcanoes farther inland (volcanic arc). In some instances, initial convergence with another plate will destroy oceanic lithosphere, leading to convergence of two continental plates. Ideas for using videos, articles, and infographics about earthquakes in the classroom. While the Academy is thrilled to reopen, the impact of our 7-month closure will be felt for years to come. Despite the slow movement of plate tectonics (just 5-10 cm every year), they release a tremendous amount of energy. Convergent boundaries occur between oceanic-oceanic lithosphere, oceanic-continental lithosphere, and continental-continental lithosphere. This post is part of Exploring Earthquakes, a rich collection of resources co-presented by the California Academy of Sciences and KQED. As the plates move past each other, they sometimes get caught and pressure builds up. You can help us inspire new audiences, protect threatened ecosystems, and bring science to students around the world by making a tax-deductible gift today. The Academy is now open to the public. Where tectonic plates converge, the one with thin oceanic crust subducts beneath the one capped by thick continental crust. The Great Rift Valley in Africa, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden all formed as a result of divergent plate motion. The San Andreas Fault is one of the best examples of lateral plate motion.  These convection cells bring hot mantle material to the surface along spreading centers creating new crust. Subduction initiates when this dense crust converges with the less dense crust. Where tectonic plates converge, a plate capped by thin oceanic crust descends (subducts) beneath a plate with much thicker continental crust. As this new crust is pushed away from the spreading center by the formation of newer crust, it cools, thins, and becomes denser. The movements of the plates help shape the geological features of our planet.
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