Tectonic Processes & Lithospheric Effect

How did Earth’s continents form, and why are we alone among the terrestrial planets of the solar system in having them? Advances in observational, analytical, and modeling research may help us solve this unresolved question. It also takes on new significance in our present era of exoplanet discovery. (JGR: Solid Earth)

What properties make a tectonic plate “plate-like”? Geophysical, geochemical, experimental, and geological techniques are all being used to better understand tectonic plates. Such advances are necessary since plate tectonics is the theoretical framework that describes everything from the formation of the continents billions of years ago to natural disasters such as volcanos today. (JGR: Solid Earth)