Plate Tectonics
Plate Tectonics

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Plate Tectonics

5.2 Forces acting upon lithospheric plates

Figure 28 provides a very simplified overview of the forces that are thought to affect the movement of lithospheric plates. The relative contribution of these forces to plate motion needs to be established before their roles can be explored.

Figure 28
Figure 28 Forces acting upon a plate. F denotes a driving force, whereas R denotes a retarding force. See text for explanation. (Bott, 1982)
Skip Your course resources
S279_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371