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Plate tectonics refers to the movement of the Earth's plates. The landscape of the North Island of New Zealand has been shaped by plate tectonics. The Earth's core is very hot and this melts the rocks around it. The solid crust is around 30km thick and is divided into plates. The boundaries of these plates are called subduction, compression, extension and transform boundaries and movements here create volcanoes and earthquakes.
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First broadcast:
21 February 2008

Classroom Ideas

Can be used during a module on Tectonic Activity. Students should write down the Maori theory on the formation of volcanoes. They should then write down what the theory of Plate Tectonics is about, identifying the four types of plate boundary. Finally, students could be asked to suggest which of the two theories they think is the most reliable and why.

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