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earth science Earth science is the study of the planet Earth. Earth science is especially interested in what the planet is composed of, its weather, and how the planet developed and continues to change over time. Many different sciences, such as geology and meteorology--the study of weather--are part of earth science.
plate tectonics (used with a singular verb) a theory that scientists use to explain the movement of continents, the eruption of volcanoes, and other changes or events in the earth's geology. The theory of plate tectonics says that the earth's crust is made up of separate sections that are like very large plates. These sections move around constantly because they float on melted rock. The movement of these sections of the crust causes earthquakes.