Solids tend to expand when heated or when they transition to a liquid. Is this thermal expansion a factor in the earth? If the diameter/volume increases, this would cause the surface area to increase also. This would lead to cracks, rifts or faults in the crust of the earth. Could this be a factor in the creation of the plates that we now experience in plate tectonics? I cannot find any information that mentions this. Also, if this could happen, could the change in volume be calculated via the coefficients of thermal expansion and the change in temperature?