What processes occur at a convergent plate boundary?

There are 3 types of plate boundary; convergent (destructive), divergent (constructive) and transform (conservative). At a convergent plate boundary, tectonic plates move together. The denser plate will then subduct the less dense crust. The most common case of this is where an oceanic plate meets and will subduct continental crust due to the density difference. The place in which the subduction occurs is known as the Benioff zone, this is where earthquakes are likely to form. Once the oceanic plate has sub-ducted, it begins to melt in the magma mantle. This can cause magma chambers to form underneath the continental crust, which may lead to volcanism. The air pocket left by the melted plate becomes a vacuum which in turn sucks the oceanic plate further into the mantle, presenting a tectonic movement theory known as slab pull. Another scenario which occurs at a convergent plate boundary is where plates of the same density collide such as similar continental crust. In this case, these areas are very prone to earthquakes due to the massive friction and pressure. Instead of full subduction, you may get partial subduction which will cause faulting in the landscape. It can also cause folding which is where barely any subduction occurs and the plates just compress together causing large ridges to form in large up and down patterns called synclines and anticlines. This is one of the forms of orogeny (mountain building).

Answered by Daniel H. Geography tutor


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