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
The Earth's surface is composed of large plates that move relative to each other. The plates can move in three directions, with each having different results.
1) When two plates collide, ocean trenches, volcanic islands, and mountain ranges are formed.
2) When two plates move away from each other, rifts occur.
3) When two plates slide past each other, there are faults.
Features such as volcanoes and earthquakes mainly along the plate boundaries.
Most moons and some planets have many impact craters. However, these are rare features on Earth.
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