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To prepare for this exercise students read the Chapter on plate tectonics in their text book. In class, they are given a color isochron map of the sea floor. They are given 4 tasks: Answer basic questions about the timing and rate of opening of the N. and S. Atlantic; Determine what has happened to the oceanic crust that is created on the eastern side of the East Pacific Rise; Determine what type of plate boundary existed on the western edge of the N. America plate before the San Andreas Fault and when this transition occurred; and Reconstruct the motion of the plates over the last 40 Ma assuming that the surface area of the Earth has not changed.
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