Formation of Rift Valley’s, Ocean Trenches and Fol Essay

This essay has a total of 1018 words and 4 pages.

Formation of Rift Valley’s, Ocean Trenches and Fold Mountains


Fold Mountains


Examples of Fold Mountains can be found all over the world. A famous example would be the
Andes Mountains which are located across the Eastern side of South America. This location
is where the South American Plate made of continental crust meets the Nazca Plate made
oceanic crust. Sites like these are known as destructive plate margins. The Nazca Plate
(oceanic crust) moving west is forced under the South American Plate (continental crust)
moving east. The theory of the formation of fold mountains is believed to be result of the
destructive plate margin. The oceanic plate is forced under the continental crust deep
down into the Earth’s surface. This movement of oceanic crust downwards creates a
subduction zone. The disappearing crust is turned back into magma due to the high amount
of friction that acts on it. The newly formed magma is less dense than the magma it lies
on which is found much deeper in the Earth and is therefore tries to rise to the Earth’s
surface. Where the magma is trapped and can’t reach the Earth’s surface a volcano is
formed. The Volcano will erupt over and over again making the mount created by previous
eruptions larger and larger. Also as the lava rises it cools and is stored in the new
landform and turns to granite. Eventually after long periods of times large fold mountains
are created on land such as the Andes. Deep down in the Andes remains the large batholith
which is like a large storage tank of magma which would have originally have contained
magma that created the base of the Andes mountains. The batholith would have been created
due to the magma being more acidic at this destructive margin than that at a constructive
margin and therefore flows less easily which solidifies more easily and create an
intrusive feature such as a batholith. This is one piece of evidence which suggests that
this is how the fold mountains were formed. Another landform is the saline lakes located
at the top of the Andes which are believed to have been the remnants of former oceans. An
example of this is Lake Titicaca which is located in the Andes mountain range and covers
an area of 3200 square miles. This lake suggests that a large area of a previous ocean has
risen, and the theory of fold mountains being created beneath this area of ocean creates
an answer to why this lake is situated here.



Ocean Trenches


Ocean Trenches are located on destructive margins, the same place where fold mountains are
found. The Example I will focus on is again on the Eastern side of South America. Just of
the east coast of South America where the oceanic and continental crust create a
destructive margin, being the Nazca plate and the South American plate respectfully, deep
sea trenches can be found which go down as far as 35,000 feet. Where the Nazca plate is
forced to dip downwards underneath the South American plate a large v-shaped trench is
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