With suitable examples, discuss how plate movements affect the formation and distribution of natural resources around the world.

Plate Tectonics are not only responsible for formation and distribution of earth’s crust, but are also responsible for formation and distribution of major natural resources of the world such as petroleum and minerals.
With respect to petroleum, it is found significantly all over the world, but 50% of it occurs around Persian Gulf.
During the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras, there has been continuous movements of the plates which has led to concentration of organic molecules of organisms and sediments in the area around the Persian Gulf and that is the reason why Persian Gulf is endowed with maximum petroleum in the world.
With respect to Mineral deposits, many of the major metallic deposits are concentrated around convergent plate boundaries such as in Andes, Rockies, Japan, Philippines, Russia and the zone extending from Eastern Mediterranean to Pakistan. Further, major gold deposits are also located at convergent boundaries in areas such as Canada, Alaska, Venezuela, Brazil, Russia, Southern India and Western Australia. Also the copper deposits of North and South America are excellent examples of convergent plate boundary phenomenon.
The Divergent plate boundaries also yield valuable ore deposits. The island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean for instance is rich in copper deposits and has been supplying it to the world since ages.

Question for UPSC Mains:
With suitable examples, discuss how plate movements affect the formation and distribution of natural resources around the world.

Published: January 17, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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