In seismology, a tectonic plate is a part of a planet's crust. Tectonic plates are most famous for their part in earthquakes. When tectonic plates rub against each other on a fault, an earthquake is caused. Earthquakes are extreme planetary vibrations that can disrupt all activity on a world. Tectonic plates are also instrumental in the formation of mountains, when two plates move together the ground is shifted upward and peaks. Tectonic plates could be manipulated in various ways for different outcomes.
In 2367, Captain Jean-Luc Picard exposed the false Ardra by manipulating the tectonic plates of Ventax II with the USS Enterprise-D's tractor beam. Ardra had been doing this with her ship, while claiming it was her divine powers. (TNG: "Devil's Due")
- VOY: "Faces"