Oreo Cookie Plate Tectonics

by Tyler F., Autumn K., and Justin B.

Theory of Plate Tectonics

The theory of plate tectonics states that the lithosphere is made up of plates that move. This theory also explains why and how earthquakes and volcanoes are likely to occur within certain areas as well as how new crust forms along the ocean floor. These plates are thought to float across the top of the asthenosphere. The asthenosphere is the layer just below the lithosphere. While in motion, the plates interact with each other at their boundaries. The interactions at the boundaries of the plates, refers to how to plates interact at their edges. Plates interact with one in other in several ways. The main types of interactions are convergent, divergent, and transform boundaries. Use Oreos to demonstrate a sliding plate over the asthenosphere and the following types of boundaries


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Description of Slide

This first picture is of the cookie, but more so what plates look like moving across the surface of the Earth. The cookie's top/the plate moves across the asthenosphere, the filling, and the lithosphere, which is the bottom cookie.

Convergent Boundary

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Description of Convergent Boundary

This picture shows the cookie's top, otherwise known as the plate, coming together with with another plate to create folded mountains, which are shown in the picture itself.

Divergent Boundary

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Description of Divergent Boundary

This picture shows the two plates diverging upon the asthenosphere, which in this case, represents the Ocean Floor, where the red in the middle/the filling, represents lava, which will form new crust. Rift Valleys can also be created through this process.

Transform Boundary

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Description of the Transform Boundary

The Transform Boundary shown is of two cookies going against each other, but one is going north, and the other south, creating a fault line on on the surface.


1. What are the differences between convergent, divergent, and transform boundaries? What are their similarities?

Differences: The boundaries all create different land forms, whether it be mountains, rift valleys, or fault lines.

Similarities: They're both made through (commonly) the same type of crust, i.e. Continental to Continental, or Oceanic to Oceanic.

2. How many different types of convergent boundaries are there? What are they called, and what are their characteristics?

Folded Mountains (C-C)
Trenches (O-C)
Volcanoes (O-C)
Island Arcs (O-O)

Mountains are created by two continental plates coming together, and creating a fold in the crust. The other three are created by subduction zones with them, as they send crust under and create lava.

4. What types of boundaries create Mid-Ocean Ridges?

Two Oceanic Plates that are Divergent

5. Which types create mountains? Explain each situation and give an example.

Convergent boundaries, which create Volcanic Mountains through Subduction (Andes Mountains), and Folded Mountains through two continental crusts. (Himilayan Mountains)

6. Which types of plate boundaries do you think can cause earthquakes? Explain the reasoning to your answer(s)

Transform boundaries. They create tension upon two plates in some cases, which is released eventually in the form of earthquakes.