The forces of nature that shape the landmarks on the earth’s surface can be grouped into two categories: external forces and internal forces (FCAT Science). The mechanism of action of the two groups of forces and the end results are quite…
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They also help in the determination of the distribution of the surface and ground water (A Living Planet 19), and the shape of the deserts and features such as sandbars (FCAT Science 187). The formation of the soil occurs as a result of erosion and weathering (A Living Planet 20). Erosion can be of many types, such as water erosion, wind erosion, glacial erosion, and loess formation (A Living Planet 20). The process of weathering could be mechanical or chemical (A Living Planet 19). Other external forces include tornadoes, hurricanes, and water runoff (FCAT Science).
On the other hand, the internal forces of the earth result in the formation of deep seafloor features (FCAT Science 175), along with the formation of landscape structures such as mountain ridges, fault lines, and phenomena such as volcanoes and earthquakes (FCAT Science 176). The internal forces can be attributed to the movement of the lithosphere which is explained most satisfactorily by the plate tectonics theory (FCAT Science 178). It states that the crust or the lithosphere of the earth is divided into twenty plates (FCAT Science 178), which are dynamic in nature due to the movement of underlying magma in the asthenosphere below (FCAT Science 178). Their movements include sliding, colliding, convergent, and divergent movements (FCAT Science 178). Divergent movements, in which the plates move away from each other (FCAT Science 179), have resulted in the formation of the Atlantic mid-ocean ridge and the Atlantic ocean seafloor (FCAT Science 179). As the crust is pulled apart, it results in earthquakes (FCAT Science 179). Convergent movements occur when the plates move towards each other (FCAT Science 180), resulting in the
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