AskDefine | Define tectonics

Dictionary Definition



1 the science of architecture [syn: architectonics]
2 the branch of geology studying the folding and faulting of the earth's crust [syn: plate tectonics, plate tectonic theory]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. the study of crustal plates and other large-scale structural features of the Earth.


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Extensive Definition

This article discusses the geologic usage, for the philosophical or architectural usage see: Architectonics
Or see plate tectonics.
Tectonics, (from the Greek for "builder", tekton), is a field of study within geology concerned generally with the structures within the crust of the Earth (or other planets) and particularly with the forces and movements that have operated in a region to create these structures. Tectonics is concerned with the orogenies and tectonic development of cratons and tectonic terranes as well as the earthquake and volcanic belts which directly affect much of the global population. Tectonic studies are also important for understanding erosion patterns in geomorphology and as guides for the economic geologist searching for petroleum and metallic ores.
A subfield of tectonics that deals with tectonic phenomena in the geologically recent period is called neotectonics.
Tectonic studies have application to lunar and planetary studies, whether or not those bodies have active tectonic plate systems.
Since the 1960s, plate tectonics has become by far the dominant theory to explain the origin and forces responsible for the tectonic features of the continents and ocean basins.


  • Edward A. Keller (2001) Active Tectonics: Earthquakes, Uplift, and Landscape Prentice Hall; 2nd edition, ISBN 0-13-088230-5
  • Stanley A. Schumm, Jean F. Dumont and John M. Holbrook (2002) Active Tectonics and Alluvial Rivers, Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition, ISBN 0-521-89058-6

See also

tectonics in Tosk Albanian: Tektonik
tectonics in Arabic: تكتونيات
tectonics in German: Tektonik
tectonics in Estonian: Geotektoonika
tectonics in Modern Greek (1453-): Τεκτονική
tectonics in Spanish: Tectónica
tectonics in French: Tectonique
tectonics in Luxembourgish: Tektonik
tectonics in Mongolian: Тектоник
tectonics in Dutch: Tektoniek
tectonics in Norwegian: Tektonikk
tectonics in Polish: Tektonika (geologia)
tectonics in Portuguese: Tectónica
tectonics in Romanian: Tectonică
tectonics in Russian: Тектоника
tectonics in Slovak: Tektonika (geológia)
tectonics in Serbian: Геотектоника
tectonics in Sundanese: Téktonik
tectonics in Swedish: Tektonik
tectonics in Ukrainian: Тектоніка

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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