Each of these slabs or pieces of the earth’s crust is very large, some of them being thousands of miles wide. The different pieces of the earth’s crust are known as tectonic plates.
So, if the ground beneath us is actually moving, then why is it that you do not feel it? This is because plates slide over a layer of hot, partly melted rock known as the mantle. The plates move very slowly. In one year it may only move a few inches.
The ground on which you stand is part of what is called the earth’s crust. The idea that pieces of the earth’s crust move is what is known as the theory of plate tectonics. The earth’s crust is not one solid surface but is made up of different slabs of soil and rock.
HOW DO TECTONIC PLATES MOVE?
Some tectonic plates move apart. In these cases, they leave a gap in the earth creating trenches or rifts.
Some plates collide with each other. When this happens it results in the two plates pushing upward and creating mountains.
The Himalayan Mountains and the Andes Mountains are the results of tectonic plates colliding.
In some places, plates slide past each other. Sometimes these plates get stuck and pressure builds up. When the pressure gets strong enough the plates suddenly break free releasing massive amounts of energy that cause earthquakes.