Video:What Is a Tectonic Landform?with John Swanson
Tectonic landforms are caused by shifting tectonic plates underneath the earth's surface which create fault scarps, pressure ridges, and rift valleys. Watch this About.com video to learn more about tectonic landforms.See Transcript
Transcript:What Is a Tectonic Landform?
Hi I’m Geologist John Swanson and today I’m going to talk about tectonic landforms.
Shifting Tectonic Forces Create Landforms
Landforms are formed in many ways. One of the numerous ways land is formed is by what is called plate tectonics. Before we can discuss what tectonic landforms are and how they’re created, we must first understand tectonic forces. Plate tectonics is a geologic term that refers to the process of plate formation, movement, and destruction. You see, the surface of the earth is composed of several plates, these plates are constantly moving and shifting and in many cases they’re being pushed up over or under one another. These movements can cause earthquakes. So as these plates shift and move, as could be assumed, the forces sometimes form landforms.Landforms Caused By Tectonics
There are several types of landforms caused by tectonics. Here are just a few:
- Fault scarps
- Pressure ridges
- Rift valleys
As plates come together or move away, they can shape the land. Erosion can also, over time, effectively wash away these formations or work to enhance them.Believe it or not, tectonic landforms aren’t as obvious as other landforms. But they’re rather exciting because unlike other kinds of landforms, they’re signs of our dynamic planet. If you live in California, you might take for granted how many tectonic landforms are around you. But in other parts of the world, they’re not as common. So try to appreciate the dynamic landscape around you.Hopefully now you have a better understanding of tectonic landforms.
Thanks for watching. If you’d like to learn more, please find us on the web at About.com.