Convergent Plate Boundaries

At convergent plate margins, plates are moving towards one another.

Convergent margins behave differently depending on whether the lithospheric plates involved are oceanic, continental or one of each. As oceanic lithosphere cools, it becomes denser, and the further away from the plate boundary it moves, the thicker it becomes. At a convergent plate boundary the oceanic lithosphere sinks beneath the adjacent plate in a process known as ‘subduction’.

Case studies:

Oceanic/continental margin: The Andes

Continental/continental margin: The Himalayas

Oceanic/oceanic margin: The Caribbean Islands

You may like to research other examples – for instance the collision between the Australian Plate and the Pacific Plate (resulting in the Southern Alps of New Zealand); or the formation of the Aleutian Islands at the margin of the Pacific Plate and North American Plate.