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Compare and Contrast different types of plate boundaries. | UPSC geography optional paper 1 2019

Compare and Contrast different types of plate boundaries.
(UPSC geography optional paper 1 2019, 15 Marks)


Earth's surface is covered by seven(7) major tectonic plates and many minor tectonic plates. The tectonic plate is comprised of crust and upper mantle layers. It can be a totally continental plate or ocean plate or comprises both. They move with respect to others and movement varies from few mm to cm. Convection currents in the asthenosphere are responsible for plate movement.
There are three major types of plate boundaries:
  • Convergence boundary
  • Divergence Boundary
  • Transverse Boundary

Three types of tectonic boundaries
Three types of tectonic boundaries
Convergence Boundary:
Convergence boundary created when two plates move towards each other and one plate undergoes to another plate leads to the destruction of crust.
The following are three types of convergence boundary:
  • Continent-continent plates convergence
  • Continent-Ocean plates convergence
  • Ocean-Ocean convergence

Continent-continent convergence:
The following are activities:
  • Fold mountain is created.
  • No subduction zone.
  • Earthquake may originate
  • No volcanoes activities

Continent ocean convergence: 
The following are activities:
  • Fold mountain
  • Subduction zone formed as ocean plate is generally heavy and undergoes to continents plate
  • Volcanoes formed in the land.
  • Earthquake occurs.
  • Trenches are created at the meeting zone of ocean and continent.
Ocean-Ocean convergence: 
The following are activities:
  • Subduction Zone formed
  • The occurrence of volcanoes in the ocean.
  • Earthquakes originated

Divergence boundary:
In divergence boundary, two plates move away from each other. A new crust is created in divergence boundaries.
There are two types of divergence boundary:
  • Continetal-continetal divergence
  • Oceanic-oceanic divergence

Continetal-continetal divergence
The following are activities:
  • Rift Valley is created.
  • Examples, African rift valley is examples of continent-continent divergence.

Oceanic-oceanic divergence
The following are activities:
  • The mid-ocean ridge is created in the boundary region.
  • Volcanoes activities in the mid-oceanic region
  • Earthquakes originated

The transverse boundaries:

The transverse boundary is created when the plate slides each other without submergence and the creation of any plates. Alpine fault in New Zealand is an example of the transverse boundary.

The similarity in three boundaries:

  • Earthquake is generated in all types of plate boundaries.
  • Pacific ring of fire is the result of all three types of plate boundaries that is Ocean-ocean convergence, Ocean-ocean divergence, Ocean-ocean transverse.

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