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This is an image of Mt. St. Helens, in Washington, USA.
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Image from: USGS, courtesy of Volcano World

Other Planet Tectonism

Let's look at the evidence:

What about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Titan, or Pluto? These planets or moons either have no surface, or the surface cannot be seen from the Earth.


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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Surface of Europa

The picture to the left shows examples of the many amazing different surface features of Europa. Many exciting discoveries were made about Europa during the Galileo mission. The surface of Europa is unusual,...more

Ganymede Tectonism

There has been no icy volcanism on Ganymede, but it does seem that there has been a kind of tectonism, or surface motion. Examination of the surface of Ganymede reveals many kinds of faulting and fracture....more

The Structure of Jupiter's Interior

There is no surface to the giant planets, only a gradual transition from the atmosphere, as depicted in this drawing. The hydrogen and helium of which Jupiter is mostly composed change to liquid form under...more

The Structure of Saturn's Interior

There is no surface to the giant planets, only a gradual transition from the atmosphere, as depicted in this drawing. The hydrogen and helium of which Saturn is mostly composed change to liquid form under...more

The Structure of Uranus' Interior

There is no surface to the giant planets, only a gradual transition from the atmosphere, as depicted in this drawing. Therefore the giant planets do not have strict layers, as the terrestrial planets do....more

The Structure of Neptune's Interior

There is no surface to the giant planets, only a gradual transition from the atmosphere, as depicted in this drawing. Therefore the giant planets do not have strict layers, as the terrestrial planets do....more

Clues to Plate Movements

Many kinds of surface features provide evidence of a sliding lithosphere. When two plates move apart, rising material from the mantle pushes the lithosphere aside. Two types of features can form when...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA