Convergent Boundary
Colliding Plates

Convergent boundary, divergent boundary and transform boundary are the three types of boundaries that form due to plate tectonic movement. Converging plates usually form subduction zones. Subduction zones ring the Pacific Plate causing frequent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis.

Convergent boundary between Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate, USGS

Subduction zones

Subduction zones form when a continental plate is colliding with an oceanic plate. Subduction zones also form when two oceanic plates collide. The continental crust is lighter because of the quartz and feldspar minerals in granite. Iron and magnesium are much heavier minerals found in ocean floor basalt.

When the two plates meet the oceanic crustal plate always subducts beneath the continental plate. The subducting oceanic plate bends and plunges beneath the lighter continental plate until it melts. When two oceanic plates meet and form a subduction zone the heavier and denser of two oceanic plates subducts.

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Collision boundaries

Continental crusts that collide form a convergent boundary also. When two continental crusts collide a large mountain range forms between the two crusts. The Himalayan Mountains are the result of a continental collision between the Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate.

These mountains formed when sedimentary and metamorphic rocks were uplifted creating fold mountains. The collision between these two mountain ranges continues and the Himalayan Mountains are still growing.

More Plate Tectonic Links

Transform Boundary  These boundaries are found all around our ocean floors where oceanic plates are separating.

Pacific Plate The Pacific Plate is the largest plate on Earth. Great earthquakes and towering volcanoes surround the plate along the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Ocean Trenches Find out how plates diving beneath other crustal plates create trenches on the ocean floor that are deepest points on Earth.

S Waves Find out about S waves and how they are produced and travel through the Earth.

Plate Movements Moving plates on our planet converge, separate and slide past each other.

Convergent Boundary There are two types of boundaries where plates converge. They produce great mountain ranges and large earthquakes.

Plate Tectonics Find out lots of fascinating facts and interesting trivia on plate tectonics.

Kids Fun Science The links on our home page include information about volcanoes, science activities, plate tectonics, the rock cycle and much more.

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