An Introduction to Plate Tectonics

Information on the continental drift, fossil distribution, and the dynamics of plate tectonics.

Earth Floor: Plate Tectonics

Kid-friendly explanation and graphics on plate tectonics.


An international project based in Australia, which aims for interoperable plate tectonic data and geodynamic computing services for research purposes. Offers information about their research activities, publications, and resources.

Geology: Plate Tectonics

Explains the history of the new understanding of the Earth, with an overview of the theory and its mechanisms. Also offers a number of animations.


Offers open source desktop software for the interactive visualization of plate-tectonics. Includes a guide for users, features, and screenshots.

GPS Time Series

Presents a world map depicting horizontal velocities and deformation in plate boundary zones.

Impact Tectonics

A substantial collection of resources on the tectonic effects of high speed impacts of asteroids or comets on terrestrial planets.

Institute of Earth Sciences

An institute of the University of Iceland offering research and graduate studies focusing on the Iceland region. Describes their programs, with background on volcanoes, earthquakes, and Icelandic geology.

The North Pacific and the West Coast of North America

Class notes of University of Wisconsin professor, Steven Dutch, on the past plate history and the continuing movement of the regions.


A project to illustrate plate tectonics and the distribution of land and sea during the past 1100 million years. Includes details of their research projects, with a substantial library of maps and animations, and a discussion of the planet's climate history.

Plate Tectonic Evolution of the Cocos-Nazca Spreading Center

Talks about the three spreading systems that factored in the formation, as well as the development of hotspots, in the region.

Plate Tectonics

Includes animation of the continental drift, plus information on the history of the earth's tectonic activity.

Plate Tectonics and Climate

Gives an overview of the effect of plate tectonics on the climate.

Plate Tectonics on Mars

An article examining evidence that Mars once underwent plate tectonics, based on magnetic measurements from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft.

PLATES Project

A program of research into plate tectonic and geologic reconstructions; includes details of their teaching programs, data projects, and a substantial collection of maps, animations, and presentations.

Puzzles Of The Earth

Dedicated to teaching the relatively young the geological theory of Plate Tectonics. Includes an explanation, maps and illustrations.

Study of the Recent Structural Evolution of Continental Basins in Altai-Sayan

An academic study of an active tectonic region in the Central Asia Deformation area, as an example of intraplate tectonics, based on evidence from the Altai and Sayan mountains.

Teaching Plate Tectonics with Easy-to-Draw Illustrations

A resource for educators, with notes, animations, and interactive maps.

Tectonic Evolution of the Atlas Mountains, North Africa

Includes links to current research, structural models, publications, maps, and related topics.

Tectonic Forces by Robert Maurer

Talks about the origin and mechanics of the forces responsible for tectonic plate movements. Plus profile of the author, discussions and conclusions.


Contains original scientific contributions in analytical, synthetic, and integrative tectonics.

This Dynamic Earth

A publication from the USGS about the theory and mechanisms of plate tectonics, available online and as a download in PDF format.

This Dynamic Planet

Offers interactive maps of volcanoes, earthquakes, impact craters, and plate tectonics covering the world, the Arctic, and the Antarctic.

World Stress Map Project

An international collaborative project to map the stress field of the Earth's crust; provides their global database of contemporary tectonic stress, and a range of maps.

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