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of or relating to building or construction; constructive; architectural.

pertaining to the structure of the earth’s crust.
referring to the forces or conditions within the earth that cause movements of the crust.
designating the results of such movements:
tectonic valleys.

denoting or relating to construction or building

(of landforms, rock masses, etc) resulting from distortion of the earth’s crust due to forces within it
(of processes, movements, etc) occurring within the earth’s crust and causing structural deformation

Relating to the forces involved in plate tectonics or the structural features resulting from them.


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  • Tectonic plate

    noun the two sub-layers of the earth’s crust (lithosphere) that move, float, and sometimes fracture and whose interaction causes continental drift, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountains, and oceanic trenches

  • Tectonic plates

    tectonic plates [(tek-ton-ik)] The dozen or so plates that make up the surface of the Earth. Their motion is studied in the field of plate tectonics. Note: The plates are not the same as the continents. The North American plate, for example, extends from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast of […]

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