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tectonic




To do with the deformation of the crust of a planet or large moon, the forces that cause such deformation, and the resulting structures. Landforms that arise from tectonic processes include mountain ranges, rift valleys, faults, fractured rock, and folded rock masses.

Plate tectonics originates from the study of the main structural features of the Earth's crust, such as mid-ocean ridges, major tear faults, ocean trenches, continental blocks, earthquake belts, and so on, but is now used to describe a theory that can explain the distribution and evolution of these features.

See also tectonic plate.


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   • GEOLOGY AND PLANETARY SCIENCE