They are the deformation forces that act on the crust of a planet.
The theory of plate tectonics has served as a paradigm in modern geology, for the understanding of the structure, history and dynamics of the Earth's crust.
The theory is based on the observation that the solid earth's crust is divided into about twenty semi-rigid plates.
The borders between these plates are areas with tectonic activity where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions tend to occur.
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