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Earth global surface features - Windows to the Universe

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This image shows the topography, or shape, of the Earth's surface, on land and below the oceans. Mountain ranges, subduction trenches, tectonic plates, and mid-ocean ridges are all visible in the image.
Click on image for full size
Image from: U.S. Geological Survey

Surface Features of the Earth

Look at this picture of the surface of the Earth! Can you find these features?

(Click on the image to see labeled examples of these features.)

These features prove that, unlike other planets, the surface layer of the Earth moves very slowly like inner tubes in a swimming pool.

Compare this active surface with that of Venus, Mars, or Europa.


Last modified February 26, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF