Tectonics
Tectonics Tec*ton"ics, n. 1. The science, or the art, by which implements, vessels, dwellings, or other edifices, are constructed, both agreeably to the end for which they are designed, and in conformity with artistic sentiments and ideas. [1913 Webster]

2. (Geol. & Phys. Geog.) the branch of geology concerned with the rock structures and external forms resulting from the deformation of the earth's crust; also, similar studies of other planets. Also called {structural geology}. [PJC]

{plate tectonics} a geological theory which considers the earth's crust as divided into a number of large relatively rigid plates, which move relatively independently on the more plastic asthenosphere under the influence of magmatic upwellings, so as to drift apart, slide past, or collide with each other, causing the formation, breakup, or merging of continents, and causing volcanism, the building of mountain ranges, and the subduction of one plate beneath another. In recent decades a large body of data have accumulated to support the theory and provide some details of the mechanisms at work. One set of supporting observations consists of data showing that the continents have slowly moved relative to each other over long periods of time, a phenomenon called {continental drift}. Africa and South America, for example, have apparently moved apart from a connected configuration at about 2 to 3 cm per year over tens of millions of years. [PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • tectonics — (n.) 1899 in the geological sense, from TECTONIC (Cf. tectonic) (also see ICS (Cf. ics)); earlier it meant building or constructive arts in general (1850) …   Etymology dictionary

  • tectonics — [tek tän′iks] pl.n. [see TECTONIC] 1. the constructive arts in general; esp., the art of making things that have both beauty and usefulness 2. [with sing. v.] Geol. the study of the earth s crustal structure and the forces that produce changes in …   English World dictionary

  • Tectonics — This article discusses the geologic usage, for the philosophical or architectural usage see: Architectonics : Or see plate tectonics . [ plate tectonics (click on map for more details)] Tectonics, (from the Greek for builder , tekton), is a field …   Wikipedia

  • tectonics — /tek ton iks/, n. (used with a sing. v.) 1. the science or art of assembling, shaping, or ornamenting materials in construction; the constructive arts in general. 2. See structural geology. [1625 35; see TECTONIC, ICS] * * * Scientific study of… …   Universalium

  • tectonics — [[t]tektɒ̱nɪks[/t]] see plate tectonics …   English dictionary

  • tectonics — n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.) 1 Archit. the art and process of producing practical and aesthetically pleasing buildings. 2 Geol. the study of large scale structural features (cf. plate tectonics) …   Useful english dictionary

  • tectonics — noun plural but singular or plural in construction Date: 1899 1. geological structural features as a whole 2. a. a branch of geology concerned with the structure of the crust of a planet (as earth) or moon and especially with the formation of… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tectonics — noun The study of crustal plates and other large scale structural features of the Earth. See Also: tectonic …   Wiktionary

  • tectonics — Synonyms and related words: anatomy, architectonics, architecture, arrangement, build, building, composition, conformation, constitution, construction, creation, fabric, fabrication, fashion, fashioning, forging, form, format, formation, frame,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • tectonics —  Not tech ; study of the structure and movement of Earth’s crust …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

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