The crust may be subdivided into distinctive structural features or 'tectonic elements' and related to the global scale Tectonic models.
'Tectonics' describes the structural behaviour of large areas of the crust through geological time and explains the formation and relationship of the principal geological structures.
To illustrate the following text in pictorial form, the world map shows the major morphological features of the earth and the plate boundaries. major elements is a cross-section of an imaginary continental land mass to show some of the major structural components and collision mechanisms shows the major collision mechanisms.
The crust and the lithosphere can be divided into two major groups of tectonic elements:
Inactive areas with little seismic and volcanic activity:
Active areas with much seismic, volcanic and other tectonic activity: