The fundamenta l tenet o f p la te tecto nics is tha t the Ea rth' s surface is ma d e up o fa number o f blo cks tha t a re in rela tive mo tio n, but tha t d ef rm o nly o a t their ed ges. In the o cea ns, na rro w ba nd s o f seismicity d efi ne pla te bo un da ries where t he d ef rma tio n i s specifi ed co mpletely by the rela tive o mo tio n o f the pla tes o n either sid e. Co ntinents, o n the o ther ha nd , exhibit d ef rma tio n tha t is d istributed o ver ho rizo nta l d ista nces tha t f r exceed o a the pla te thic kness. In such circumsta nces it is of ten no t po ssible to id entif y a pla te bo unda ry by the d istributio n o f ea rthq ua ke epicenters, a nd (a s we sha ll see) the d ef rma
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Annual Reviews
Published: May 1, 1989
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