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Earth from space

View of the planet Earth from the Apollo spacecraft. The Red Sea, which separates Saudi Arabia
from the continent of Africa, is clearly visible at the top. (Photograph courtesy of NASA.)

Authors: W. Jacquelyne Kious and Robert I. Tilling



Preface thumbnail Historical perspective  thumbnail Developing the theory thumbnail Understanding plate motions  thumbnail
Historical perspective
Developing the theory
Understanding plate motions
Hotspots thumbnail Unanswered questions thumbnail Plate tectonics and people thumbnail Endnotes thumbnail
"Hotspots": Mantle
thermal plumes
Some unanswered questions
Plate tectonics and people

Ordering Instructions

This book was originally published in paper form in February 1996 (design and coordination by Martha Kiger;
illustrations and production by Jane Russell). It is for sale from:

U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop SSOP
Washington, DC 20402-9328

or it can be ordered directly from the U.S. Geological Survey:

Call toll-free 1-888-ASK-USGS

Or write to
USGS Information Services
Box 25286, Building 810
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225
303-202-4700; Fax 303-202-4693

ISBN 0-16-048220-8

Version History

Version 1.20

The online edition contains all text from the original book in its entirety.
Some figures have been modified to enhance legibility at screen resolutions.

Linked Websites

Please visit the Smithsonian Institution This Dynamic Planet website. This site provides interactive mapping functions (including zoom), contains additional information not shown on the printed paper map, and includes downloadable PDF files of all map components and HTML pages.

See also This Dynamic Planet, the map showing the Earth's physiographic features, current plate movements, and locations of volcanoes, earthquakes, and impact craters.

The USGS also has created a website for teachers: This Dynamic Planet: A Teaching Companion.

Any use of trade, product, or firm names in this publication is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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