The theory that the Earth’s continental plates move is called Plate Tectonics, and was developed in the 1960’s.
The plates move at a speed that has been studied to be 1 to 10 centimeters a year. This is about the speed at which your fingernails grow!
Here are some estimates of each tectonic plate and the speed at which they grow:
Source of chart: http://hypertextbook.com/facts/ZhenHuang.shtml
Most seismic activity happens at the plates’ boundaries when there is movement between them (ex. volcano eruptions).
There are different types of plate movements: separating from one another, colliding into one another, slipping past one another, and slipping laterally.
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