The earth’s crust is broken into sections, called plates. There are 2 (2) basic types: oceanic plates which are composed of basalt, as well as continental plates, which are mostly granite. The continental plates are inwards motion, as well as literally bounce roughly on the surface similar giant air hockey pucks. The overall charge per unit of measurement may endure extremely tiresome (one to 10 centimeters per year), but the long term effect is a continual re-shaping of the surface of our planet.
An active continental margin is industrial plant life on the leading border of the continent where it is crashing into an oceanic plate. An first-class event is the westward coast of South America. Active margins are ordinarily the sites of tectonic activity: earthquakes, volcanoes, mount building, as well as the formation of new igneous rock. Because of the mountainous terrain, well-nigh of the rivers are fairly short, as well as the continental shelf is narrow to non-existent, dropping off rapidly into the depths of the subduction trench.
Passive continental margins are industrial plant life along the remaining coastlines. Because at that topographic point is no collision or subduction taking place, tectonic activeness is minimal as well as the earth’s weathering as well as erosional processes are winning. This leads to lots of low-relief (flat) province extending both directions from the beach, long river systems, as well as the accumulation of thick piles of sedimentary debris on the relatively broad continental shelves. Again South America provides a groovy example. The Amazon River, whose root is inwards the Andes Mountains (the active margin) drains due east across the interior of South America to the coast, where it enters the Atlantic Ocean as well as deposits the tremendous book of sedimentary materials it eroded from the continent.
The North American plate also serves to illustrate this difference. The westward coast is the active margin, as well as is the location of earthquakes, volcanoes, as well as mountains. The Eastern Seaboard is a passive margin, equally is the Gulf Coast. These are the low-relief areas of our continent, as well as are the locations of such exciting places equally New Jersey, the Barrier Islands, the swamps of Florida, as well as the Mississippi delta.