McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Home » Teaching Plate Tectonics » Transform Boundaries

Transform Plate Boundaries

Teaching
Plate
Tectonics


Transform Plate Boundaries are locations where two plates slide past one another. The fracture zone that forms a transform plate boundary is known as a transform fault. Most transform faults are found in the ocean basin and connect offsets in the mid-ocean ridges. A smaller number connect mid-ocean ridges and subduction zones.


Transform Plate Boundary

transform plate boundary


A Strike-Slip Fault is NOT a Transform Fault


Transform faults can be distinguished from the typical strike-slip faults because the sense of movement is in the opposite direction (see illustration at right). A strike-slip fault is a simple offset, however, a transform fault is formed between two different plates, each moving away from the spreading center of a divergent plate boundary. When you look at the transform fault diagram above, imagine the double line as a divergent plate boundary and visualize which way the diverging plates would be moving. A smaller number of transform faults cut continental lithosphere. The most famous example of this is the San Andreas Fault Zone of western North America. The San Andreas connects a divergent boundary in the Gulf of California with the Cascadia subduction zone. Another example of a transform boundary on land is the Alpine Fault of New Zealand. Both the San Andreas Fault and the Alpine Fault are shown on our Interactive Plate Tectonics Map.

Transform faults are locations of recurring earthquake activity and faulting. The earthquakes are usually shallow because they occur within and between plates that are not involved in subduction. Volcanic activity is normally not present because the typical magma sources of an upwelling convection current or a melting subducting plate are not present.

Contributor:
Publisher, Geology.com
 
Strike-slip fault vs transform-fault




Teaching
Plate
Tectonics


Find it on Geology.com




More from Geology.com


Debris Flows
Debris Flows are moving masses of loose mud, sand, soil, rock and water.
Land Below Sea Level
Land Below Sea Level: Did you know that dozens of land locations are below sea level?
Volcanic Ash
Volcanic Ash: Learn about volcanic ash, volcanic dust and their impacts.
jet
Jet is a black organic gem material that forms from well-preserved woody material.
Pavlof Volcano
Pavlof Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in North America and a threat to air traffic
How Do Snowflakes Form?
How Do Snowflakes Form? They start as tiny mineral crystals but they might not reach the Earth.
Peanut Wood
Peanut Wood is a type of fossil wood found in Australia. Do you know how it forms?
Gold
Gold - An important metal for thousands of years - uses, prospecting, mining, production.


© 2005-2015 Geology.com. All Rights Reserved.
Images, code and content of this website are property of Geology.com. Use without permission is prohibited. Pages on this site are protected by Copyscape.