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1

Plate TectonicsPlate Tectonics Plate TectonicsPlate Tectonics  

E-print Network

Plate TectonicsPlate Tectonics #12;Plate TectonicsPlate Tectonics · Lithosphere ­ strong, rigid, transform boundaries ­ travel 1 to 11 cm/yr relative to one another #12;14 tectonic plates today #12;Mid asthenosphere that flows · 8 large lithospheric plates and 6 smaller ones ­ separated by divergent, convergent

Siebel, Wolfgang

2

Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Create a poster all about Plate Tectonics! Directions: Make a poster about Plate Tectonics. (20 points) Include at least (1) large picture (15 points) on your poster complete with labels of every part (10 points). (15 points) Include at least three (3) facts about Plate Tectonics. (5 points ...

Walls, Mrs.

2011-01-30

3

Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this lesson, students are introduced to the theory of plate tectonics and explore how the theory was developed and supported by evidence. Through class discussion, videos, and activities, students seek connections between tectonic activity and geologic features and investigate how the theory of plate tectonics evolved.

2006-01-01

4

Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students will go over the main points of plate tectonics, including the theory of continental drift, different types of plate boundaries, seafloor spreading, and convection currents. We have been spending time learning about plate tectonics. We have discussed the theory of continental drift, we have talked about the different types of plate boundaries, we have also learned about seafloor spreading and convection currents. Plate Boundary Diagram Now is your chance ...

Rohlfing, Mrs.

2011-02-03

5

Plate Tectonics: Plate Interactions  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This Science Object is the fourth of five Science Objects in the Plate Tectonic SciPack. It identifies the events that may occur and landscapes that form as a result of different plate interactions. The areas along plate margins are active. Plates pushing against one another can cause earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain formation, and very deep ocean trenches. Plates pulling apart from one another can cause smaller earthquakes, magma rising to the surface, volcanoes, and oceanic valleys and mountains from sea-floor spreading. Plates sliding past one another can cause earthquakes and rock deformation. Learning Outcomes:? Explain why volcanoes and earthquakes occur along plate boundaries. ? Explain how new sea floor is created and destroyed.? Describe features that may be seen on the surface as a result of plate interactions.

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

2006-11-01

6

Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This interactive Flash explores plate tectonics and provides an interactive map where users can identify plate boundaries with name and velocities as well as locations of earthquakes, volcanoes, and hotspots. The site also provides animations and supplementary information about plate movement and subduction. This resource is a helpful overview or review for introductory level high school or undergraduate physical geology or Earth science students.

Smoothstone; Company, Houghton M.

7

Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The Plate Tectonics SciPack explores the various materials that make up Earth and the processes they undergo to provide a framework for understanding how continents are created and change over time. The focus is on Standards and Benchmarks related to Earth's layers, oceanic and continental plates and the interactions between plates.In addition to comprehensive inquiry-based learning materials tied to Science Education Standards and Benchmarks, the SciPack includes the following additional components:� Pedagogical Implications section addressing common misconceptions, teaching resources and strand maps linking grade band appropriate content to standards. � Access to one-on-one support via e-mail to content "Wizards".� Final Assessment which can be used to certify mastery of the concepts.Learning Outcomes:Plate Tectonics: Layered Earth� Identify that Earth has layers (not necessarily name them), and that the interior is hotter and more dense than the crust.� Identify the crust as mechanically strong, and the underlying mantle as deformable and convecting.Plate Tectonics: Plates� Identify that the outermost layer of Earth is made up of separate plates.� Choose the correct speed of the motion of plates.� Identify the ocean floor as plate, in addition to the continents (to combat the common idea that only continents are plates, floating around on the oceans).� Recognize that oceans and continents can coexist on the same plate.Plate Tectonics: Plate Interactions� Identify the different interactions between plates.� Discuss what happens as a result of those interactions.Plate Tectonics: Consequences of Plate Interactions� Explain why volcanoes and earthquakes occur along plate boundaries. � Explain how new sea floor is created and destroyed.� Describe features that may be seen on the surface as a result of plate interactions.Plate Tectonics: Lines of Evidence� Use plate tectonics to explain changes in continents and their positions over geologic time.� Provide evidence for the idea of plates, including the location of earthquakes and volcanoes, continental drift, magnetic orientation of rocks in the ocean floor, etc.

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

2007-03-21

8

Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this activity, presented by the Lane Community College MAPS GIS Program, students will learn the concept of a digital data viewer, and how this resource can help them learn more about plate tectonics. Students will learn terminology associated with both geology and computer aided GIS. The activity is presented as a PDF, and helps the student learn by presenting a series of easy to follow questions. This allows students to learn at their own pace, as it tests their knowledge every step of the way. Visitors will find links to the instructor and student versions of the lesson and links to the web-based GIS utility used in the activity.

2008-12-11

9

Plate Tectonics as Expressed in Geological Landforms and Events  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This activity seeks to have students analyze global data sets on earthquake and volcano distributions toward identifying major plate boundary types in different regions on the Earth. A secondary objective is to familiarize students with two publicly available resources for viewing and manipulating geologically-relevant geospatial data: Google Earth(TM) and GeoMapApp.

Ryan, Jeff

10

Mapping Plate Tectonic Boundaries  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

To prepare for this activity, students do background reading on Plate Tectonics from the course textbook. Students also participate in a lecture on the discovery and formulation of the unifying theory of plate tectonics, and the relationship between plate boundaries and geologic features such as volcanoes. Lastly, in lecture, students are introduced to a series of geologic hazards caused by certain plate tectonic interactions. The activity gives students practices at identifying plate boundaries and allows them to explore lesser known tectonically active regions.

Kerwin, Michael

11

External Resource: Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This Windows to the Universe interactive webpage connects students to the study and understanding of plate tectonics, the main force that shapes our planets surface. Topics: plate tectonics, lithosphere, subduction zones, faults, ridges.

1900-01-01

12

Tectonic Plates and Plate Boundaries  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This interactive activity adapted from NASA features world maps that identify different sections of the Earth's crust called tectonic plates. The locations of different types of plate boundaries are also identified, including convergent, divergent, and transform boundaries.

2005-12-17

13

Plate Tectonics Animation  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Plate tectonics describes the behavior of Earth's outer shell, with pieces (plates) bumping and grinding and jostling each other about. Explore these maps and animations to get a jump start on understanding plate tectonic processes, history, and how motion of the plates affects our planet today.

2002-01-01

14

Earthquakes and plate tectonics.  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Earthquakes occur at the following three kinds of plate boundary: ocean ridges where the plates are pulled apart, margins where the plates scrape past one another, and margins where one plate is thrust under the other. Thus, we can predict the general regions on the earth's surface where we can expect large earthquakes in the future. We know that each year about 140 earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater will occur within this area which is 10% of the earth's surface. But on a worldwide basis we cannot say with much accuracy when these events will occur. The reason is that the processes in plate tectonics have been going on for millions of years. Averaged over this interval, plate motions amount to several mm per year. But at any instant in geologic time, for example the year 1982, we do not know, exactly where we are in the worldwide cycle of strain build-up and strain release. Only by monitoring the stress and strain in small areas, for instance, the San Andreas fault, in great detail can we hope to predict when renewed activity in that part of the plate tectonics arena is likely to take place. -from Author

Spall, H.

1982-01-01

15

Caribbean plate tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This illustration available at Wikimedia Commons shows the plate tectonic setting in the Caribbean. Plate boundaries are color-coded by margin type and plate motions are noted with direction and magnitude in mm/yr.

Sting; Commons, Wikimedia

16

Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This article describes the theory of plate tectonics and its relation to earthquakes and seismic zones. Materials include an overview of plate tectonics, a description of Earth's crustal plates and their motions, and descriptions of the four types of seismic zones.

17

Earth's Decelerating Tectonic Plates  

Microsoft Academic Search

Space geodetic and oceanic magnetic anomaly constraints on tectonic plate motions are employed to determine a new global map of present-day rates of change of plate velocities. This map shows that Earth's largest plate, the Pacific, is presently decelerating along with several other plates in the Pacific and Indo-Atlantic hemispheres. These plate decelerations contribute to an overall, globally averaged slowdown

A M Forte; R Moucha; D B Rowley; S Quere; J X Mitrovica; N A Simmons; S P Grand

2008-01-01

18

Plate Tectonics Prof. Thomas Herring  

E-print Network

1 Plate Tectonics Prof. Thomas Herring MIT 05/14/02 Lexington HS Plate tectonics 2 Contact/14/02 Lexington HS Plate tectonics 3 Overview · Development of the Plate tectonic theory · Geological Data ­ Sea-floor spreading ­ Fault types from earthquakes ­ Transform faults ­ Today's measurements of plate tectonics 05

Herring, Thomas

19

An 8--10 Ma tectonic event on the Cocos Plate offshore Costa Rica: Result of Cocos Ridge collision?  

E-print Network

An 8--10 Ma tectonic event on the Cocos Plate offshore Costa Rica: Result of Cocos Ridge collision 2004. [1] Upper oceanic crust within the Cocos Plate offshore northwestern Costa Rica is dominated at the base of the sedimentary sequence and locally by dolerites and microgabbros recovered by drilling

Fisher, Andrew

20

PLATE TECTONICS USING GIS Understanding plate tectonics using real  

E-print Network

PLATE TECTONICS USING GIS Understanding plate tectonics using real global data sets pertaining OF THE UPSTATE, SC An afternoon field trip to observe the evidences for plate tectonic history, and to witness

21

Plate Tectonics: Further Evidence  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The representation depicts the spreading of the sea floor along the mid-ocean ridges. The resource generally describes the theory of plate tectonics, including the movement of plates with regard to one another.

22

Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This activity, from the Real World Learning Objects Resource Library, allows students to use first-hand data analysis to "determine if there is any pattern to earthquake events and speculate on the causes of earthquakes." Intended to be an introductory activity for a unit of study on earthquakes, this 60-minute activity is complete with learning goals, step-by-step classroom procedures, materials, assessment activities, and resources for further information. The "Content Materials" section contains directions for students and graphics to help students understand earthquakes and plate tectonics. This is an excellent resource for geology and earth science instructors that is ready to use for the classroom.

2007-10-04

23

Permian and Pennsylvanian tectonic events in eastern California in relation to major plate motions  

SciTech Connect

Northwest-trending basins cutting across older northeast-trending facies belts in eastern California opened by Middle Pennsylvanian time and continued to develop and expand into the Early Permian. Basin development was accompanied by east-vergent thrust-faulting in the Early Permian and was followed by development of northeast-trending folds and regional uplift in middle and Late Permian time. These events have been considered products of long-tern sinistral truncation of the western North American continental margin. Later, in the Late Permian, extensional faulting created small northeast-trending basins in which deposition of terrestrial and shallow-marine rocks occurred. The author consider all late Paleozoic tectonism in eastern California to have been driven by plate interactions along the western margin of North America and to be only indirectly related to the late Paleozoic collision between North America and Gondwana. They propose that the truncated part of North America was part of the Paleo-pacific plate. In Nevada the margin of this plate, along which the Havallah assemblage eventually was emplaced, was convergent, but in California the margin bent sharply and became transform. This fault continued as the Mojave-Sonora mega-shear into Mexico where the oceanic part of the Paleopacific plate was subducted under Gondwana, forming an extensive arc now represented by rocks in S. America.

Stevens, C.H.; Sedlock, R. (San Jose State Univ., CA (United States)); Stone, P. (Geological Survey, Reston, VA (United States))

1993-04-01

24

Tectonic Plate Movement.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Presents an activity that employs movement to enable students to understand concepts related to plate tectonics. Argues that movement brings topics to life in a concrete way and helps children retain knowledge. (DDR)

Landalf, Helen

1998-01-01

25

Plate tectonics, damage and inheritance  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The initiation of plate tectonics on Earth is a critical event in our planet's history. The time lag between the first proto-subduction (about 4 billion years ago) and global tectonics (approximately 3 billion years ago) suggests that plates and plate boundaries became widespread over a period of 1 billion years. The reason for this time lag is unknown but fundamental to understanding the origin of plate tectonics. Here we suggest that when sufficient lithospheric damage (which promotes shear localization and long-lived weak zones) combines with transient mantle flow and migrating proto-subduction, it leads to the accumulation of weak plate boundaries and eventually to fully formed tectonic plates driven by subduction alone. We simulate this process using a grain evolution and damage mechanism with a composite rheology (which is compatible with field and laboratory observations of polycrystalline rocks), coupled to an idealized model of pressure-driven lithospheric flow in which a low-pressure zone is equivalent to the suction of convective downwellings. In the simplest case, for Earth-like conditions, a few successive rotations of the driving pressure field yield relic damaged weak zones that are inherited by the lithospheric flow to form a nearly perfect plate, with passive spreading and strike-slip margins that persist and localize further, even though flow is driven only by subduction. But for hotter surface conditions, such as those on Venus, accumulation and inheritance of damage is negligible; hence only subduction zones survive and plate tectonics does not spread, which corresponds to observations. After plates have developed, continued changes in driving forces, combined with inherited damage and weak zones, promote increased tectonic complexity, such as oblique subduction, strike-slip boundaries that are subparallel to plate motion, and spalling of minor plates.

Bercovici, David; Ricard, Yanick

2014-04-01

26

Plate tectonics, damage and inheritance.  

PubMed

The initiation of plate tectonics on Earth is a critical event in our planet's history. The time lag between the first proto-subduction (about 4?billion years ago) and global tectonics (approximately 3?billion years ago) suggests that plates and plate boundaries became widespread over a period of 1?billion years. The reason for this time lag is unknown but fundamental to understanding the origin of plate tectonics. Here we suggest that when sufficient lithospheric damage (which promotes shear localization and long-lived weak zones) combines with transient mantle flow and migrating proto-subduction, it leads to the accumulation of weak plate boundaries and eventually to fully formed tectonic plates driven by subduction alone. We simulate this process using a grain evolution and damage mechanism with a composite rheology (which is compatible with field and laboratory observations of polycrystalline rocks), coupled to an idealized model of pressure-driven lithospheric flow in which a low-pressure zone is equivalent to the suction of convective downwellings. In the simplest case, for Earth-like conditions, a few successive rotations of the driving pressure field yield relic damaged weak zones that are inherited by the lithospheric flow to form a nearly perfect plate, with passive spreading and strike-slip margins that persist and localize further, even though flow is driven only by subduction. But for hotter surface conditions, such as those on Venus, accumulation and inheritance of damage is negligible; hence only subduction zones survive and plate tectonics does not spread, which corresponds to observations. After plates have developed, continued changes in driving forces, combined with inherited damage and weak zones, promote increased tectonic complexity, such as oblique subduction, strike-slip boundaries that are subparallel to plate motion, and spalling of minor plates. PMID:24717430

Bercovici, David; Ricard, Yanick

2014-04-24

27

Plate Tectonics: An Introduction  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In the early 1900s, most geologists thought that Earth's appearance, including the arrangement of the continents, had changed little since its formation. This video segment describes the impact the theory of plate tectonics has had on our understanding of Earth's geological history, and provides a brief overview of what is currently known about the Earth's tectonic plates and their motions. The segment is two minutes twenty-one seconds in length. A background essay and list of discussion questions are also provided.

28

Intro to Plate Tectonic Theory  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This website from PBS provides information about the plate tectonics, the theory that the Earth's outer layer is made up of plates, which have moved throughout time. The four types of plate boundaries are described and illustrated with animations. The first page of plate tectonics also provides a plate tectonics activity and information about related people and discoveries.

2008-05-28

29

Plate Tectonics: Consequences of Plate Interactions  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This Science Object is the fourth of five Science Objects in the Plate Tectonic SciPack. It identifies the events that may occur and landscapes that form as a result of different plate interactions. The areas along plate margins are active. Plates pushing against one another can cause earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain formation, and very deep ocean trenches. Plates pulling apart from one another can cause smaller earthquakes, magma rising to the surface, volcanoes, and oceanic valleys and mountains from sea-floor spreading. Plates sliding past one another can cause earthquakes and rock deformation. Learning Outcomes:? Explain why volcanoes and earthquakes occur along plate boundaries. ? Explain how new sea floor is created and destroyed.? Describe features that may be seen on the surface as a result of plate interactions.

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

2006-11-01

30

Internet Geography: Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This site is part of GeoNet Internet Geography, a resource for pre-collegiate British geography students and their instructors. This page focuses on the structure of the Earth and the theory of plate tectonics, including continental drift, plate boundaries, the Ring of Fire, and mountains.

31

Plate Tectonics at Work  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This is a brief description of the results of plate movement according to the Theory of Plate Tectonics. It explains how divergence at the mid-ocean ridges accounts for the discoveries of Harry Hess. The site also refers to the invention of the magnetometer and the discovery of the young age of the ocean floor basalt. It concludes that these are the kinds of discoveries and thinking that ultimately led to the development of the theory of plate tectonics and that in just a few decades, have greatly changed our view of and notions about our planet and the sciences that attempt to explain its existence and development.

32

Plate tectonics, damage and inheritance  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The initiation of plate tectonics on Earth is a critical event in our planet's history. The time lag between the first proto subduction about 4Ga, evident in geochemical analysis from ancient cratons, to global tectonics by 3-2.7Ga, suggests that plates and plate boundaries spread globally over a 1Gyr period. We hypothesize that when sufficient lithospheric damage, which promotes shear-localization and long-lived weak zones, combines with transient mantle flow and migrating proto-subduction, it leads to the accumulation of plate boundaries and eventually fully formed tectonic plates driven by subduction alone. We demonstrate this process with an idealized model of pressure-driven flow (wherein a low pressure zone is equivalent to downwelling suction or slab pull) in a lithosphere that self-weakens according to a mylonitic-type polycrystalline grain-damage mechanism (Bercovici and Ricard, Phys. Earth Planet. Int. v.202-203, pp27-55, 2012). In the simplest case, for Earth-like conditions, four successive orthogonal rotations of the driving pressure field yield relic damage zones that are inherited to form a nearly perfect plate, with passive spreading and strike-slip margins that persist and localize further, even as flow is only driven by subduction. For Venus' hotter surface conditions, accumulation and inheritance of damage is negligible; hence only subduction zones survive and plate tectonics does not spread, which is compatible with observations. After plates are developed, continued changes in driving forces combined with inherited damage and weak zones, promote increased tectonic complexity, such as oblique subduction, strike-slip boundaries that are subparallel to plate motion, and spalling of minor and micro plates.

Bercovici, D. A.; Ricard, Y. R.

2013-12-01

33

Tectonic Plates and Plate Boundaries  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Continents were once thought to be static, locked tight in their positions in Earth's crust. Similarities between distant coastlines, such as those on opposite sides of the Atlantic, were thought to be the work of a scientist's overactive imagination, or, if real, the result of erosion on a massive scale. This interactive feature shows 11 tectonic plates and their names, the continents that occupy them, and the types of boundaries between them.

34

An Introduction to Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This page is a brief introduction to plate tectonics. It starts with a discussion of the evolution of the theory of plate tectonics and the arguments supporting it. It then discusses the processes associated with tectonics and the types of plate boundaries: divergent, convergent and transform boundaries. It concludes with a discussion of the current hypotheses of what causes plates to move.

35

Plate Tectonics Learning Module  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This plate tectonics unit was designed to be used with a college course in physical geography. Subject matter covered includes: the development of the theory including Wegener's Continental Drift Hypothesis and the existence of Pangaea, Harry Hess and his work on sea-floor spreading, and the final theory. It points out that global features such as deep oceanic trenches, mid-ocean ridges, volcanic activity, and the location of earthquake epicenters can now be related to the story of plate tectonics, since most geological activity occurs along plate boundaries. Divergent, convergent and transform plate boundaries are discussed in detail. This module contains a study guide and outline notes, study questions, and practice quizzes. One feature of the module is a web exploration section with links to twelve outside sites that augment the instruction.

Haberlin, Rita

36

Beyond Plate Tectonics: Plate Dynamics  

E-print Network

Plate tectonics dogma has resulted in a variety of theories that frequently violate first principles. In this article it is suggested that ridges are in compression, not tension from convection cells, triple junctions cause hot spots (not vice versa), mantle plumes do not cause hot spot tracks, chord push creates pressures well in excess of lithostatic load, the arch effect demonstrates that rifts form both in compression and tension, surging (i.e. the sudden and rapid motion of the plates) occurs episodically, the presence of a basal shear zone a few meters thick during surging, the preferred initiation of subduction zones at the ridge, revision of the Wilson Cycle, the conformance of old school geologists and plate tectonicians, earth-based non bolide impact mass extinctions, the loss of the earths magnetic field and its subsequent reappearance, additional application of the least work (or maximum

Richard Moody

37

The Plate Tectonics Project  

Microsoft Academic Search

The Plate Tectonics Project is a multiday, inquiry-based unit that facilitates students as self-motivated learners. Reliable Web sites are offered to assist with lessons, and a summative rubric is used to facilitate the holistic nature of the project. After each topic (parts of the Earth, continental drift, etc.) is covered, the students will generate a portion of the summative assessment

Annamae J. Hein

2011-01-01

38

The Plate Tectonics Project  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The Plate Tectonics Project is a multiday, inquiry-based unit that facilitates students as self-motivated learners. Reliable Web sites are offered to assist with lessons, and a summative rubric is used to facilitate the holistic nature of the project. After each topic (parts of the Earth, continental drift, etc.) is covered, the students will

Hein, Annamae J.

2011-01-01

39

Tectonic Plates, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

According to theory of plate tectonics, Earth is an active planet -- its surface is composed of many individual plates that move and interact, constantly changing and reshaping Earth's outer layer. Volcanoes and earthquakes both result from the movement of tectonic plates. This interactive feature shows the relationship between earthquakes and volcanoes and the boundaries of tectonic plates. By clicking on a map, viewers can superimpose the locations of plate boundaries, volcanoes and earthquakes.

40

Plate Tectonics: The Mechanism  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This text explains how detailed mapping of the ocean floor led scientists like Howard Hess and R. Deitz to revive the Holmes convection theory. Hess and Deitz modified the theory considerably and called their new theory Sea-floor Spreading. Among the seafloor features that supported the sea-floor spreading hypothesis were: mid-oceanic ridges, deep sea trenches, island arcs, geomagnetic patterns, and fault patterns. These features are treated in detail and related to the current Theory of Plate Tectonics.

41

Plate Tectonics and Volcanism  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This is a lesson where learners explore plate movement and the relationship between plate tectonics and volcanoes. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes, prerequisite concepts, common misconceptions, student journal and reading. This is lesson five in the Astro-Venture Geology Training Unit that was developed to increase students' awareness of and interest in astrobiology and the many career opportunities that utilize science, math and technology skills. The lessons are designed for educators to use with the Astro-Venture multimedia modules.

42

Episodic plate tectonics on Venus  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Studies of impact craters on Venus from the Magellan images have placed important constraints on surface volcanism. Some 840 impact craters have been identified with diameters ranging from 2 to 280 km. Correlations of this impact flux with craters on the Moon, Earth, and Mars indicate a mean surface age of 0.5 +/- 0.3 Ga. Another important observation is that 52 percent of the craters are slightly fractured and only 4.5 percent are embayed by lava flows. These observations led researchers to hypothesize that a pervasive resurfacing event occurred about 500 m.y. ago and that relatively little surface volcanism has occurred since. Other researchers have pointed out that a global resurfacing event that ceased about 500 MYBP is consistent with the results given by a recent study. These authors carried out a series of numerical calculations of mantle convection in Venus yielding thermal evolution results. Their model considered crustal recycling and gave rapid planetary cooling. They, in fact, suggested that prior to 500 MYBP plate tectonics was active in Venus and since 500 MYBP the lithosphere has stabilized and only hot-spot volcanism has reached the surface. We propose an alternative hypothesis for the inferred cessation of surface volcanism on Venus. We hypothesize that plate tectonics on Venus is episodic. Periods of rapid plate tectonics result in high rates of subduction that cool the interior resulting in more sluggish mantle convection.

Turcotte, Donald

1992-01-01

43

Martian plate tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The northern lowlands of Mars have been produced by plate tectonics. Preexisting old thick highland crust was subducted, while seafloor spreading produced thin lowland crust during late Noachian and Early Hesperian time. In the preferred reconstruction, a breakup margin extended north of Cimmeria Terra between Daedalia Planum and Isidis Planitia where the highland-lowland transition is relatively simple. South dipping subduction occured beneath Arabia Terra and east dipping subduction beneath Tharsis Montes and Tempe Terra. Lineations associated with Gordii Dorsum are attributed to ridge-parallel structures, while Phelegra Montes and Scandia Colles are interpreted as transfer-parallel structures or ridge-fault-fault triple junction tracks. Other than for these few features, there is little topographic roughness in the lowlands. Seafloor spreading, if it occurred, must have been relatively rapid. Quantitative estimates of spreading rate are obtained by considering the physics of seafloor spreading in the lower (approx. 0.4 g) gravity of Mars, the absence of vertical scarps from age differences across fracture zones, and the smooth axial topography. Crustal thickness at a given potential temperature in the mantle source region scales inversely with gravity. Thus, the velocity of the rough-smooth transition for axial topography also scales inversely with gravity. Plate reorganizations where young crust becomes difficult to subduct are another constraint on spreading age. Plate tectonics, if it occurred, dominated the thermal and stress history of the planet. A geochemical implication is that the lower gravity of Mars allows deeper hydrothermal circulation through cracks and hence more hydration of oceanic crust so that more water is easily subducted than on the Earth. Age and structural relationships from photogeology as well as median wavelength gravity anomalies across the now dead breakup and subduction margins are the data most likely to test and modify hypotheses about Mars plate tectonics.

Sleep, N. H.

1994-03-01

44

Plate Tectonics: Earthquake Epicenter  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This lesson provides an overview of destructive earthquakes and their connection to tectonic movements of the Earth's crust. It includes a discussion of some especially destructive historic earthquakes, and a brief introduction to contintental drift and the theory of plate tectonics. There is also discussion of basic seismology (types of waves) and measures of the magnitude of an earthquake (the Richter Scale). The lesson inlcudes an activity in which students use an online simulator to locate the epicenter of an earthquake using readings from three different seismograph stations. After they have completed the simulation, they attempt to locate the epicenter of a real earthquake using data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake website.

Pratte, John

45

Global Topography and Tectonic Plates  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The goal of this activity is to investigate global topographic and tectonic features, especially the tectonic plates and their boundaries. Using a double-page size digital topographic map of the Earth that includes both land and sea floor topography, students are asked to draw plate boundaries, deduce plate motions and interactions, and explore the connections between topography and tectonic processes at the global scale.

David Greene

46

Plate Tectonics: Further Evidence  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Early evidence showing striking similarities between regions on opposite sides of vast oceans suggested that in Earth's distant past what are now separate continents may once have been connected. However, this evidence said nothing about how the continents could have moved to their present positions. This video shows how seafloor spreading creates new oceanic crust and how the crust is destroyed by subduction into Earth's mantle, providing the mechanism and forces that propel tectonic plates across Earth's surface. The segment is two minutes nine seconds in length.

47

Dynamics of Tectonic Plates  

E-print Network

We suggest a model that describes a mutual dynamic of tectonic plates. The dynamic is a sort of stick-slip one which is modeled by a Markov random process. The process defines a microlevel of the dynamic. A macrolevel is obtained by a scaling limit which leads to a system of integro-differential equations which determines a kind of mean field systems. Conditions when Gutenberg-Richter empirical law are presented on the mean field level. These conditions are rather universal and do not depend on features of resistant forces.

Pechersky, E; Sadowski, G; Yambartsev, A

2014-01-01

48

A plate tectonic model for the Paleozoic and Mesozoic constrained by dynamic plate boundaries and restored  

E-print Network

A plate tectonic model for the Paleozoic and Mesozoic constrained by dynamic plate boundaries November 2001; accepted 15 November 2001 Abstract We developed a plate tectonic model for the Paleozoic rates and major tectonic and magmatic events. Plates were constructed through time by adding

Cerveny, Vlastislav

49

Intermittent plate tectonics?  

PubMed

Although it is commonly assumed that subduction has operated continuously on Earth without interruption, subduction zones are routinely terminated by ocean closure and supercontinent assembly. Under certain circumstances, this could lead to a dramatic loss of subduction, globally. Closure of a Pacific-type basin, for example, would eliminate most subduction, unless this loss were compensated for by comparable subduction initiation elsewhere. Given the evidence for Pacific-type closure in Earth's past, the absence of a direct mechanism for termination/initiation compensation, and recent data supporting a minimum in subduction flux in the Mesoproterozoic, we hypothesize that dramatic reductions or temporary cessations of subduction have occurred in Earth's history. Such deviations in the continuity of plate tectonics have important consequences for Earth's thermal and continental evolution. PMID:18174440

Silver, Paul G; Behn, Mark D

2008-01-01

50

The science behind Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Plate tectonics is a quantitative, robust and testable, geologic model describing the surface motions of Earth's outer skin. It is based on real data and assumptions, and built using the scientific method. New space geodesy data provide important quantitative (and independent) tests of this model. In general, these new data show a close match to model predictions, and suggest that plate motion is steady and uniform over millions of years. Active research continues to refine the model and to better our understanding of plate motion and tectonics. The exercise presented here aims to help students experience the process of doing science and to understand the science underlying the plate tectonic theory. Key words: plate tectonics, global plate motion models, assumptions, geologic data (spreading rates, transform fault azimuths, earthquake slip vectors), space geodesy tests.

Weber, John

51

Initiation of plate tectonics, damage and inheritance  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The initiation of plate tectonics on Earth is a critical event in our planet's history. The time lag between the first proto subduction about 4Ga to global tectonics by 3Ga, suggests that plates and plate boundaries became widespread over a 1Gyr period. We hypothesize that during this period, transient mantle flow and migrating proto-subductions lead to lithospheric damage and eventually fully formed tectonic plates driven by subduction alone. We demonstrate this process using a grain evolution and damage mechanism (Bercovici and Ricard, 2012) with a composite rheology, which are compatible with field and laboratory observations of polycrystalline rocks coupled to an idealized model of pressure-driven lithospheric flow (wherein a low pressure zone is equivalent to the suction of convective downwellings). In the simplest case, for Earth-like conditions, a few successive rotations of the driving pressure field yield relic damage zones that are inherited to form a nearly perfect plate, with passive spreading and strike-slip margins that persist and localize further, even as flow is only driven by subduction. For Venus hotter surface conditions, accumulation and inheritance of damage is negligible; hence only subduction zones survive and plate tectonics does not spread, which corresponds to observations. After plates are developed, continued changes in driving forces, combined with inherited damage and weak zones, promote increased tectonic complexity, such as oblique subduction, strike-slip boundaries that are subparallel to plate motion, and spalling of minor plates.

Ricard, Yanick; Bercovici, David

2014-05-01

52

Tectonics of the Easter plate  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

A new model for the Easter plate is presented in which rift propagation has resulted in the formation of a rigid plate between the propagating and dying ridges. The distribution of earthquakes, eleven new focal mechanisms, and existing bathymetric and magnetic data are used to describe the tectonics of this area. Both the Easter-Nazca and Easter-Pacific Euler poles are sufficiently close to the Easter plate to cause rapid changes in rates and directions of motion along the boundaries. The east and west boundaries are propagating and dying ridges; the southwest boundary is a slow-spreading ridge and the northern boundary is a complex zone of convergent and transform motion. The Easter plate may reflect the tectonics of rift propagation on a large scale, where rigid plate tectonics requires boundary reorientation. Simple schematic models to illustrate the general features and processes which occur at plates resulting from large-scale rift propagation are used.

Engeln, J. F.; Stein, S.

1984-01-01

53

Tectonic Plate Movement in Alaska  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this video adapted from KUAC-TV and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, learn how tectonic plate movement is responsible for building mountains, such as the Wrangell and St. Elias Mountains.

Foundation, Wgbh E.

2009-02-27

54

IRIS: Animations of Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This is a collection of animations on dynamic earth processes: plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and seismic waves. Users can explore the interaction of Earth's tectonic plates, view models of P and S wave propagation, study how seismographs work, monitor earthquakes and volcanoes, and get instructions for modeling earthquakes in the classroom. This resource is part of IRIS, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, a consortium of international laboratories and data collection centers.

2011-03-18

55

The Nature of Tectonic Plates  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This lesson provides an overview of the various types of interactions between tectonic plates. The discussion uses the analogy of a cracked egg to describe the tectonic plates composing Earth's crust. Other topics include the concentrated earthquake and volcanic activity associated with plate boundaries, types of interactions at the boundaries, and how plate motions are affecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The lesson includes an activity in which students will use online references to locate a hypothetical nuclear power plant in a geologically safe area, investigate the history of large earthquakes in South Carolina, provide a likely location for a hypothetical geothermal power plant, and others.

Rhinehart, Ken

56

Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This page consists of two maps of the world, showing how earthquakes define the boundaries of tectonic plates. Volcanoes are also distributed at plate boundaries (the "Ring of Fire" in the Pacific) and at oceanic ridges. It is part of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory website, which features written material, images, maps, and links to related topics.

57

Plate Tectonics II: Plates, plate boundaries, and driving forces  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes around the world confirmed the theory of plate tectonics first proposed by Wegener. These phenomena also help categorize plate boundaries into three different types: convergent, divergent, and transform.

Egger, Anne

2003-03-18

58

Plate tectonics on Venus  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The high surface temperature of Venus implies a permanently buoyant lithosphere and a thick basaltic crust. Terrestrial-style tectonics with deep subduction and crustal recycling is not possible. Overthickened basaltic crust partially melts instead of converting to eclogite. Because mantle magmas do not have convenient access to the surface the Ar-40 abundance in the atmosphere should be low. Venus may provide an analog to Archean tectonics on the earth.

Anderson, D. L.

1981-01-01

59

CENOZOIC PLATE TECTONICS OF SE ASIA 11 Cenozoic plate tectonic reconstructions of SE Asia  

E-print Network

CENOZOIC PLATE TECTONICS OF SE ASIA 11 Cenozoic plate tectonic reconstructions of SE Asia ROBERT TW20 0EX, UK (e-mail: robert.hall@gl.rhul.ac.uk) Abstract: A new plate tectonic model to present regional tectonics. Plate tectonic reconstructions of SE Asia may help in understanding

Royal Holloway, University of London

60

Plate Tectonics: A Paradigm under Threat.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Discusses the challenges confronting plate tectonics. Presents evidence that contradicts continental drift, seafloor spreading, and subduction. Reviews problems posed by vertical tectonic movements. (Contains 242 references.) (DDR)

Pratt, David

2000-01-01

61

MACMA: a Virtual Lab for Plate Tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

MACMA (Multi-Agent Convective MAntle) is a tool developed to simulate evolutive plate tectonics and mantle convection in a 2-D cylindrical geometry (Combes et al., 2012). The model relies mainly on a force balance to compute the velocity of each plate, and on empirical rules to determine how plate boundaries move and evolve. It includes first-order features of plate tectonics: (a) all plates on Earth do not have the same size, (b) subduction zones are asymmetric, (c) plates driven by subducting slabs and upper plates do not exhibit the same velocities, and (d) plate boundaries are mobile, can collide, merge and disappear, and new plate boundaries can be created. The MACMA interface was designed to be user-friendly and a simple use of the simulator can be achieved without any prerequisite knowledge in fluid dynamics, mantle rheology, nor in numerical methods. As a preliminary study, the simulator was used by a few students from bachelor's degree to master's degree levels. An initial configuration for plate tectonics has to be created before starting a simulation: the number and types of plate boundaries (ridge, subduction, passive margins) has to be defined and seafloor ages must be given. A simple but interesting exercise consists in letting students build such an initial configuration: they must analyze a map of tectonic plates, choose a 2-D section and examine carefully a map of seafloor ages. Students mentioned that the exercise made them realize that the 3-D spherical structure of plate tectonics does not translate directly in a simple 2-D section, as opposed to what is usually shown in books. Physical parameters: e.g. mantle viscosity, number of layers to consider in the mantle (upper and lower mantle, possible asthenosphere), initial time and mantle temperature, have to be chosen, and students can use this virtual lab to see how different scenarios emerge when parameters are varied. Very importantly, the direct visualization of the mobility of plate boundaries is a feature that clearly seems interesting to students. They are used to see dynamic representations of continental drift, but this does not include the dynamics of the oceanic lithosphere and the corresponding fluctuations in seafloor age distribution. The 2-D geometry of the simulator is a simplification that actually brings a clearer view of plate boundary creations, migrations, and collisions, together with global plate tectonics reorganization events.

Grigne, C.; Combes, M.; Tisseau, C.

2013-12-01

62

Author's personal copy Plate tectonic reconstructions with continuously closing plates$  

E-print Network

Author's personal copy Plate tectonic reconstructions with continuously closing plates$ Michael May 2011 Keywords: Geodynamics Plate tectonics a b s t r a c t We present a new algorithm for modeling margins and plates, traditional global plate tectonic reconstructions have become inadequate

Bower, Dan J.

63

Plate Tectonics Jigsaw  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This activity is a slight variation on an original activity, Discovering Plate Boundaries, developed by Dale Sawyer at Rice University. I made different maps, including more detail in all of the datasets, and used a different map projection, but otherwise the general progression of the activity is the same. More information about jigsaw activities in general can be found in the Jigsaws module. The activity occurs in several sections, which can be completed in one or multiple classes. In the first section, students are divided into "specialist" groups, and each group is given a global map with a single dataset: global seismicity, volcanoes, topography, age of the seafloor, and free-air gravity. Each student is also given a map of plate boundaries. Their task in the specialist group is to become familiar with their dataset and develop categories of plate boundaries based only on their dataset. Each group then presents their results to the class. In the second section, students reorganize into groups with 1-2 of each type of specialist per group. Each new group is given a plate, and they combine their different datasets on that one plate and look for patterns. Again, each plate group presents to the class. The common patterns and connections between the different datasets quickly become apparent, and the final section of the activity involves a short lecture from the instructor about types of plate boundaries and why the common features are generated at those plate boundaries. A follow-up section or class involves using a problem-solving approach to explain the areas that don't "fit" into the typical boundary types - intra-plate volcanism, earthquakes in the Eastern California Shear Zone, etc.

Egger, Anne

64

Metamorphic Rocks and Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This interactive Flash explores the processes and products of metamorphism, including rock examples, types of metamorphism, and facies, and relates them to plate tectonics. It is a useful overview or review suitable for high school or introductory level undergraduate students in Earth science or physical geology courses. It includes diagrams, animations, and supplementary information about metamorphic rocks.

Smoothstone; Company, Houghton M.

65

Petroleum occurrences and plate tectonics  

SciTech Connect

This paper analyzes the mechanisms of petroleum formation and petroleum accumulation proposed in recent years by some Russian and foreign investigators from the viewpoint of the new global or plate tectonics. On the basis of discussion and the facts, the authors conclude that the mechanisms proposed are in contradiction to reality and their use in practical application is at least premature.

Olenin, V.B.; Sokolov, B.A.

1983-01-01

66

Comment on "Intermittent plate tectonics?".  

PubMed

Silver and Behn (Reports, 4 January 2008, p. 85) proposed that intermittent plate tectonics may resolve a long-standing paradox in Earth's thermal evolution. However, their analysis misses one important term, which subsequently brings their main conclusion into question. In addition, the Phanerozoic eustasy record indicates that the claimed effect of intermittency is probably weak. PMID:18535229

Korenaga, Jun

2008-06-01

67

6, 793830, 2014 Plate tectonic raster  

E-print Network

SED 6, 793­830, 2014 Plate tectonic raster reconstruction in GPlates J. Cannon et al. Title Page if available. Plate tectonic raster reconstruction in GPlates J. Cannon 1 , E. Lau 1, * , and R. D. Müller 1 1 of the European Geosciences Union. 793 #12;SED 6, 793­830, 2014 Plate tectonic raster reconstruction in GPlates J

Müller, Dietmar

68

First Draft 1 April 2003 Plate Tectonics ;  

E-print Network

1 4/18/04 First Draft 1 April 2003 Plate Tectonics ; The General Theory The Complex Earth is difficult to overturn. After more than 20 years some implications of plate tectonics have yet to be fully convective systems. It relies on a theory of plate tectonics unconstrained by assumptions about absolute

Anderson, Don L.

69

OBSERVATIONS RELATED TO PLATE TECTONICS  

E-print Network

It is useful to assess the global data sets that are most relevant to plate tectonics. Below are a series of global maps that help to confirm various aspects of plate tectonic theory. Plate boundaries are classified as ridges, transform faults, or subduction zones based on basic observations of topography (Figure 1) and seismicity (Figure 2). Remarkably, nearly all seafloor spreading ridges lie at a depth of 2500-3000 m below sea level which is the level of isostasy for hot thin lithosphere. Depths gradually increase away from the ridges because of cooling and thermal contraction so old ocean basins are commonly 4500- 5000 m deep. Fracture zones and aseismic ridges also show up on these maps. Global seismicity (magnitude> 5.1 Figure 2) highlights the plate boundaries and reveals their tectonic style. Shallow normal-faulting earthquakes (< 30 km deep) are common along slow-spreading ridges but largely absent along faster-spreading ridges where the plates are too thin and weak to retain sufficient elastic energy to generate large earthquakes. Transform faults are characterized by relatively shallow (< 30 km) strike-slip earthquakes and they are common along both fast- and slow-spreading ridges. The deeper earthquakes (green and blue dots in Figure 2) occur only in subduction zones where sheets of seismicity (i.e., Benioff zones) are critical evidence that relatively cold lithosphere is

David T. S

70

OBSERVATIONS RELATED TO PLATE TECTONICS  

E-print Network

It is useful to assess the global data sets that are most relevant to plate tectonics. Below are a series of global maps that help to confirm various aspects of plate tectonic theory. Plate boundaries are classified as ridges, transform faults, or subduction zones based on basic observations of topography (Figure 1) and seismicity (Figure 2). Remarkably, nearly all seafloor spreading ridges lie at a depth of 2500-3000 m below sea level which is the level of isostasy for hot thin lithosphere. Depths gradually increase away from the ridges because of cooling and thermal contraction so old ocean basins are commonly 4500- 5000 m deep. Fracture zones and aseismic ridges also show up on these maps. Global seismicity (magnitude> 5.1 Figure 2) highlights the plate boundaries and reveals their tectonic style. Shallow normal-faulting earthquakes (plates are too thin and weak to retain sufficient elastic energy to generate large earthquakes. Transform faults are characterized by relatively shallow (< 30 km) strike-slip earthquakes and they are common along both fast- and slow-spreading ridges. The deeper earthquakes (green and blue dots in Figure 2) occur only in subduction zones where sheets of seismicity (i.e., Benioff zones) are critical evidence that relatively cold lithosphere is

David T. S

71

Plate Tectonics Quiz  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This quiz for younger students asks them 10 questions about plate motions, rock types in continental and oceanic crust, crustal formation and mountain building, the supercontinent Pangea, and the theory of continental drift. A link to a page on continental drift provides information to answer the questions.

72

26 ENGINEERING & SCIENCE fall 2011 Tectonic plates  

E-print Network

26 ENGINEERING & SCIENCE fall 2011 Tectonic plates worldwide have been slipping, sliding such as this one occurs when one tectonic plate is being jammed underneath its neighbor in a region called GPs technology for nationwide tectonic monitoring, and the Geographical Survey Institute of Japan

73

Musical Plates: A Study of Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this project, students use Real-Time earthquake and volcano data from the Internet to explore the relationship between earthquakes, plate tectonics, and volcanoes. There is a teachers guide that explains how to use real time data, and in the same section, there is a section for curriculum standards, Supplement and enrichment activities, and assessment suggestions. Included on this webpage are four core activities, and three enrichment activities, including an activity where the student writes a letter to the president. There is also a link to reference materials that might also interest you and your students.

2007-01-01

74

Planetary science: Plate tectonics on ice  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Jupiter's icy moon Europa is criss-crossed by extensional features. A tectonic reconstruction suggests that Europa's extension is balanced by subduction -- if so, Earth may not be the only planetary body with a plate tectonic system.

Selvans, Michelle M.

2014-10-01

75

Continental tectonics in the aftermath of plate tectonics  

Microsoft Academic Search

It is shown that the basic tenet of plate tectonics, rigid-body movements of large plates of lithosphere, fails to apply to continental interiors. There, buoyant continental crust can detach from the underlying mantle to form mountain ranges and broad zones of diffuse tectonic activity. The role of crustal blocks and of the detachment of crustal fragments in this process is

Peter Molnar

1988-01-01

76

Plate Tectonics: A Framework for Understanding Our Living Planet.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Discusses some of the events leading to the development of the theory of plate tectonics. Describes how seismic, volcanic, and tectonic features observed at the surface of the planet are now seen as a consequence of intense internal activity, and makes suggestions about their further investigation. (TW)

Achache, Jose

1987-01-01

77

How Mantle Slabs Drive Plate Tectonics  

Microsoft Academic Search

The gravitational pull of subducted slabs is thought to drive the motions of Earth's tectonic plates, but the coupling between slabs and plates is not well established. If a slab is mechanically attached to a subducting plate, it can exert a direct pull on the plate. Alternatively, a detached slab may drive a plate by exciting flow in the mantle

Clinton P. Conrad; Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni

2002-01-01

78

LETTER doi:10.1038/nature13072 Plate tectonics, damage and inheritance  

E-print Network

LETTER doi:10.1038/nature13072 Plate tectonics, damage and inheritance David Bercovici1 & Yanick Ricard2 The initiation of plate tectonics on Earth is a critical event in our planet's history. The time and inher- itance of damage is negligible; hence only subduction zones survive and plate tectonics does

79

ConcepTest: Plate Tectonic Theory  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Which of the following statements is not consistent with plate tectonic theory? a. Continental crust is generally older than oceanic crust. b. The number of plates has changed through time. c. Mountain chains are ...

80

A plate tectonic model for the Paleozoic and Mesozoic constrained by dynamic plate boundaries and restored synthetic oceanic isochrons  

Microsoft Academic Search

We developed a plate tectonic model for the Paleozoic and Mesozoic (Ordovician to Cretaceous) integrating dynamic plate boundaries, plate buoyancy, ocean spreading rates and major tectonic and magmatic events. Plates were constructed through time by adding\\/removing oceanic material, symbolized by synthetic isochrons, to major continents and terranes. Driving forces like slab pull and slab buoyancy were used to constrain the

G. M Stampfli; G. D. Borel

2002-01-01

81

The Wacky Wonderful World of Cordilleran Tectonics Event Timing Description  

E-print Network

The Wacky Wonderful World of Cordilleran Tectonics Event Timing Description Transform Tectonics along California Coast Middle Miocene - Holocene As North American Plate overran the divergent boundary of the Farallon and Pacific plates, change in sense of motion from subduction to transform; birth of San Andreas

Holtz Jr., Thomas R.

82

Plate Tectonic Cycle. K-6 Science Curriculum.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Plate Tectonics Cycle is one of the units of a K-6 unified science curriculum program. The unit consists of four organizing sub-themes: (1) volcanoes (covering formation, distribution, and major volcanic groups); (2) earthquakes (with investigations on wave movements, seismograms and sub-suface earth currents); (3) plate tectonics (providing maps

Blueford, J. R.; And Others

83

The Plate Tectonic Story: A Scientific Jigsaw  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This activity has students read and answer questions based upon the article 'The plate tectonic story: a scientific jigsaw.' The article starts with the continental drift theory of Alfred Wegener and adds the evidence from the seafloor to arrive at plate tectonics. It concludes with remarks about mantle dynamics and the future ability to predict earthquakes.

84

Mantle dynamics with induced plate tectonics  

Microsoft Academic Search

A new model of mantle dynamics and plate tectonics which takes into account the existence of rigid and independent plates has been developed. These plates, which break the spherical symmetry assumed in all earlier models, modify the mantle circulation and hence the predicted surface observables such as displacement and gravity. This paper uses a very simple two-plate model to explain

Yanick Ricard; Christophe Vigny

1989-01-01

85

Continental tectonics in the aftermath of plate tectonics  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

It is shown that the basic tenet of plate tectonics, rigid-body movements of large plates of lithosphere, fails to apply to continental interiors. There, buoyant continental crust can detach from the underlying mantle to form mountain ranges and broad zones of diffuse tectonic activity. The role of crustal blocks and of the detachment of crustal fragments in this process is discussed. Future areas of investigation are addressed.

Molnar, Peter

1988-01-01

86

Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this exercise, students are split into groups to gather whole-rock geochemical data (major-, trace-, and rare-earth elements) from the GEOROC database for igneous rocks sampled from four different plate tectonic settings: mid-ocean ridges, subduction zones, oceanic islands, and oceanic plateaus. Each group is assigned a different plate tectonic setting and collects three datasets from different locations for their tectonic setting. Geochemical data is graphed as major-element variation and REE diagrams to quantify igneous diversity both within the same tectonic setting and between different tectonic settings. The main goal of this exercise is to demonstrate that igneous rock compositions are a strong function of plate tectonic setting.

Glazner, Allen

87

Hierarchical self-organization of tectonic plates  

E-print Network

The Earth's surface is subdivided into eight large tectonic plates and many smaller ones. We reconstruct the plate tessellation history and demonstrate that both large and small plates display two distinct hierarchical patterns, described by different power-law size-relationships. While small plates display little organisational change through time, the structure of the large plates oscillate between minimum and maximum hierarchical tessellations. The organization of large plates rapidly changes from a weak hierarchy at 120-100 million years ago (Ma) towards a strong hierarchy, which peaked at 65-50, Ma subsequently relaxing back towards a minimum hierarchical structure. We suggest that this fluctuation reflects an alternation between top and bottom driven plate tectonics, revealing a previously undiscovered tectonic cyclicity at a timescale of 100 million years.

Morra, Gabriele; Mller, R Dietmar

2010-01-01

88

Cenozoic plate tectonics of SE Asia 99 The plate tectonics of Cenozoic SE Asia and the distribution of land  

E-print Network

Cenozoic plate tectonics of SE Asia 99 The plate tectonics of Cenozoic SE Asia and the distribution, plate tectonics, Cenozoic Abstract A plate tectonic model for the development of SE Asia and the SW. There are three important periods in regional development: at about 45 Ma, 25 Ma and 5 Ma. At these times plate

Sheldon, Nathan D.

89

Google Earth Plate Tectonics File (.kmz)  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This Google Earth .kmz file contains a number of data sets that can be used to help students learn about plate tectonics. These include: earthquake epicenters, plate boundaries, plate motion vectors, GPS station motion vectors, US Array seismic station locations, LiDAR hillshades, strain rates, volcano locations, magnetic anomalies, gravity anomalies (GRACE), geologic map, and meteor crater locations.

Unavco

90

Plate Tectonics-Discover Our Earth  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This site from Cornell University presents an illustrated and interactive description of plate tectonics. Topics covered include an introduction to plate boundaries and sea floor spreading, and the use of earthquake activity to locate plate boundaries. After each topic is established, it is followed by a series of exercises using the QUEST interactive program.

Institute for the Study of the Continents (INSTOC); University, Cornell

91

Simulation of Evolutive Plate Tectonics: the Size of Plates Depends on Mantle Temperature  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We use a dynamic model of plate tectonics based on a multiagent approach, in a 2D cylindrical geometry (Combes et al., 2012), to study how evolutive plate tectonics affect the long term thermal state of the mantle, and in return, to analyze the relationship between the mantle mean temperature and the geometry of plate tectonics. Our model accounts for first-order features of plate tectonics: (a) all plates on Earth do not have the same size, (b) subduction zones are asymmetric, (c) plates driven by subducting slabs and upper plates do not exhibit the same velocities, and (d) plate boundaries are mobile, can collide, merge and disappear, and new plate boundaries can be created. We show that when processes for plate boundary creation (subduction initiation and ridge creation) are relying on a brittle criterion, namely when a fixed yield strength has to be reached, the average size of plates adapts to the mantle thermal state: longer plates are obtained for a hotter mantle, which implies a maximum seafloor age that remains fairly high throughout Earth's thermal history and limits mantle heat loss. This is consistent with petrological and geochemical constraints on Earth's cooling history. Important fluctuations in the mantle heat flux and velocities of plates are obtained on a timescale of a few hundred Myr, but on the long term, the relationship between the average wavelength of plate tectonics and mantle temperature can be explained by a simple scaling law. Recent compilations of geological records infer that passive margins had longer lifespans in the past (e.g. Bradley 2008; 2011), which has been linked to 'sluggish' plate tectonics and slow plates in the Precambrian (Korenaga, 2006). Our simulations outputs include lifespans of tectonic entities such as passive margins, as well as statistical data about events of plates reorganizations. We obtain faster plates in the past than at present day, but counterintuitively we also observe a low episodicity of tectonic reorganization events in the late Archean and Proterozoic: long plates, and therefore a low number of plate boundaries, naturally yield a long timespan between collisions of plate boundaries, and long lifespans for tectonic entities.

Grigne, C.; Combes, M.

2013-12-01

92

How mantle slabs drive plate tectonics.  

PubMed

The gravitational pull of subducted slabs is thought to drive the motions of Earth's tectonic plates, but the coupling between slabs and plates is not well established. If a slab is mechanically attached to a subducting plate, it can exert a direct pull on the plate. Alternatively, a detached slab may drive a plate by exciting flow in the mantle that exerts a shear traction on the base of the plate. From the geologic history of subduction, we estimated the relative importance of "pull" versus "suction" for the present-day plates. Observed plate motions are best predicted if slabs in the upper mantle are attached to plates and generate slab pull forces that account for about half of the total driving force on plates. Slabs in the lower mantle are supported by viscous mantle forces and drive plates through slab suction. PMID:12364804

Conrad, Clinton P; Lithgow-Bertelloni, Carolina

2002-10-01

93

Plate tectonics on the terrestrial Plate tectonics is largely controlled by the buoyancy distribution in oceanic litho-  

E-print Network

Chapter 4 Plate tectonics on the terrestrial planets Abstract Plate tectonics is largely controlled), and surface temperatures in order to inves- tigate under which conditions plate tectonics is a viable indicates that plate tectonics could only operate on reasonable time scales at a potential mantle

van Thienen, Peter

94

Combining Estimates of Tectonic Plate Rotations  

Microsoft Academic Search

The relative motion between two diverging tectonic plates is a rotation of the sphere. Given measurements of points on the boundaries of the plates, the rotation can be estimated by minimizing a function which is asymptotically (as the concentration parameter of the data distribution goes to infinity) the sum of squared residuals of a linear regression. The linear approximation permits

Bessie H. Kirkwood; Ted Chang

1998-01-01

95

Whole Earth Structure and Plate Tectonics  

E-print Network

Whole Earth Structure and Plate Tectonics Earth Structure (2nd Edition), 2004 W.W. Norton & Co, New York Slide show by Ben van der Pluijm © WW Norton; unless noted otherwise #12;© EarthStructure (2nd ed evolution of Earth: from continental drift (early 1900's) to sea-floor spreading (early 1960's) to plate

96

Plate Tectonics: Moving Middle School Science  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This resource guide from the Middle School Portal 2 project, written specifically for teachers, provides links to exemplary resources including background information, lessons, career information, and related national science education standards. This wiki page is about plate tectonics and features online resources that were hand-picked for middle school teachers. The resources are organized into three sets: background information (for teachers and students), activities (single-day and multiple-day), and animations. National Science Education Standards related to plate tectonics are also provided. Each resource set begins with a discussion of its strengths. For example, students work with models and data in the activities, many of which are discovery-oriented. Teaching tips and usage suggestions are offered in the set introductions and in the descriptions of individual resources. Together, the resources address topics such as the development of the plate tectonics theory and the types of plate boundaries and their locations.

Barber, Carolee; Ridgway, Judith

2004-11-01

97

Spreading continents kick-started plate tectonics.  

PubMed

Stresses acting on cold, thick and negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere are thought to be crucial to the initiation of subduction and the operation of plate tectonics, which characterizes the present-day geodynamics of the Earth. Because the Earth's interior was hotter in the Archaean eon, the oceanic crust may have been thicker, thereby making the oceanic lithosphere more buoyant than at present, and whether subduction and plate tectonics occurred during this time is ambiguous, both in the geological record and in geodynamic models. Here we show that because the oceanic crust was thick and buoyant, early continents may have produced intra-lithospheric gravitational stresses large enough to drive their gravitational spreading, to initiate subduction at their margins and to trigger episodes of subduction. Our model predicts the co-occurrence of deep to progressively shallower mafic volcanics and arc magmatism within continents in a self-consistent geodynamic framework, explaining the enigmatic multimodal volcanism and tectonic record of Archaean cratons. Moreover, our model predicts a petrological stratification and tectonic structure of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle, two predictions that are consistent with xenolith and seismic studies, respectively, and consistent with the existence of a mid-lithospheric seismic discontinuity. The slow gravitational collapse of early continents could have kick-started transient episodes of plate tectonics until, as the Earth's interior cooled and oceanic lithosphere became heavier, plate tectonics became self-sustaining. PMID:25230662

Rey, Patrice F; Coltice, Nicolas; Flament, Nicolas

2014-09-18

98

A planetary perspective on Earth evolution: Lid Tectonics before Plate Tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Plate Tectonics requires a specific range of thermal, fluid and compositional conditions before it will operate to mobilise planetary lithospheres. The response to interior heat dispersion ranges from mobile lids in constant motion able to generate zones of subduction and spreading (Plate Tectonics), through styles of Lid Tectonics expressed by stagnant lids punctured by volcanism, to lids alternating between static and mobile. The palaeomagnetic record through Earth history provides a test for tectonic style because a mobile Earth of multiple continents is recorded by diverse apparent polar wander paths, whilst Lid Tectonics is recorded by conformity to a single position. The former is difficult to isolate without extreme selection whereas the latter is a demanding requirement and easily recognised. In the event, the Precambrian palaeomagnetic database closely conforms to this latter property over very long periods of time (~ 2.7-2.2 Ga, 1.5-1.3 Ga and 0.75-0.6 Ga); intervening intervals are characterised by focussed loops compatible with episodes of true polar wander stimulated by disturbances to the planetary figure. Because of this singular property, the Precambrian palaeomagnetic record is highly effective in showing that a dominant Lid Tectonics operated throughout most of Earth history. A continental lid comprising at least 60% of the present continental area and volume had achieved quasi-integrity by 2.7 Ga. Reconfiguration of mantle and continental lid at ~ 2.2 Ga correlates with isotopic signatures and the Great Oxygenation Event and is the closest analogy in Earth history to the resurfacing of Venus. Change from Lid Tectonics to Plate Tectonics is transitional and the geological record identifies incipient development of Plate Tectonics on an orogenic scale especially after 1.1 Ga, but only following break-up of the continental lid (Palaeopangaea) in Ediacaran times beginning at ~ 0.6 Ga has it become comprehensive in the style evident during the Phanerozoic Eon (< 0.54 Ga).

Piper, John D. A.

2013-03-01

99

Tectonic Plates, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The representation shows earthquake and volcanic activity corresponds to plate boundaries. This interactive topographical map with the ocean water removed shows the boundaries of major plates and the locations of major volcanic eruptions and earthquakes worldwide.

100

Plate Tectonics Education Website and CD  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

'Learning With Data' is a complete learning package aimed at supporting science process teaching and learning through the exploration of Earth Data. All of the data, tools, activities, background learning materials, homework assignments, and inquiry activities needed to implement data-rich investigations into the theory of Plate Tectonics are described on the website and provided in an accompanying CD-ROM, available for purchase. Students may select and plot earthquakes, recent quakes from USGS, elevation profiles, sea floor age profiles, volcano locations, island ages, and heat flow data, then assemble and annotate the plots to use in writing activities or lab reports. The content contains animated presentations of plate tectonics theory, interior of the Earth, and volcanoes and their role in plate tectonics.

101

Plate Tectonics in the Late Paleozoic  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

As the chronicle of plate motions through time, paleogeography is fundamental to our understanding of plate tectonics and its role in shaping the geology of the present-day. To properly appreciate the history of tectonicsand its influence on the deep Earth and climateit is imperative to seek an accurate and global model of paleogeography. However, owing to the incessant loss of oceanic lithosphere through subduction, the paleogeographic reconstruction of 'full-plates' (including oceanic lithosphere) becomes increasingly challenging with age. Prior to 150 Ma ~60% of the lithosphere is missing and reconstructions are developed without explicit regard for oceanic lithosphere or plate tectonic principles; in effect, reflecting the earlier mobilistic paradigm of continental drift. Although these 'continental' reconstructions have been immensely useful, the next-generation of mantle models requires global plate kinematic descriptions with full-plate reconstructions. Moreover, in disregarding (or only loosely applying) plate tectonic rules, continental reconstructions fail to take advantage of a wealth of additional information in the form of practical constraints. Following a series of new developments, both in geodynamic theory and analytical tools, it is now feasible to construct full-plate models that lend themselves to testing by the wider Earth-science community. Such a model is presented here for the late Paleozoic (410-250 Ma). Although we expect this model to be particularly useful for numerical mantle modeling, we hope that it can also serve as a general framework for understanding late Paleozoic tectonics, one on which future improvements can be built and further tested.

Domeier, Mat; Torsvik, Trond

2014-05-01

102

The generation of plate tectonics from mantle convection David Bercovici  

E-print Network

Frontiers The generation of plate tectonics from mantle convection David Bercovici ? Department In the last decade, significant progress has been made toward understanding how plate tectonics is generated changes in plate motion, and the Archaean initiation of the plate-tectonic mode of convection. This paper

103

Tectonic Plate Movements and Hotspots  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This lesson introduces the idea that rates and directions of plate movements can be measured. The discussion centers on the use of mantle 'hotspots' to determine plate motions. Examples include the Hawaiian Islands, the Galapagos Islands, and the Yellowstone hotspot. The lesson includes an activity in which students use online resources to answer questions about the Galapagos Islands and measure plate movement rates using online data for the Hawaiian Islands hotspot.

Rhinehart, Ken

104

Plate Tectonics: Recycling the Seafloor  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this activity, learners work in teams to predict and outline the location of plate boundaries using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Acoustic Monitoring Program's underwater earthquake data. Then, learners compare their estimates to the USGS's map of the plates and discuss.

Lawrence, Lisa A.

2012-12-27

105

Tracking Tectonic Plates Using Two Independent Methods  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students come to this activity familiar with the basic assumptions of plate tectonics. Using a Google Earth platform showing commonly accepted lithospheric plate boundaries as well as locations of GPS stations, students form a hypothesis about motions expected across a particular boundary. They then set about testing their hypotheses by plotting motion vectors using two independent methods. METHOD 1: LONG-TERM "MODEL" RATES OF PLATE MOTION Students use a "Plate Motion Calculator" to determine "model" rates of plate motion averaged over millions of years. METHOD 2: GPS MEASUREMENTS INTERPRETED IN TERMS OF PLATE MOTION Students interpret GPS data as near real-time rates of plate motion. RESULTS Students find that in general, plate tectonic theory holds up. However, they also discover sophisticated detail rates are not constant, internal deformation of plates does occur and some boundaries are "wider" than others. Student evaluations of the activity demonstrate that they feel engaged and empowered as they work with authentic data, and gain a sophisticated understanding of a fundamental theory as well as the process of doing science.

Laurel Goodell

106

Plate tectonic raster reconstruction in GPlates  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We describe a novel method implemented in the GPlates plate tectonic reconstruction software to interactively reconstruct arbitrarily high-resolution raster data to past geological times using a rotation model. The approach is based on the projection of geo-referenced raster data into a cube map followed by a reverse projection onto rotated tectonic plates on the surface of the globe. This decouples the rendering of a geo-referenced raster from its reconstruction, providing a number of benefits including a simple implementation and the ability to combine rasters with different geo-referencing or inbuilt raster projections. The cube map projection is accelerated by graphics hardware in a wide variety of computer systems manufactured over the last decade. Furthermore, by integrating a multi-resolution tile partitioning into the cube map we can provide on-demand tile streaming, level-of-detail rendering and hierarchical visibility culling enabling researchers to visually explore essentially unlimited resolution geophysical raster data attached to tectonic plates and reconstructed through geological time. This capability forms the basis for interactively building and improving plate reconstructions in an iterative fashion, particularly for tectonically complex regions.

Cannon, J.; Lau, E.; Mller, R. D.

2014-03-01

107

Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift: Classroom Ideas.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Suggests various classroom studies related to plate tectonics and continental drift, including comments on and sources of resource materials useful in teaching the topics. A complete list of magazine articles on the topics from the Sawyer Marine Resource Collection may be obtained by contacting the author. (JN)

Stout, Prentice K.

1983-01-01

108

Plate tectonics and hotspots - The third dimension  

Microsoft Academic Search

An evaluation is made of the constraining influence exerted by high resolution seismic tomographic models of the upper mantle on theories of plate tectonics and hotspots. While extensional, rifting, and hotspot regions are noted to have low velocity anomalies of depth exceeding 200 km, the upper mantle is composed of vast domains of high temperature, rather than small regions surrounding

Don L. Anderson; Toshiro Tanimoto; Yu-Shen Zhang

1992-01-01

109

Lab 4: Plate Tectonics Locating Geologic Hazards Introduction  

E-print Network

1 Lab 4: Plate Tectonics ­ Locating Geologic Hazards Introduction The likelihood of major that moved around the Earth's surface. Thus, the theory of plate tectonics was developed. This theory of the theory of plate tectonics is useful for understanding the major geologic hazards. (It is also helpful

Chen, Po

110

Afrotheria: Plate tectonics meets genomics S. Blair Hedges*  

E-print Network

Commentary Afrotheria: Plate tectonics meets genomics S. Blair Hedges* Department of Biology that evolved on Africa when that continent was isolated from others through plate tectonics (1). Although places more importance on plate tectonics in the early evolution of placental mammals (2, 13). However

Hedges, Blair

111

FUNDAMENTALS OF PLATE TECTONICS Fall Semester 2012-13  

E-print Network

FUNDAMENTALS OF PLATE TECTONICS Fall Semester 2012-13 Geological Sciences G454/G554 Section 32565, paleomagnetism, petrology, and structural geology that led to the development of plate tectonic theory student will prepare a paper on some aspect or applica- tion of plate tectonic theory. The paper should

Polly, David

112

A plate tectonic model of the Palaeozoic tectonic history of New South Wales  

Microsoft Academic Search

An updated* tectonic model for the Palaeozoic tectonic history of New South Wales, based on actualistic models of plate tectonics, has resulted from tectonic analyses and syntheses during the compilation of the Tectonic Map of New South Wales.Most emphasis is given to marginal seas, which characterize Pacific marginal mobile zones. Marginal seas form in the regime of lithospheric tension under

Erwin Scheibner

1973-01-01

113

Reducing Plate Tectonic Misconceptions with Lecture Tutorials  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In order to address student difficulties with and common misconceptions about plate tectonics, we created five Lecture Tutorials suitable for introductory geoscience courses. Lecture Tutorials are 10-15 minute worksheets that students complete in class in small groups to make learning more student-centered. Students build their knowledge with questions that progressively become more difficult, requiring them think about their misconceptions. Our research indicates that the Lecture Tutorials successfully decrease student misconceptions. For example, few introductory students identify the mantle wedge as the location of melting at subduction zones. Instead, students frequently think melting occurs at the trench, in magma chambers within volcanoes, or where images commonly show the subducting slab disappearing. One of the Lecture Tutorials helps the students determine why melting occurs and therefore identify the correct locations of melting at convergent boundaries, divergent boundaries, and hotspots. This Lecture Tutorial includes a hypothetical debate with statements expressing the misconceptions and one expressing the correct scientific idea of where melting occurs. Students are asked to explain why they agree with one of the statements, so they must directly think about any misconceptions they may have. Additional difficulties addressed by the Lecture Tutorials include identification of the direction of plate movement at ocean ridges and the locations and formation of basic plate tectonic features, such as trenches, volcanoes, ocean ridges, and plate boundaries. After instruction, students completed questionnaires that probed their understanding of plate tectonics, and students who completed the Lecture Tutorials performed significantly better on relevant questions. For example, when asked to circle the locations on a diagram where melting occurred, students who completed the Lecture Tutorials correctly circled the mantle wedge more often than other students (33% vs. 8%). The percentage of students who drew incorrect arrows indicating converging plates at ocean ridges was smaller for students who completed the Lecture Tutorials (9%) than for those who did not (21%). Because the Lecture Tutorials frequently asked students to identify, explain, and draw basic features relevant to plate tectonics, we hypothesized that students who completed the Lecture Tutorials would correctly identify more of these features, and this is what we observed. Students who completed the Lecture Tutorials identified 6.3 features on average, compared to 2.8 for those students who did not complete the Lecture Tutorials. The Lecture Tutorial students correctly labeled 82% of the identified features, compared to 71% for other students. The plate tectonic Lecture Tutorials along with others on additional introductory geoscience topics are available as a workbook called Lecture Tutorials for Introductory Geoscience published by W. H. Freeman.

Kortz, K. M.; Smay, J. M.; Mattera, A. V.; Clark, S. K.

2009-12-01

114

Caribbean plate tectonics from seismic tomography  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

New seismic tomography in the Caribbean shows close links between the geometry and dynamics of subducting slabs and the geology of the overriding plate. Unlike most oceanic plates, the Caribbean plate lacks identifiable seafloor magnetic anomalies and fracture zones. The plate's history has therefore been inferred primarily from land geology along the plate boundary, which is complicated by large-scale shear deformation, and from finite rotations of surrounding plates.We used more than 14 million arrival times from 300,000 earthquakes to identify P-wave velocity anomalies. We relate the anomalies to the geometry and dynamics of subducting slabs and to patterns of earthquake activity, volcanism, topographic relief, and tectonic deformation. For example, we detect two separate slabs belonging to the North and South American plates, respectively, which appear to be responsible for morphologic and tectonic differences between the arcs of the Northern (from Guadeloupe northward) and Southern (from Dominica southward) Lesser Antilles. Variations in earthquake activity between Haiti and the Dominican Republic can be explained by a change in slab geometry from an underplated slab beneath Haiti to a subducting slab under the Dominican Republic. A shallow tear in the slab may explain the anomalously deep Puerto Rico Trench and the frequent earthquake swarms there. The westward shift in volcanic activity in the Northern Lesser Antilles from the Miocene Limestone Caribbees to the present arc can be attributed to the limit on convective flow imposed by the 3-D geometry of the slab at depth. A thinned South America slab under the southern Lesser Antilles may result from traction imposed on the slab by a wide forearc wedge. Variations in tectonic deformation of northern South America could be related to the location of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province north of the Maracaibo Block.

Ten Brink, U. S.; Villasenor, A.

2012-12-01

115

Generation and Initiation of Plate Tectonics on Terrestrail Planets  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The question of why plate tectonics occurs on Earth, but not on the other planets of our solar system, is one of the most fundamental issues in geophysics and planetary science. I study this problem using numerical simulations of mantle convection with a damage-grainsize feedback (grain-damage) to constrain the conditions necessary for plate tectonics to occur on a terrestrial planet, and how plate tectonics initiates. In Chapter 2, I use numerical simulations to determine how large a viscosity ratio, between pristine lithosphere and mantle, damage can offset to allow mobile (plate-like) convection. I then use the numerical results to formulate a new scaling law to describe the boundary between stagnant lid and plate-like regimes of mantle convection. I hypothesize that damage must reduce the viscosity of shear zones in the lithosphere to a critical value, equivalent to the underlying mantle viscosity, in order for plate tectonics to occur, and demonstrate that a scaling law based on this hypothesis reproduces the numerical results. For the Earth, damage is efficient in the lithosphere and provides a viable mechanism for the operation of plate tectonics. I apply my theory to super-Earths and map out the transition between plate-like and stagnant lid convection with a "planetary plate-tectonic phase" diagram in planet size-surface temperature space. Both size and surface temperature are important, with plate tectonics being favored for larger, cooler planets. This gives a natural explanation for Earth, Venus, and Mars, and implies that plate tectonics on exoplanets should correlate with size, incident solar radiation, and atmospheric composition. In Chapters 3 and 4 I focus on the initiation of plate tectonics. In Chapter 3, I develop detailed scaling laws describing plate speed and heat flow for mantle convection with grain-damage across a wide parameter range, with the intention of applying these scaling laws to the early Earth in Chapter 4. Convection with grain-damage scales differently than Newtonian convection; whereas the Nusselt number, Nu, typically scales with the Rayleigh number, Ra, to the 1/3 power, for grain-damage this exponent is larger because increasing Ra also enhances damage. In addition, Nu and plate velocity are also functions of the damage to healing ratio, (D/H); increasing D/H increases Nu (or plate speed) because more damage leads to more vigorous convection. In Chapter 4, I demonstrate that subduction can be sustained on the early Earth, that the style of subduction at this time was different than modern day plate tectonics, and that such subduction (or proto-subduction) can initiate rapidly after magma ocean solidification. The scaling laws from Chapter 3 show that, though either higher interior mantle temperatures or higher surface temperatures lead to slower plates, proto-subduction, with plate speeds of at least 1.5 cm/yr, can still be maintained in the Hadean, even if the primordial atmosphere was CO2 rich. Furthermore, when the interior mantle temperature is high (e.g. above ? 2000 K), the mode of subduction switches to a "sluggish subduction" style, where downwellings are more drip-like than slab-like and plate boundaries are more diffuse. Numerical models of post-magma ocean mantle convection, and a scaling analysis based on the results of these models, demonstrate that proto-plate tectonics likely initiates within 100 Myrs of magma ocean solidification. Combined with the conclusion that proto-subduction could be maintained on the early Earth, my results are consistent with evidence for Hadean subduction from zircon data, and indicate that the subduction inferred from zircons may have been distinct from modern day plate tectonics. After the initiation of proto-subduction, which occurs as a rapid overturn of the whole lithosphere, mobile lid convection takes place as non-plate tectonic "sluggish subduction" As both the mantle interior and climate cool, modern style plate tectonics develops. The rapid, initial subduction event may help hasten the onset of

Foley, Bradford J.

116

Plate Tectonics: The Hawaiian Archipelago  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Since the Hawaiian Islands were all created by volcanic activity, it is somewhat surprising that only the island of Hawaii now possesses any active volcanoes. Why did the volcanoes that built the other islands stop erupting and why are those on the big island still active? This video segment, adapted from a NOVA television broadcast, shows how plumes of hot material rise from the Earth's interior to create 'hot spots' in the crust which are the locations of volcanic activity. Movement of the Pacific Plate causes volcanic islands to continually form, migrate away from the hot spot, and become extinct, forming chains of islands like the Hawaiian Islands. The segment is four minutes thirty-seven seconds in length.

117

Plate Tectonics: The Splitting Apart of Pangea  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

After a teacher led discussion (some background provided), students will break into groups and recreate global maps at four different points in earth's history. By completing this exploration activity, the learner will: recognize that continents of the western hemisphere "fit" together, create a model that demonstrates the similarity of the continents, identify the major tectonic plates, and calculate the rate of divergence for the mid-Atlantic ridge. Several key words are linked to images that can further enhance understanding.

118

What on Earth is Plate Tectonics?  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This abbreviated explanation of the subject of plate tectonics is divided into several parts. The first section, entitled Into the Earth, describes the crust, mantle and core of the Earth, while the next section shows a world map with the plates delineated. The section called Action at the Edges uses text and diagrams to explain what is occurring at the plate boundaries. Links lead to a detailed discussion of converging boundaries including ocean-ocean, ocean-continental, and continental-continental. A wide range illustration shows both surface and cross-section views of plate interaction and a link leads to a similar diagram with labels. In the Moving through Time section, a series of color-coded maps is shown, illustrating the relative position of the continents over the past 650 million years. The last section shows a paleogeographic reconstruction of the Earth and explains how paleomagnetism, magnetic anomalies, paleobiogeography, paleoclimatology, and geologic history are used to create it.

119

Seismology: tectonic strain in plate interiors?  

PubMed

It is not fully understood how or why the inner areas of tectonic plates deform, leading to large, although infrequent, earthquakes. Smalley et al. offer a potential breakthrough by suggesting that surface deformation in the central United States accumulates at rates comparable to those across plate boundaries. However, we find no statistically significant deformation in three independent analyses of the data set used by Smalley et al., and conclude therefore that only the upper bounds of magnitude and repeat time for large earthquakes can be inferred at present. PMID:16355163

Calais, E; Mattioli, G; DeMets, C; Nocquet, J-M; Stein, S; Newman, A; Rydelek, P

2005-12-15

120

Writing and Visualization for Teaching Plate Tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Theory of Plate Tectonics is probably the most important paradigm for understanding the workings of our planet. As such it is an integral part in any Introductory Geology course. Whereas geology majors usually easily embrace the Theory of Plate Tectonics, the enthusiasm for the coherence and elegance of this theory appears to be much more subdued among the majority of non-science majors. While visual and electronic media certainly support the teaching of the theory, pretty pictures and animations are not sufficient for many non-science majors to grasp the concepts of interacting lithospheric plates. It is well known that students do better in learning scientific concepts if they create their own understanding through research and inquiry-based learning, by working in the field, manipulating real earth-science data, and through writing. Writing assignments give instructors the opportunity to assess their students' learning and to clarify misconceptions yet they also have to be willing to teach students how to craft a science paper. Most electronic media and textbook-added CD-ROMs are not useful for making the structure of a science paper transparent. I found many of the necessary ingredients for effectively teaching plate tectonics in the interactive CD-ROM, "Our Dynamic Planet", developed by Wm. Prothero together with G. Kelly (University of California at Santa Barbara). It allows students to select and manipulate real earth-science data of plate-tectonically active regions, and provides an electronic interface that lets students create graphical representations of their collected data. A downloadable Teacher's Manual provides suggestions on teaching students to write a scientific argument, rooted in sound pedagogy. Originally designed for a large oceanography class, the material was modified for use in a small introductory geology class for non-science majors. Various assignments were given to instruct students in writing a scientific argument based on their own collected data and observations. The main goals are for students o To see the relationship between data and the development of a scientific theory o To understand the elements of scientific discourse o To learn how to derive conclusions from interpretations and observations o To back interpretations with observations o To be able to write a scientific argument o To understand the Theory of Plate Tectonics, and o To gain a better understanding about how science works The results of several surveys will be presented that confirm that most of the expected outcomes continue to be met.

Thomas, S. F.

2004-12-01

121

Plate tectonic reconstructions with continuously closing plates$ Michael Gurnis a,n  

E-print Network

Plate tectonic reconstructions with continuously closing plates$ Michael Gurnis a,n , Mark Turner: Geodynamics Plate tectonics a b s t r a c t We present a new algorithm for modeling a self-consistent set, traditional global plate tectonic reconstructions have become inadequate for geodynamics. The CCP algorithm

Müller, Dietmar

122

Global Dynamic Numerical Simulations of Plate Tectonic Reorganizations  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We use a new numerical approach for global geodynamics to investigate the origin of present global plate motion and to identify the causes of the last two global tectonic reorganizations occurred about 50 and 100 million years ago (Ma) [1]. While the 50 Ma event is the most well-known global plate-mantle event, expressed by the bend in the Hawaiian-Emperor volcanic chain, a prominent plate reorganization at about 100 Ma, although presently little studied, is clearly indicated by a major bend in the fracture zones in the Indian Ocean and by a change in Pacific plate motion [2]. Our workflow involves turning plate reconstructions into surface meshes that are subsequently employed as initial conditions for global Boundary Element numerical models. The tectonic setting that anticipates the reorganizations is processed with the software GPlates, combining the 3D mesh of the paleo-plate morphology and the reconstruction of paleo-subducted slabs, elaborated from tectonic history [3]. All our models involve the entire planetary system, are fully dynamic, have free surface, are characterized by a spectacular computational speed due to the simultaneous use of the multi-pole algorithm and the Boundary Element formulation and are limited only by the use of sharp material property variations [4]. We employ this new tool to unravel the causes of plate tectonic reorganizations, producing and comparing global plate motion with the reconstructed ones. References: [1] Torsvik, T., Mller, R.D., Van der Voo, R., Steinberger, B., and Gaina, C., 2008, Global Plate Motion Frames: Toward a unified model: Reviews in Geophysics, VOL. 46, RG3004, 44 PP., 2008 [2] Wessel, P. and Kroenke, L.W. Pacific absolute plate motion since 145 Ma: An assessment of the fixed hot spot hypothesis. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol 113, B06101, 2008 [3] L. Quevedo, G. Morra, R. D. Mueller. Parallel Fast Multipole Boundary Element Method for Crustal Dynamics, Proceeding 9th World Congress and 4th Asian Pacific Congress on Computational Mechanics, July 2010, iopscience.iop.org/1757-899X/10/1/012012. [4] G. Morra, P. Chatelain, P. Tackley and P. Koumoutzakos, 2007, Large scale three-dimensional boundary element simulation of subduction, in Proceeding International Conference on Computational Science - Part III, LNCS 4489, pp. 1122-1129. Interaction between two subducting slabs.

Morra, G.; Quevedo, L.; Butterworth, N.; Matthews, K. J.; Mller, D.

2010-12-01

123

Quantitative tests for plate tectonics on Venus  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Quantitative comparisons are made between the characteristics of plate tectonics on the earth and those which are possible on Venus. Considerations of the factors influencing rise height and relating the decrease in rise height to plate velocity indicate that the rate of topographic dropoff from spreading centers should be about half that on earth due to greater rock-fluid density contrast and lower temperature differential between the surface and interior. Statistical analyses of Pioneer Venus radar altimetry data and global earth elevation data is used to identify 21,000 km of ridge on Venus and 33,000 km on earth, and reveal Venus ridges to have a less well-defined mode in crest heights and a greater concavity than earth ridges. Comparison of the Venus results with the spreading rates and associated heat flow on earth reveals plate creation rates on Venus to be 0.7 sq km/year or less and indicates that not more than 15% of Venus's energy is delivered to the surface by plate tectonics, in contrast to values of 2.9 sq km a year and 70% for earth.

Kaula, W. M.; Phillips, R. J.

1981-01-01

124

Caribbean tectonics and relative plate motions  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

During the last century, three different ways of interpreting the tectonic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean have been proposed, taking into account the Bailey Willis School of a permanent pre-Jurassic deep sea basin, the Edward Suess School of a subsided continental terrain, and the Alfred Wegener School of continental separation. The present investigation is concerned with an outline of an interpretation which follows that of Pindell and Dewey (1982). An attempt is made to point out ways in which the advanced hypotheses can be tested. The fit of Africa, North America, and South America is considered along with aspects of relative motion between North and South America since the early Jurasic. Attention is given to a framework for reconstructing Caribbean plate evolution, the evolution of the Caribbean, the plate boundary zones of the northern and southern Caribbean, and the active deformation of the Caribbean plate.

Burke, K.; Dewey, J. F.; Cooper, C.; Mann, P.; Pindell, J. L.

1984-01-01

125

Inevitability of Plate Tectonics on Super-Earths  

E-print Network

The recent discovery of super-Earths (masses ? 10 M?) has initiated a discussion about conditions for habitable worlds. Among these is the mode of convection, which influences a planets thermal evolution and surface conditions. On Earth, plate tectonics has been proposed as a necessary condition for life. Here we show, that super-Earths will also have plate tectonics. We demonstrate that as planetary mass increases, the shear stress available to overcome resistance to plate motion increases while the plate thickness decreases, thereby enhancing plate weakness. These effects contribute favorably to the subduction of the lithosphere, an essential component of plate tectonics. Moreover, uncertainties in achieving plate tectonics in the one earth-mass regime disappear as mass increases: super-Earths, even if dry, will exhibit plate tectonic behaviour. Subject headings: planetary systems planets and satellites Earth 1 corresponding author 2

Diana Valencia; Richard J. Oconnell; Dimitar D. Sasselov

126

Inevitability of Plate Tectonics on Super-Earths  

E-print Network

The recent discovery of super-Earths (masses less or equal to 10 earth-masses) has initiated a discussion about conditions for habitable worlds. Among these is the mode of convection, which influences a planet's thermal evolution and surface conditions. On Earth, plate tectonics has been proposed as a necessary condition for life. Here we show, that super-Earths will also have plate tectonics. We demonstrate that as planetary mass increases, the shear stress available to overcome resistance to plate motion increases while the plate thickness decreases, thereby enhancing plate weakness. These effects contribute favorably to the subduction of the lithosphere, an essential component of plate tectonics. Moreover, uncertainties in achieving plate tectonics in the one earth-mass regime disappear as mass increases: super-Earths, even if dry, will exhibit plate tectonic behaviour.

Valencia, Diana; Sasselov, Dimitar D

2007-01-01

127

Inevitability of Plate Tectonics on Super-Earths  

E-print Network

The recent discovery of super-Earths (masses less or equal to 10 earth-masses) has initiated a discussion about conditions for habitable worlds. Among these is the mode of convection, which influences a planet's thermal evolution and surface conditions. On Earth, plate tectonics has been proposed as a necessary condition for life. Here we show, that super-Earths will also have plate tectonics. We demonstrate that as planetary mass increases, the shear stress available to overcome resistance to plate motion increases while the plate thickness decreases, thereby enhancing plate weakness. These effects contribute favorably to the subduction of the lithosphere, an essential component of plate tectonics. Moreover, uncertainties in achieving plate tectonics in the one earth-mass regime disappear as mass increases: super-Earths, even if dry, will exhibit plate tectonic behaviour.

Diana Valencia; Richard J. O'Connell; Dimitar D. Sasselov

2007-10-03

128

Geological and plate tectonic setting of the Longitudinal Valley  

E-print Network

3 Chapter 1 Geological and plate tectonic setting of the Longitudinal Valley Fault 1.1 Tectonic and the Philippine Sea Plate (Figure 1.1a). South of Taiwan this convergence is absorbed along the Manila trench by the eastward subduction of the oceanic crust of the South China Sea beneath the Philippine Sea Plate, leading

Winfree, Erik

129

Tectonic controls on the stratigraphic architecture and hydrocarbons systems of the Arabian Plate  

SciTech Connect

Arabian Platform sediments consist of major sequences separated by tectonically controlled unconformities. These tectonic events, at the plate margins, controlled the orientation and distribution of sedimentary facies on the stable platform. Eustacy and subsidence were the principle controls on the actual facies that formed.

Grabowski, G.J. Jr.; Norton, I.O.

1995-12-31

130

Plate tectonic history of the Arctic  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Tectonic development of the Arctic Ocean is outlined, and geological maps are provided for the Arctic during the mid-Cenozoic, later Cretaceous, late Jurassic, early Cretaceous, early Jurassic and late Devonian. It is concluded that Arctic basin history is moulded by the events of the following intervals: (1) continental collision and immediately subsequent rifting and ocean formation in the Devonian, and continental rifting ocean formation, rapid rotation of microcontinents, and another episode of collision in the latest Jurassic and Cretaceous. It is noted that Cenozoic Arctic basin formation is a smaller scale event superimposed on the late Mesozoic ocean basin.

Burke, K.

1984-01-01

131

This Dynamic Earth: the Story of Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This publication provides an introduction to the theory of plate tectonics. It was intended as a companion to the map entitled 'This Dynamic Planet', published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Smithsonian Institution. Topics include the history and development of the theory, lines of evidence, plate motions and interactions, hotspots, what drives plate motion, and extraterrestrial plate tectonics. It can be viewed online, downloaded, or purchased in hardcopy. Ordering information is provided.

2000-03-28

132

Could Plate Tectonics Have Operated on Early Mars?  

Microsoft Academic Search

We consider the likelihood of plate tectonics operating on early Mars and Earth. Crust produced by mid-ocean ridge spreading at the same potential temperature is ~ 3 times thicker on Mars than on Earth; the density contrast between crust and mantle is probably similar on the two planets. Assuming that the radiogenic heat flux is balanced by plate tectonic heat

F. Nimmo; D. J. Stevenson

2000-01-01

133

INTRODUCTION One of the paradigms of plate tectonics is that plate bound-  

E-print Network

INTRODUCTION One of the paradigms of plate tectonics is that plate bound- aries record the deformation related to the ongoing geodynamic processes, assuming a single tectonic setting. This article that represents the sum of distinct tectonic styles that we may consider independent. The coexistence of four

Doglioni, Carlo

134

Plate tectonics and planetary habitability: current status and future challenges.  

PubMed

Plate tectonics is one of the major factors affecting the potential habitability of a terrestrial planet. The physics of plate tectonics is, however, still far from being complete, leading to considerable uncertainty when discussing planetary habitability. Here, I summarize recent developments on the evolution of plate tectonics on Earth, which suggest a radically new view on Earth dynamics: convection in the mantle has been speeding up despite its secular cooling, and the operation of plate tectonics has been facilitated throughout Earth's history by the gradual subduction of water into an initially dry mantle. The role of plate tectonics in planetary habitability through its influence on atmospheric evolution is still difficult to quantify, and, to this end, it will be vital to better understand a coupled core-mantle-atmosphere system in the context of solar system evolution. PMID:22256796

Korenaga, Jun

2012-07-01

135

Early Plate Tectonics Versus Single-Plate Tectonics on Mars: Constraints From Magnetic Field Observations and Crust Evolution  

Microsoft Academic Search

The consequences of an early epoch of plate tectonics on Mars followed by single-plate tectonics with stagnant lid mantle convection on both crust production and magnetic field generation have been studied with parameterized mantle convection models. It is difficult to find models that can reasonably explain both rapid early crust formation, as is required by geological and geophysical observations, and

D. Breuer; T. Spohn

2002-01-01

136

Early plate tectonics versus single-plate tectonics on Mars: Evidence from magnetic field history and crust evolution  

Microsoft Academic Search

The consequences of an early epoch of plate tectonics on Mars followed by single-plate tectonics with stagnant lid mantle convection on both crust production and magnetic field generation have been studied with parameterized mantle convection models. Thermal history models with parameterized mantle convection, not being dynamo models, can provide necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for dynamo action. It is difficult

D. Breuer; T. Spohn

2003-01-01

137

Silurian to Early Carboniferous plate tectonic model of Central Europe  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The presented plate tectonic model focuses on Silurian to Early Carboniferous evolution of Central Europe with special attention given to the Sudetes region (north and north-east part of the Bohemian Massif). During our studies, we tested alternative models focused on the position of the Armorican terranes, known as the Armorican Terrane Assembly (ATA) (e.g.: Matte, 2001) and tried to refine the existing reconstructions, which describe Armorica as an individual continent during the Late Silurian and Devonian (e.g. Lewandowski, 2003, Winchester, 2002). Our plate tectonic model depict that these small blocks were scattered along the northern margin of Gondwana, where they formed the "Armorican Spour" as suggested by Kroner and Romer (2013). The seaways were present between blocks. Because of the north dipping subduction zone along the southern margin of the Laurussia continent the back-arc basin and island arc were formed. The narrowing of the Rheic ocean led to the complicated collision of Gondwana and Laurussia. Three main stages of this event can be distinguished: (1) collision of the Armorican Spour with the Laurussian island arc, (2) back-arc basin closure, (3) final Gondwana and Laurussian collision. Those stages correlate well with Variscan Subduction Zone System proposed by Kroner and Romer (2013). Interactive modeling performed in GPlates, shows that the presented model is valid from kinematic and geometrical point of view. Kroner U., Romer R., L., 2013, Two plates - many subduction zones: the Variscan orogeny reconsidered. Gondwana Research, 24: 298-329. Lewandowski M., 2003, Assembly of Pangea: Combined paleomagnetic and paleoclimatic approach, Advances in Geophysics, 46: 199-236 Matte P., 2001, The Variscan collage and orogeny (480 290 Ma) and the tectonic definition of the Armorica microplate: a review. Terra Nova, 13: 122C128. Winchester J., A., The Pace TMR Network Team, 2002, Palaeozoic amalgamation of Central Europe: new results from recent geological and geophysical investigations, Tectonophysics, 360: 5-21

Golonka, Jan; Barmuta, Jan; Barmuta, Maria

2014-05-01

138

Plate tectonics and the Gulf of California region  

SciTech Connect

The geology and tectonism of California have been influenced greatly by the collision and interaction between the Pacific plate and the North American plate. The forces generated by this interaction caused substantial horizontal movement along the San Andreas fault system and created the Gulf of California rift zone. This article summarizes the unique features of the gulf, describes the theory of plate tectonics, explains how tectonism may have affected the geologic evolution and physiography of the gulf, and illustrates the process by which the Colorado River became linked to the gulf.

Schmidt, N.

1990-11-01

139

Earthquakes Living Lab: The Theory of Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students gather evidence to explain the theory of plate tectonics. Using the online resources at the Earthquakes Living Lab, students examine information and gather evidence supporting the theory. They also look at how volcanoes and earthquakes are explained by tectonic plate movement, and how engineers use this information. Working in pairs, students think like engineers and connect what they understand about the theory of plate tectonics to the design of structures for earthquake-resistance. A worksheet serves as a student guide for the activity.

Civil And Environmental Engineering Department

140

Can Earth's rotation and tidal despinning drive plate tectonics?  

Microsoft Academic Search

We re-evaluate the possibility that Earth's rotation contributes to plate tectonics on the basis of the following observations: 1) plates move along a westerly polarized flow that forms an angle relative to the equator close to the revolution plane of the Moon; 2) plate boundaries are asymmetric, being their geographic polarity the first order controlling parameter; unlike recent analysis, the

Federica Riguzzi; Giuliano Panza; Peter Varga; Carlo Doglioni

2010-01-01

141

Seismic gaps and plate tectonics: Seismic potential for major boundaries  

Microsoft Academic Search

The theory of plate tectonics provides a basic framework for evaluating the potential for future great earthquakes to occur along major plate boundaries. Along most of the transform and convergent plate boundaries considered in this paper, the majority of seismic slip occurs during large earthquakes, i.e., those of magnitude 7 or greater. The concepts that rupture zones, as delineated by

W. R. McCann; S. P. Nishenko; L. R. Sykes; J. Krause

1979-01-01

142

The Uncertainties of Finite Rotations in Plate Tectonics  

Microsoft Academic Search

During the past decade the hypothesis of plate tectonics has successfully explained many of the features of the upper layer of the earth. This hypothesis states that the strong outer layer of the earth is composed of a small number of large rigid plates. It is the interaction of these rigid plates at their boundaries that accounts for most of

S. J. Hellinger

1981-01-01

143

Plate tectonic evolution of circum-Antarctic passive margins  

SciTech Connect

Passive margins that formed during the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous account for approximately 80% of the 15,000-km circumference of Antarctica. There are no passive margins younger than Late Cretaceous. Approximately 28% of these margins are Late Jurassic in age, 24% are Early Cretaceous in age, and the remaining 48% formed during the Late Cretaceous. The tectonic style of the rifting events that formed these margins varies considerably along the perimeter of Antarctica. In several areas the initiation of sea-floor spreading was preceded by a long period of extension and predrift stretching (Wilkes Land). Along other portions of the margin, rifting proceeded rapidly with little evidence for a lengthy phase of pre-drift extension (Queen Maud Land). Though extension is the dominant tectonic style, there is evidence for large-scale strike-slip movement associated with the early phases of continental breakup along the coasts of Crown Princess Martha Land and Victoria Land. Except for a short segment of the margin between the West Antarctic peninsula and Marie Byrdland, the Antarctic passive margins have not been affected by subsequent subduction-related compressive deformation. This presentation will review the plate tectonic evolution of the Circum-Antarctic passive margins during five time intervals: Early Jurassic, Late Jurassic, Early Cretaceous, mid-Cretaceous, and latest Cretaceous. A map illustrating the relative amounts of extension along the margin of Antarctica will be presented, and a computer animation illustrating the breakup of Gondwana from an Antarctic perspective will be shown.

Scotese, C.R.; Lawver, L.A.; Sclater, J.G.; Mayes, C.L.; Norton, I.; Royer, J.

1987-05-01

144

Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapter: Evidence for Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

DATA: Sea Floor Age, Volcano and Earthquake Distributions. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Identify relationships among sea-floor age, earthquakes, and volcanoes to understand how they support the theory of plate tectonics.

David Smith

145

On volcanism and thermal tectonics on one-plate planets  

Microsoft Academic Search

For planets with a single global lithospheric shell or 'plate', the thermal evolution of the interior affects the surface geologic history through volumetric expansion and the resultant thermal stress. Interior warming of such planets gives rise to extensional tectonics and a lithospheric stress system conductive to widespread volcanism. Interior cooling leads to compressional tectonics and lithospheric stresses that act to

S. C. Soloman

1978-01-01

146

An Introduction to the ABCs of Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This introduction to plate tectonics covers plates and boundaries, subduction zones, colliding continents, plumes, and earthquakes. There is also more advanced material on buoyancy, floating continents, and rates of isostasy; sedimentation, continental growth, rifts and creation of continental margins, passive and active margins, and island arcs and back-arc basins; continental collision, folding of sedimentary layers, and collision of cratons; and the mechanism of plate tectonics including convective mantles, convection models, distribution of plumes, plume driven convection, plate rifting models, and triple junctions.

Blanchard, Donald

147

On the breakup of tectonic plates by polar wandering  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The equations for the stresses in a homogeneous shell of uniform thickness caused by a shift of the axis of rotation are derived. The magnitude of these stresses reaches a maximum value of the order of 10 to the 9th power dyn/sq cm, which is sufficient for explaining a tectonic breakup. In order to deduce the fracture pattern according to which the breakup of tectonic plates can be expected the theory of plastic deformation of shells is applied. The analysis of this pattern gives an explanation of the existing boundary systems of the major tectonic plates as described by Morgan (1968), LePichon (1968) and Isacks et al. (1968).

Liu, H.-S.

1974-01-01

148

On volcanism and thermal tectonics on one-plate planets  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

For planets with a single global lithospheric shell or 'plate', the thermal evolution of the interior affects the surface geologic history through volumetric expansion and the resultant thermal stress. Interior warming of such planets gives rise to extensional tectonics and a lithospheric stress system conductive to widespread volcanism. Interior cooling leads to compressional tectonics and lithospheric stresses that act to shut off surface volcanism. On the basis of observed surface tectonics, it is concluded that the age of peak planetary volume, the degree of early heating, and the age of youngest major volcanism on the one-plate terrestrial planets likely decrease in the order Mercury, Moon, Mars.

Solomon, S. C.

1978-01-01

149

Measuring electrical resistivity to interpret tectonic plate coupling  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The coupling of tectonic platesthe degree to which the plates are locked together or free to moveis controlled by factors ranging from temperature and pressure to the shear stress between the plates as well as the shape of the interface between the plates. At subduction margins, GPS observations can be used to identify places where the subducting plates are locked or unlocked. At the Hikurangi margin, a subduction zone that runs north to south off New Zealand's eastern coast, a strong longitudinal gradient in plate coupling is present that is unexplained by any of the familiar factors.

Schultz, Colin

2013-12-01

150

GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL, 133, 379389, 1998 1 A continuous plate-tectonic model using geophysical data  

E-print Network

GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL, 133, 379­389, 1998 1 A continuous plate-tectonic model using kinetic energy in the continuous plate model. Short title: The continuous model of plate tectonics Keywords: Plate-tectonics; plate boundaries; intraplate deformation, toroidal-poloidal partitioning. 1 Now

151

Inferences of mantle viscosity from tectonic plate velocities  

Microsoft Academic Search

The present-day velocities of the earth's tectonic plates provide direct constraints on the absolute value of the mantle viscosity. This paper presents the results of a formal inversion of plate motion data and demonstrates its utility in constraining the depth variation of absolute viscosity.

A. M. Forte; A. M. Dziewonski; W. R. Peltier

1991-01-01

152

Computational methods for calculating geometric parameters of tectonic plates  

Microsoft Academic Search

Present day and ancient plate tectonic configurations can be modelled in terms of non-overlapping polygonal regions, separated by plate boundaries, on the unit sphere. The computational methods described in this article allow an evaluation of the area and the inertial tensor components of a polygonal region on the unit sphere, as well as an estimation of the associated errors. These

Antonio Schettino

1999-01-01

153

Inferences of mantle viscosity from tectonic plate velocities  

Microsoft Academic Search

The present-day velocities of the Earth's tectonic plates provide direct constraints on the absolute value of the mantle viscosity. We present the results of a formal inversion of plate motion data and demonstrate its utility in constraining the depth variation of absolute viscosity.

A. M. Forte; W. R. Peltier; A. M. Dziewonski

1991-01-01

154

Optimal Planet Properties For Plate Tectonics Through Time And Space  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Both the time and the location of planet formation shape a rocky planets mass, interior composition and structure, and hence also its tectonic mode. The tectonic mode of a planet can vary between two end-member solutions, plate tectonics and stagnant lid convection, and does significantly impact outgassing and biogeochemical cycles on any rocky planet. Therefore, estimating how the tectonic mode of a planet is affected by a planets age, mass, structure, and composition is a major step towards understanding habitability of exoplanets and geophysical false positives to biosignature gases. We connect geophysics to astronomy in order to understand how we could identify and where we could find planet candidates with optimal conditions for plate tectonics. To achieve this goal, we use thermal evolution models, account for the current wide range of uncertainties, and simulate various alien planets. Based on our best model estimates, we predict that the ideal targets for plate tectonics are oxygen-dominated (C/O<1) (solar system like) rocky planets of ~1 Earth mass with surface oceans, large metallic cores super-Mercury, rocky body densities of ~7000kgm-3), and with small mantle concentrations of iron 0%), water 0%), and radiogenic isotopes 10 times less than Earth). Super-Earths, undifferentiated planets, and especially hypothetical carbon planets, speculated to consist of SiC and C, are not optimal for the occurrence of plate tectonics. These results put Earth close to an ideal compositional and structural configuration for plate tectonics. Moreover, the results indicate that plate tectonics might have never existed on planets formed soon after the Big Bangbut instead is favored on planets formed from an evolved interstellar medium enriched in iron but depleted in silicon, oxygen, and especially in Th, K, and U relative to iron. This possibly sets a belated Galactic start for complex Earth-like surface life if plate tectonics significantly impacts the build up and regulation of gases relevant for life. This allows for the first time to discuss the tectonic mode of a rocky planet from a practical astrophysical perspective.

Stamenkovic, Vlada; Seager, Sara

2014-11-01

155

Organization of the tectonic plates in the last 200 Myr Gabriele Morra a,n  

E-print Network

Organization of the tectonic plates in the last 200 Myr Gabriele Morra a,n , Maria Seton b reconstructions global geodynamics plate size top­down tectonics mantle convection bottom­up tectonics a b s t r a c t The present tessellation of the Earth's surface into tectonic plates displays a remarkably

Müller, Dietmar

156

Growth of the hemispheric dichotomy and the cessation of plate tectonics on Mars  

E-print Network

Growth of the hemispheric dichotomy and the cessation of plate tectonics on Mars A. Lenardic 2004. [1] Although Mars is currently not tectonically active, it may have experienced plate tectonics for the Earth predict that it should operate in the plate tectonic regime now but that it may have experienced

Nimmo, Francis

157

Plate tectonic modelling: virtual reality with GMAPp Trond Helge Torsvika, b,  

E-print Network

Plate tectonic modelling: virtual reality with GMAPp Trond Helge Torsvika, b, *, Mark Andrew an integral part of global tectonic research since the advent of the plate tectonic paradigm, and GMAP with the generation of palaeogeographic reconstructions and plate tectonic modelling. GMAP is menu-driven and easy

Torsvik, Trond Helge

158

Is plate tectonics a case of non-extensive thermodynamics?  

Microsoft Academic Search

Bird (2003) [5] proposed that the distribution of areas of the tectonic plates follows a power law and that this distribution fitted well with the concepts of a few major plates and a hierarchical self-similar organization of blocks at the boundary scale, a fractal plate distribution and a self-organized system. Here we apply the concepts of non-extensive statistical mechanics (NESM)

Filippos Vallianatos; Peter Sammonds

2010-01-01

159

Spherical shell models of mantle convection with tectonic plates  

Microsoft Academic Search

A simple three-dimensional spherical model of mantle convection, where plates are taken into account in the top boundary condition, allows to investigate the plate tectonicsmantle convection coupling in a self-consistent way. Avoiding the strong difficulties inherent in the numerical treatment of rheology, the plate condition appears efficient in reproducing the Earth-like features as subduction, mid-oceanic ridges and hotspots. Whereas the

Marc Monnereau; Sandrine Qur

2001-01-01

160

Your Mission: To become familiar with the major plate boundaries through exploration of plate tectonic features using Google Earth.  

E-print Network

boundaries through exploration of plate tectonic features using Google Earth. Your Supplies: (1) A computer with internet access and the Google Earth program of Earth's tectonic plates using Google Earth. To do this, login

Smith-Konter, Bridget

161

Plate-tectonic evolution of the western U.S.A.  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Changing interactions of lithospheric plates provide the framework for this review of the 3100 m.y. geological history of some 3 million km2 of mountains, deserts, plateaux and plains. The Precambrian to Neogene development of the western U.S.A. is outlined in terms of plate collisions, subduction events and deformation of lithospheric slabs, with some interpretations based on SE Asia and other regions of complex tectonics.-R.A.H.

Hamilton, W.

1987-01-01

162

Archean magmatism and deformation were not products of plate tectonics  

Microsoft Academic Search

The granite-and-greenstone terrains that dominate upper crust formed from about 3.6 to about 2.6 Ga, and record magmatic and tectonic processes very different from those of a younger time. They indicate heat loss by the Archean Earth primarily by voluminous magmatism from a mantle much hotter than that of the present. Plate-tectonic processes were not then operating. The distinctive array

Warren B. Hamilton

1998-01-01

163

Tectonic stresses in the African plate: Constraints on the ambient lithospheric stress state  

E-print Network

Tectonic stresses in the African plate: Constraints on the ambient lithospheric stress state David. Predicted tectonic stresses in the oceanic regions of the African plate range from tension along the mid surrounded by mid-ocean ridges. Thus, of Earth's tectonic plates, these two plates can be expected to best

Sandiford, Mike

164

Plate Tectonics as a Far-From-Equilibrium Self-Organized System Don L. Anderson  

E-print Network

Plate Tectonics as a Far- From- Equilibrium Self-Organized System By Don L. Anderson Word Count: 3 and other forces at the top. Plate tectonics was once regarded as passive motion of plates on top of mantle convection cells but it now appears that continents and plate tectonics organize the flow in the mantle

Anderson, Don L.

165

Mantle convection models featuring plate tectonic behaviour: an overview of methods  

E-print Network

convection models featuring plate tectonic behaviour: an overview of methods and progress Julian P. Lowman ,1 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 Abstract Arguably, the presence of plate-tectonic-type surface observations of plate tectonics as well as how the plates and deep mantle interact. Fledgling studies

Wells, Mathew G. - Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto

166

The influence of tectonic plates on mantle convection patterns, temperature and heat flow  

E-print Network

The influence of tectonic plates on mantle convection patterns, temperature and heat flow Julian P, mantle, plate tectonics. 1 I N T R O D U C T I O N Calculations based on boundary layer theory by the geometry of tectonic plates. In comparison with a small plate, less heat per unit area must be lost through

Gable, Carl W.

167

Author's personal copy Plate tectonics and net lithosphere rotation over the past 150 My  

E-print Network

Author's personal copy Plate tectonics and net lithosphere rotation over the past 150 My Trond H online 27 January 2010 Editor: Y. Ricard Keywords: plate tectonics global digital palaeo-plate boundaries (Wegener 1915) into Sea-Floor Spreading (Hess 1962) and to the theory of Plate Tectonics (Wilson, 1966, Mc

Torsvik, Trond Helge

168

Caribbean tectonics and relative plate motions  

Microsoft Academic Search

During the last century, three different ways of interpreting the tectonic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean have been proposed, taking into account the Bailey Willis School of a permanent pre-Jurassic deep sea basin, the Edward Suess School of a subsided continental terrain, and the Alfred Wegener School of continental separation. The present investigation is concerned with

K. Burke; J. F. Dewey; C. Cooper; P. Mann; J. L. Pindell

1984-01-01

169

Tectonic plate motions derived from Lageos  

Microsoft Academic Search

Five years of laser data (1984-88) between the Lageos satellite and the ground station network based on precise monthly computations of the Lageos satellite are analyzed to recover tectonic motions affecting the stations. A global inversion over this period provides solutions for absolute velocities in latitude and longitude of a selected subset of 14 stations. Relative horizontal velocities are derived

R. Biancale; A. Cazenave; K. Dominh

1991-01-01

170

Recent tectonic plate decelerations driven by mantle convection  

Microsoft Academic Search

We explore recent changes in tectonic plate velocities using a model of mantle flow that is based on a new high-resolution global tomography model derived from simultaneous inversions of global seismic, geodynamic and mineral physical data sets. This plate-coupled mantle convection model incorporates a viscosity structure that reconciles both glacial isostatic adjustment and global convection-related data sets. The convection model

A. M. Forte; R. Moucha; D. B. Rowley; S. Qur; J. X. Mitrovica; N. A. Simmons; S. P. Grand

2009-01-01

171

Catastrophic plate tectonics: A global Flood model of earth history  

E-print Network

In 1859 Antonio Snider proposed that rapid, horizontal divergence of crustal plates occurred during Noahs Flood. Modern plate tectonics theory is now conflated with assumptions of uniformity of rate and ideas of continental drift. Catastrophic plate tectonics theories, such as Snider proposed more than a century ago, appear capable of explaining a wide variety of dataincluding biblical and geologic data which the slow tectonics theories are incapable of explaining. We would like to propose a catastrophic plate tectonics theory as a framework for Earth history. Geophysically, we begin with a pre-Flood earth differentiated into core, mantle, and crust, with the crust horizontally differentiated into sialic craton and mafic ocean floor. The Flood was initiated as slabs of oceanic floor broke loose and subducted along thousands of kilometers of pre-Flood continental margins. Deformation of the mantle by these slabs raised the temperature and lowered the viscosity of the mantle in the vicinity of the slabs. A resulting thermal runaway of the slabs through the mantle led to meters-per-second mantle convection. Cool oceanic crust which descended to the core/mantle boundary induced rapid reversals of the earths magnetic field. Large plumes originating near the core/mantle boundary expressed themselves at the surface as fissure eruptions and flood basalts. Flow

Steven A. Austin; John R. Baumgardner; D. Russell Humphreys; Andrew A. Snelling; Larry Vardiman Phd; Kurt P. Wise

1994-01-01

172

A new compilation of plate tectonics in the Indian Ocean  

Microsoft Academic Search

A new compilation of plate tectonics in the Indian Ocean is presented. It is based on a synthesis of all magnetic anomaly interpretations and on the identifications of fracture zone in the most recent satellite gravity data. We detail the development of the Indian Ocean by 12 phases. The analysis solves all the problems of gaps and overlaps between the

M. Munschy; A. Bernard; Y. Rotstein; P. Ravaut

2003-01-01

173

On the Breakup of Tectonic Plates by Polar Wandering  

Microsoft Academic Search

The observed boundary system of the major tectonic plates on the surface of the earth lends fresh sup- port to the hypothesis of polar wandering. In this paper a dynamic model of the outer shell of the earth under the influence of polar shift is developed. The analysis falls into tw o parts: (1) deriving equations for stresses caused by

Han-Shou Liu

1974-01-01

174

Plate Tectonism on Early Mars: Diverse Geological and Geophysical Evidence  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Mars has been modified by endogenic and exogenic processes similar in many ways to Earth. However, evidence of Mars embryonic development is preserved because of low erosion rates and stagnant lid convective conditions since the Late Noachian. Early plate tectonism can explain such evidence. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

Dohm, J. M.; Maruyama, S.; Baker, V. R.; Anderson, R. C.; Ferris, Justin C.; Hare, Trent M.

2002-01-01

175

The ERESE Project: Modeling Inquiry-Based Plate Tectonic Lessons  

Microsoft Academic Search

The Enduring Resources for Earth Science Education (ERESE) project is a collaborative effort between earth scientists, educators, librarians and data archive managers. Its goal is to develop and maintain a persistent online research and education archive in a digital library environment that supports earth science education in plate tectonics. A key to the library's effectiveness as an educational tool is

C. M. Symons; M. Helly; J. Helly; S. P. Miller; H. Staudigel; A. Koppers

2004-01-01

176

Intraplate Stress as an Indicator of Plate Tectonic Driving Forces  

Microsoft Academic Search

To test driving force models for plate tectonics, the global intraplate stress fields predicted by various force systems are compared with the long-wavelength features of the observed stress field as determined by midplate earthquake mechanisms, in situ measurements, and stress-induced geolo, gic structures. The calculated stresses are obtained by a finite difference solution to the equilibriumequations for thin elastic spherical

Randall M. Richardson; Sean C. Solomon; Norman H. Sleep

1976-01-01

177

Plate Tectonism on Early Mars: Diverse Geological and Geophysical Evidence  

Microsoft Academic Search

Mars has been modified by endogenic and exogenic processes similar in many ways to Earth. However, evidence of Mars' embryonic development is preserved because of low erosion rates and stagnant lid convective conditions since the Late Noachian. Early plate tectonism can explain such evidence.

J. M. Dohm; S. Maruyama; V. R. Baker; R. C. Anderson; J. C. Ferris; T. M. Hare

2002-01-01

178

Integrating Seismological and Tectonic Studies to Constrain Lithospheric Evolution at Complex Plate Boundaries.  

E-print Network

??The relative motion of tectonic plates across their boundaries generates deformation in the surrounding lithosphere. How this deformation is expressed reflects both present-day plate configurations (more)

Hayes, Gavin

2007-01-01

179

Inversion for the driving forces of plate tectonics  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Inverse modeling techniques have been applied to the problem of determining the roles of various forces that may drive and resist plate tectonic motions. Separate linear inverse problems have been solved to find the best fitting pole of rotation for finite element grid point velocities and to find the best combination of force models to fit the observed relative plate velocities for the earth's twelve major plates using the generalized inverse operator. Variance-covariance data on plate motion have also been included. Results emphasize the relative importance of ridge push forces in the driving mechanism. Convergent margin forces are smaller by at least a factor of two, and perhaps by as much as a factor of twenty. Slab pull, apparently, is poorly transmitted to the surface plate as a driving force. Drag forces at the base of the plate are smaller than ridge push forces, although the sign of the force remains in question.

Richardson, R. M.

1983-01-01

180

Numerical modelling of instantaneous plate tectonics  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Assuming lithospheric plates to be rigid, 68 spreading rates, 62 fracture zones trends, and 106 earthquake slip vectors are systematically inverted to obtain a self-consistent model of instantaneous relative motions for eleven major plates. The inverse problem is linearized and solved iteratively by a maximum-likelihood procedure. Because the uncertainties in the data are small, Gaussian statistics are shown to be adequate. The use of a linear theory permits (1) the calculation of the uncertainties in the various angular velocity vectors caused by uncertainties in the data, and (2) quantitative examination of the distribution of information within the data set. The existence of a self-consistent model satisfying all the data is strong justification of the rigid plate assumption. Slow movement between North and South America is shown to be resolvable.

Minster, J. B.; Haines, E.; Jordan, T. H.; Molnar, P.

1974-01-01

181

Self-consistent generation of tectonic plates in time-dependent, three-dimensional mantle  

E-print Network

Self-consistent generation of tectonic plates in time-dependent, three-dimensional mantle, some of which display an approximation of plate tectonic behavior that is continuous in space and time dependence than three-dimensional models. Keywords: Mantle convection; plate tectonics; rheology; lithosphere

Tackley, Paul J.

182

The problem of fitting of the zero-range model of the tectonic plate under  

E-print Network

The problem of fitting of the zero-range model of the tectonic plate under a localized boundary of fitting of the zero-range model of the tectonic plate under the boundary stress based on comparison on the boundary of the tectonic plate and estimate the risk of a powerful earthquake at this zone. Key-words Thin

183

The Quest for Self-Consistent Generation of Plate Tectonics in Mantle Convection Models  

E-print Network

The Quest for Self-Consistent Generation of Plate Tectonics in Mantle Convection Models Paul J. Tackley Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles Plate tectonics do not exhibit plate tectonic behavior unless it is imposed by the modeler. This paper explores

Tackley, Paul J.

184

Mechanisms for the generation of plate tectonics by two-phase grain-damage and pinning  

E-print Network

Mechanisms for the generation of plate tectonics by two-phase grain-damage and pinning David localization in the lithosphere are essential ingredients for understanding how and whether plate tectonics tectonics on Earth and other planets. Keywords: Keywords: Plate generation; mantle convection; damage

185

Can Earth's rotation and tidal despinning drive plate tectonics? Federica Riguzzi a,c,  

E-print Network

Can Earth's rotation and tidal despinning drive plate tectonics? Federica Riguzzi a,c, , Giuliano January 2009 Accepted 10 June 2009 Available online xxxx Keywords: Plate tectonics Earth's rotation Tidal tectonics on the basis of the following observations: 1) plates move along a westerly polarized flow

Doglioni, Carlo

186

Recent tectonic plate decelerations driven by mantle convection A. M. Forte,1  

E-print Network

Recent tectonic plate decelerations driven by mantle convection A. M. Forte,1 R. Moucha,1 D. B in tectonic plate velocities using a model of mantle flow that is based on a new high- resolution global of these predicted plate decelerations using space geodetic and oceanic magnetic anomaly constraints on tectonic

Long, Bernard

187

Mechanisms for the generation of plate tectonics by two-phase grain-damage and pinning  

E-print Network

Mechanisms for the generation of plate tectonics by two-phase grain-damage and pinning David for understanding how and whether plate tectonics is generated from mantle convection on terrestrial planets. We therefore provides a key ingredient and predictive theory for the generation of plate tectonics on Earth

188

Science to understand our land: terranes, tectonic plates and how BC came to be  

E-print Network

Science to understand our land: terranes, tectonic plates and how BC came to be What's it about the land we call BC came to be. The science is about tectonic plates and pieces of land from elsewhere the tectonic plates interact in the western part of North America and offshore. 3. But how did the bits of land

Pedersen, Tom

189

Scaling of plate-tectonic convection with pseudoplastic rheology  

E-print Network

The scaling of plate-tectonic convection is investigated by simulating thermal convection with pseudoplastic rheology and strongly temperature-dependent viscosity. The effect of mantle melting is also explored with additional depth-dependent viscosity. Heat-flow scaling can be constructed with only two parameters, the internal Rayleigh number and the lithospheric viscosity contrast, the latter of which is determined entirely by rheological properties. The critical viscosity contrast for the transition between plate-tectonic and stagnant-lid convection is found to be proportional to the square root of the internal Rayleigh number. The relation between mantle temperature and surface heat flux on Earth is discussed on the basis of these scaling laws, and the inverse relationship between them, as previously suggested from the consideration of global energy balance, is confirmed by this fully dynamic approach. In the presence of surface water to reduce the effective friction coefficient, the operation of plate tec...

Korenaga, Jun

2010-01-01

190

Background events in microchannel plates  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Measurements have been made to assess the characteristics and origins of background events in microchannel plates (MCPs). An overall background rate of about 0.4 events/sq cm persec has been achieved consistently for MCPs that have been baked and scrubbed. The temperature and gain of the MCPs are found to have no significant effect on the background rate. Detection of 1.46-MeV gamma rays from the MCP glass confirms the presence of K-40, with a concentration of 0.0007 percent, in MCP glass. It is shown that beta decay from K-40 is sufficient to cause the background rate and spectrum observed. Anticoincidence measurements indicate the the background rate caused by cosmic ray interactions is small (less than 0.016 events/sq cm per sec).

Siegmund, O. H. W.; Vallerga, J.; Wargelin, B.

1988-01-01

191

Punctuated equilibria plate tectonics and exploration strategies: Examples from Australia and South America  

SciTech Connect

Understanding the interplay between plate tectonic events, subsidence, flexure, and depositional systems is critical to successful exploration, play concept development, and maturation modelling in frontier exploration. Conventional exploration techniques (seismic/well log mapping, geohistory, geophysical, and forward modelling) are used to quantitatively describe the stratigraphic packages observed in basins, but the driving force creating and destroying the packages has typically been qualitatively described as subsidence/uplift events. In order to predict depositional systems patterns, the driving force of these events must be more quantitatively understood. We observe that the tectonic history of plates is characterized by long periods of fairly constant motion interrupted by short events of re- organization ([open quotes]punctuated equilibria[close quotes]). We also observe that these events are usually regional in nature and cause changes in regional subsidence patterns. Furthermore, these changes cause changes in major depositional system locations and characteristics. Analysis of-the plate tectonic history of motion predicts times of quiescence and times of rapid change in basin stratigraphy and therefore produce more effective exploration strategies. We have performed integrated sequence stratigraphic analysis in three basins (Barrow/Dampier, Otway, Santos-Pelotas), on two widely displaced continents (Australia and South America), spanning the Cretaceous Period. Although the tectonic histories are different, each basin responds to its tectonic history in a similar fashion: slow (or negative) subsidence diminishes volume and recognizability of transgressive and highstand systems tract and increases the volume and recognizability of lowstand systems tracts. The alternate case (rapid subsidence) produces the alternate result.

Ross, M.I.; Abreu, V.; Vail, P.R. (Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States))

1996-01-01

192

Punctuated equilibria plate tectonics and exploration strategies: Examples from Australia and South America  

SciTech Connect

Understanding the interplay between plate tectonic events, subsidence, flexure, and depositional systems is critical to successful exploration, play concept development, and maturation modelling in frontier exploration. Conventional exploration techniques (seismic/well log mapping, geohistory, geophysical, and forward modelling) are used to quantitatively describe the stratigraphic packages observed in basins, but the driving force creating and destroying the packages has typically been qualitatively described as subsidence/uplift events. In order to predict depositional systems patterns, the driving force of these events must be more quantitatively understood. We observe that the tectonic history of plates is characterized by long periods of fairly constant motion interrupted by short events of re- organization ({open_quotes}punctuated equilibria{close_quotes}). We also observe that these events are usually regional in nature and cause changes in regional subsidence patterns. Furthermore, these changes cause changes in major depositional system locations and characteristics. Analysis of-the plate tectonic history of motion predicts times of quiescence and times of rapid change in basin stratigraphy and therefore produce more effective exploration strategies. We have performed integrated sequence stratigraphic analysis in three basins (Barrow/Dampier, Otway, Santos-Pelotas), on two widely displaced continents (Australia and South America), spanning the Cretaceous Period. Although the tectonic histories are different, each basin responds to its tectonic history in a similar fashion: slow (or negative) subsidence diminishes volume and recognizability of transgressive and highstand systems tract and increases the volume and recognizability of lowstand systems tracts. The alternate case (rapid subsidence) produces the alternate result.

Ross, M.I.; Abreu, V.; Vail, P.R. [Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States)

1996-12-31

193

Tectonic and Plate Tectonic Units at the North Gondwana Margin: Evidence from the Central European Variscides  

Microsoft Academic Search

In Middle Devonian time, the following plate-tectonic units can be recognized in the Variscides of Central Europe: ? Old Red Continent, consisting of Laurentia + Baltica + Avalonia, with a Silurian arc (resulting from the closure of the Rheic ocean) and stranded Armorican fragments accreted to its southern margin. ? Rhenohercynian narrow ocean ? Saxothuringian terrane or terrane(s) (basement

WOLFGANG FRANKE

194

Mercury Degassing on Africa-Adriatic Tectonic Plate Margin  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Beside anthropogenic influences, mercury in the environment can also be of natural origin. Among geologic sources, volcanic activity has been of main interest so far. Modern estimations of global natural emissions are between 2000 and 5200 tonnes per year. However, these estimates are very uncertain, thus more detailed and systematic research on natural sources of mercury is necessary. Tectonic activity is connected to certain phenomena such as degassing of Hg and other gases from active faults, geothermal activity, volcanoes, etc., especially on tectonic plate margins. Elemental mercury concentrations in air, soil gases and fluxes, as well as its speciation, in connection to tectonic activity, were studied in different environments such are karst cave (Postojna Cave), active volcano areas (Mt. Etna, Italy), and active tectonic areas in the Mediterranean Basin on Africa-Adriatic tectonic plate margin. Postojna Cave is characterized by elevated Hg (up to 150 ng m-3) air concentrations at certain areas in vicinity of active faults; however the concentrations showed also strong seasonal variations. Mt. Etna on Sicily is the largest and most active Mediterranean volcano. Concentrations of mercury in air in the vicinity of the volcano are relatively high (between 4 and 30 ng m-3) and rise towards the summit crater (65 to 130 ng m-3). Concentrations in sulphatare and fumaroles gases on the summit of the volcano can reach very high values (even up to 60 ?g m-3). The Mediterranean Basin is characterized by strong tectonic activity as a consequence of subduction of African plate under the Eurasian plate. A possible source of DGM (dissolved gaseous mercury in sea water) in deeper and bottom waters could be intensive tectonic activity of the seafloor, since higher concentrations and portions of DGM were found near the bottom at locations with strong tectonic activity (Alboran Sea, Strait of Sicily, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea). Distribution of different mercury species in sediment and water of the Mediterranean Sea showed that the main source of mercury is geotectonic activity and its accompanying phenomena.

Kotnik, J.; Giammanco, S.; Horvat, M.; Fajon, V.

2009-12-01

195

Creep of phyllosilicates at the onset of plate tectonics  

SciTech Connect

Plate tectonics is the unifying paradigm of geodynamics yet the mechanisms and causes of its initiation remain controversial. Some models suggest that plate tectonics initiates when the strength of lithosphere is lower than 20-200 MPa, below the frictional strength of lithospheric rocks (>700 MPa). At present-day, major plate boundaries such as the subduction interface, transform faults, and extensional faults at mid-oceanic ridge core complexes indicate a transition from brittle behaviour to stable sliding at depths between 10 and 40 km, in association with water-rock interactions forming phyllosilicates. We explored the rheological behaviour of lizardite, an archetypal phyllosilicate of the serpentine group formed in oceanic and subduction contexts, and its potential influence on weakening of the lithospheric faults and shear zones. High-pressure deformation experiments were carried out on polycrystalline lizardite - the low temperature serpentine variety - using a D-DIA apparatus at a variety of pressure and temperature conditions from 1 to 8 GPa and 150 to 400 C and for strain rates between 10{sup -4} and 10{sup -6} s{sup -1}. Recovered samples show plastic deformation features and no evidence of brittle failure. Lizardite has a large rheological anisotropy, comparable to that observed in the micas. Mechanical results and first-principles calculations confirmed easy gliding on lizardite basal plane and show that the flow stress of phyllosilicate is in the range of the critical value of 20-200 MPa down to depths of about 200 km. Thus, foliated serpentine or chlorite-bearing rocks are sufficiently weak to account for plate tectonics initiation, aseismic sliding on the subduction interface below the seismogenic zone, and weakening of the oceanic lithosphere along hydrothermally altered fault zones. Serpentinisation easing the deformation of the early crust and shallow mantle reinforces the idea of a close link between the occurrence of plate tectonics and water at the surface of the Earth.

Amiguet, Elodie; Reynard, Bruno; Caracas, Razvan; Van de Moortele, Bertrand; Hilairet, Nadege; Wang, Yanbin (ENSL); (UC)

2012-10-24

196

A seismic reflection image for the base of a tectonic plate.  

PubMed

Plate tectonics successfully describes the surface of Earth as a mosaic of moving lithospheric plates. But it is not clear what happens at the base of the plates, the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). The LAB has been well imaged with converted teleseismic waves, whose 10-40-kilometre wavelength controls the structural resolution. Here we use explosion-generated seismic waves (of about 0.5-kilometre wavelength) to form a high-resolution image for the base of an oceanic plate that is subducting beneath North Island, New Zealand. Our 80-kilometre-wide image is based on P-wave reflections and shows an approximately 15 dipping, abrupt, seismic wave-speed transition (less than 1kilometre thick) at a depth of about 100kilometres. The boundary is parallel to the top of the plate and seismic attributes indicate a P-wave speed decrease of at least 83 per cent across it. A parallel reflection event approximately 10kilometres deeper shows that the decrease in P-wave speed is confined to a channel at the base of the plate, which we interpret as a sheared zone of ponded partial melts or volatiles. This is independent, high-resolution evidence for a low-viscosity channel at the LAB that decouples plates from mantle flow beneath, and allows plate tectonics to work. PMID:25653000

Stern, T A; Henrys, S A; Okaya, D; Louie, J N; Savage, M K; Lamb, S; Sato, H; Sutherland, R; Iwasaki, T

2015-02-01

197

Senonian basin inversion and rejuvenation of rifting in Africa and Arabia: synthesis and implications to plate-scale tectonics  

Microsoft Academic Search

The late Paleozoic to Tertiary stratigraphic record of much of the African plate reflects the effects of continental rifting and passive margin development. Several short-lived, but widespread and tectonically important, compressional or wrench-dominated events occurred, however, during the Permian to Recent evolution of Africa. We focus here on the best documented of these events, which occurred during the late Santonian.

Ren Guiraud; William Bosworth

1997-01-01

198

Beyond plate tectonics - Looking at plate deformation with space geodesy  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The requirements that must be met by space-geodetic systems in order to constrain the horizontal secular motions associated with the geological deformation of the earth's surface are explored. It is suggested that in order to improve existing plate-motion models, the tangential components of relative velocities on interplate baselines must be resolved to an accuracy of less than 3 mm/yr. Results indicate that measuring the velocities between crustal blocks to + or - 5 mm/yr on 100-km to 1000-km scales can produce geologically significant constraints on the integrated deformation rates across continental plate-boundary zones such as the western United States.

Jordan, Thomas H.; Minster, J. Bernard

1988-01-01

199

Stress in the lithosphere from non-tectonic loads with implications for plate boundary processes  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Stress in the lithosphere from non-tectonic loads is calculated, making use of semi-analytic Fourier models. Sources of non-tectonic stress include coastal lithospheric bending in response to the rise in eustatic sea level since the Last Glacial Maximum, lithospheric rebound and pore pressure changes in response to the intermittent load of Ancient Lake Cahuilla in the Salton trough, stress sustained through the formation and long-term support of local short-wavelength topography, and topography created by the ejecta debris from impact craters on the surface of the icy Galilean satellites. Stresses from time varying surface water loads are calculated along major plate boundaries globally to determine to what extent, if any, these loads influence the major tectonic processes at work in plate boundary regions, such as the earthquake cycle on major faults. It is determined that the stress perturbations from these loads are generally an order of magnitude smaller than the tectonic stress accumulation rate. Their ability to noticeably affect the seismic cycle is therefore restricted to specific circumstances including when the tectonic loading rate is particularly low, such as along secondary plate boundary fault structures, when the nontectonic loading rate is particularly high, such as in the case of catastrophic flooding events, or when the fault in question is already critically stressed to a near-failure level. Stresses from local topography are calculated along the global mid-ocean ridge and along the Chilean subduction megathrust. The predicted orientations of these stresses are compared to a presumed ridge-normal and transform-strike-slip faulting regime or the focal mechanism of a single large earthquake, respectively. Quantitative constraints for the coincident tectonic stresses are subsequently established with implications for the strength of the plate boundary faults and the necessity of particular topographic and bathymetric features.

Luttrell, Karen Marie

200

Teaching Earth Dynamics: What's Wrong with Plate Tectonics Theory?  

E-print Network

Textbooks frequently extol plate tectonics theory without questioning what might be wrong with the theory or without discussing a competitive theory. How can students be taught to challenge popular ideas when they are only presented a one-sided view? In just a few pages, I describe more than a century of geodynamic ideas. I review what is wrong with plate tectonics theory and with Earth expansion theory, and describe my new Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics Theory, which unifies the two previous dominant theories in a self- consistent manner. Along the way, I disclose details of what real science is all about, details all too often absent in textbooks and classroom discussions. In these few pages, I only touch on highlights and just part the curtain a bit so that teachers might glimpse ways to bring to their students some of the richness and excitement of discovery that becomes evident when one begins to question prevailing, currently popular perceptions of our world.

Herndon, J M

2005-01-01

201

The magma ocean as an impediment to lunar plate tectonics  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The primary impediment to plate tectonics on the moon was probably the great thickness of its crust and particularly its high crust/lithosphere thickness ratio. This in turn can be attributed to the preponderance of low-density feldspar over all other Al-compatible phases in the lunar interior. During the magma ocean epoch, the moon's crust/lithosphere thickness ratio was at the maximum theoretical value, approximately 1, and it remained high for a long time afterwards. A few large regions of thin crust were produced by basin-scale cratering approximately contemporaneous with the demise of the magma ocean. However, these regions probably also tend to have uncommonly thin lithosphere, since they were directly heated and indirectly enriched in K, Th, and U by the same cratering process. Thus, plate tectonics on the moon in the form of systematic lithosphere subduction was impeded by the magma ocean.

Warren, Paul H.

1993-01-01

202

Could plate tectonics on Venus be concealed by volcanic deposits  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The present investigation is supplementary to a study reported by Kaula and Phillips (1981). From an analysis of Pioneer Venus altimetry, Kaula and Phillips had inferred that any heat loss from the planet by plate tectonics must be small compared to that from the earth. However, it has been suggested by others that plate tectonic may exist on Venus, but that the expected 'square root of s' dependence of the topographic drop off is not observed because it is concealed by lava flows. The present investigation has the objective to conduct an examination whether this suggestion of concealment by lava flow is correct. On the basis of the performed analysis, it is concluded that the results obtained by Kaula and Phillips appear to be well justified.

Kaula, W. M.; Muradian, L. M.

1982-01-01

203

Multi-Agent Modelling of Earths Dynamics: Towards a Virtual Laboratory of Plate Tectonics  

E-print Network

MACMA (Multi-Agent Convective MAntle) is a new tool developed to simulate plate tectonics and mantle convection in a 2-D cylindrical geometry (Combes et al., 2012). Evolutive plate tectonics We obtain an evolutive system where the geometry and the number of plates are not imposed but emerge naturally from the dynamics of plate tectonics. Fig. 4: Three configurations of plate tectonics obtained with the initial system shown in Fig. 1, showing the evolutive number of plates and continents. Short-term thermal and dynamical evolution

Ccile Grign; Manuel Combes; Chantal Tisseau; Sbastien Le Yaouanq; Marc Parenthon; Jacques Tisseau

204

Plate tectonics and crustal deformation around the Japanese Islands  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

We analyze over a century of geodetic data to study crustal deformation and plate motion around the Japanese Islands, using the block-fault model for crustal deformation developed by Matsu'ura et al. (1986). We model the area including the Japanese Islands with 19 crustal blocks and 104 faults based on the distribution of active faults and seismicity. Geodetic data are used to obtain block motions and average slip rates of faults. This geodetic model predicts that the Pacific plate moves N deg 69 +/- 2 deg W at about 80 +/- 3 mm/yr relative to the Eurasian plate which is much lower than that predicted in geologic models. Substantial aseismic slip occurs on the subduction boundaries. The block containing the Izu Peninsula may be separated from the rigid part of the Philippine Sea plate. The faults on the coast of Japan Sea and the western part of the Median Tectonic Line have slip rates exceeding 4 mm/yr, while the Fossa Magna does not play an important role in the tectonics of the central Japan. The geodetic model requires the division of northeastern Japan, contrary to the hypothesis that northeastern Japan is a part of the North American plate. Owing to rapid convergence, the seismic risk in the Nankai trough may be larger than that of the Tokai gap.

Hashimoto, Manabu; Jackson, David D.

1993-01-01

205

Beyond plate tectonics - Looking at plate deformation with space geodesy  

Microsoft Academic Search

The requirements that must be met by space-geodetic systems in order to constrain the horizontal secular motions associated with the geological deformation of the earth's surface are explored. It is suggested that in order to improve existing plate-motion models, the tangential components of relative velocities on interplate baselines must be resolved to an accuracy of less than 3 mm\\/yr. Results

Thomas H. Jordan; J. Bernard Minster

1988-01-01

206

Plate Tectonically Modulated Microbial Productivity as a Planetary Phenomenon  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

One of the most compelling questions in planetary science today focuses on identifying and quantifying the linkages among a host of plate-tectonic processes and microbial productivity near the seafloor and within the Earth's crust. Deformational and thermal processes that operate most intensely near plate margins and less intensely within plate interiors, result in forced fluid migration within the crust and between the crust and overlying ocean. These fluid fluxes may be steady state, episodic, or both. Whether operating at spreading centers, in mid-plate, within subduction complexes, or along transform faults the moving fluids transfer heat and chemically active organic and inorganic compounds that provide nutritional support for widespread poorly understood microbial biosphere. Oceanographers have considerable experience studying photosynthetically supported ocean productivity and its dependence on mass and energy fluxes across the air-sea interface near the top of the ocean. We are unskilled at assessing the importance of fluid-driven, plate-modulated productivity linked to mass and energy fluxes across the water-rock interface at the bottom of the ocean. Unlike the predictably distributed character of irradiance and gas-liquid exchange at the upper-ocean boundary, the input of crustally derived, chemosynthetically active compounds near the base of the ocean tends to be localized along faults, fissures, and other venting structures at a variety of scales and in patterns that cannot be predicted, but must be identified. This tectonically forced fluid-expulsion/microbial-bloom theme represents a generalizable, new class of geobiological processes that operate steadily and episodically in a seasonal rhythm attuned to plate dynamics. Understanding where, how, when, and why these features channel nutrient-laden fluids from the crust into the overlying ocean requires new approaches within the ocean sciences. Focusing on these processes at the scale of a single plate will give rise to a new class of research designed to conduct quantitative plate-scale studies of heat, chemical, and biomass fluxes within a well-defined plate-tectonic framework. Such an effort would be the basis for launching a deep-sea, long-term ecological study of plate-modulated biogeocomplexity. The local, regional, and global importance and pervasiveness of these processes on earth and on other active, water-bearing planets will be major focus of research for decades.

Delaney, J. R.

2001-12-01

207

Your Mission: (1) Investigate the relationship between tectonic plates, earthquakes, volcanoes, and other geophysical data through a computer mapping  

E-print Network

Your Mission: (1) Investigate the relationship between tectonic plates, earthquakes, volcanoes tectonic plates move. Your Supplies: (1) Earth's Tectonic Plates map handout (2) Protractor Your Task: In this lab we are going to explore the nature of Earth's tectonic plates by using a new web-based mapping

Smith-Konter, Bridget

208

Revised tectonic boundaries in the Cocos Plate off Costa Rica: Implications for the segmentation of the convergent margin and for plate tectonic models  

Microsoft Academic Search

The oceanic Cocos Plate subducting beneath Costa Rica has a complex plate tectonic history resulting in segmentation. New lines of magnetic data clearly define tectonic boundaries which separate lithosphere formed at the East Pacific Rise from lithosphere formed at the Cocos-Nazca spreading center. They also define two early phase Cocos-Nazca spreading regimes and a major propagator. In addition to these

Udo Barckhausen; Cesar R. Ranero; R. von Huene; Steven C. Cande; Hans A. Roeser

2001-01-01

209

Plate-Tectonic Setting of the Mid-Continent Rift  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The 1.1 Ga Mid-Continent Rift (MCR) in North America is often viewed as formed by isolated midplate volcanism and extension. An alternative view is suggested by analogy with younger and morphologically similar rift systems, whose plate tectonic settings are more easily understood because their surroundings - including seafloor with magnetic anomalies - have not been deformed or destroyed by subsequent collisions and rifting events. The West and Central African rifts (WCAR), a failed rift system, formed as part of the Early Cretaceous regional extension during the separation of Africa and South America. Once seafloor spreading was established along the entire margin, extension soon stopped within Africa, leaving a failed rift. Shortly afterwards, ~85-80 Ma, motion reversed on some of the normal faults of the WCAR, probably associated with compression due to the collision of Africa with Europe. While it was active, the MCR likely resembled the present East African rift system, which has been extending for about the last 30 my, with one end in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea having largely evolved to seafloor spreading, while the other has diffuse continental extension. Thus rather than viewing the MCR as an isolated, failed, extensional zone within a stable continent, it may have been part of a larger rift system formed during a short extensional phase within the ~1.3-~0.98 Ga Grenville orogeny, perhaps extending eastward of the Grenville Front. This extensional phase would have ended on the MCR before the continental collisions that produced the Grenville front, the most inland Grenville deformation. Later reverse faulting on the MCR normal faults due to compression, perhaps from collisions around Rodina's margins, would not be unexpected because the MCR would be a relatively weak intraplate zone due to higher crustal temperatures and faults. This reactivation might be similar to the Paleozoic deformation in the central US due to the collisions at the margins of North America.

Stein, C. A.; Stein, S. A.; Merino, M.; Keller, R. G.; Flesch, L. M.

2012-12-01

210

Gondwana Tales: an inquiry approach to plate tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Plate tectonics and its effects on the constitution of seas and continents are key models in science education. Fossil evidences are usually taught in demostrative key when Wegener's discoverings about Pangea are introduced. In order to introduce inquiry-based science education (IBSE) approaches to this topic, we propose "Gondwana Tales", an activity where students are asked to use fossil data to reconstruct the geologic history of an imaginary planet. Grouped in independent teams, each team is furnished with stratigraphic columns from several sites containing faunistic successions of real organisms existing in the past in Earth. Students are told to reconstruct a model of the evolution of the continents, by making calculations of relative ages of the fossils, and relating each fossil to a geologic era. The different teams have incomplete and complementary information. After a first step where they have to propose a partial model based on incomplete data, each team receives a "visitor scientist" from another team, this implying an informal scientific communication event. This process is performed several times, engaging a discussion in each team and getting a final consensus model created by the whole class. Correct answer is not given to the students, even at the end of the activity, to keep the activity under the parameters of real scientific experience, where there is not a "correct answer" to compare. Instead of this, and following the IBSE standards, a reflection on the process is proposed to students. The lack of complete information and the need to collaborate are part of classroom dynamics focused to the understanding of the process of creation of the scientific knowledge. This activity is part of the C3 Project on Creation of Scientific Knowledge that is being applied in the school.

Domnech Casal, Jordi

2014-05-01

211

Constraints on the Character of Plate Tectonics From the Study of Diffuse Plate Boundaries  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

While the main global expression of tectonics at Earth's surface is that of plate tectonics, i.e., narrow boundaries between rigid plates, a significant fraction of the lithosphere (perhaps 15% of both ocean basins and continents) is undergoing diffuse deformation. The existence of these zones of deformation (often termed ``diffuse plate boundaries'') raises the question of why the majority of deformation occurs at narrow boundaries, and how narrow boundaries may form. Study of the best characterized diffuse zone of oceanic deformation, which occurs in the equatorial Indian Ocean and may also be the best candidate for an incipient convergent plate margin, may help to elucidate these questions. The Indo-Australian composite plate comprises 3 component plates (i.e., the nondeforming portions of the composite plate) and multiple diffuse plate boundaries. We determine the general relation between the relative angular velocity between two component plates and the torque that the two component plates exert on one another across their mutual diffuse boundary. We show that the torque between the Indian and Capricorn component plates (respectively north and south of the equatorial diffuse plate boundary) is oriented far from the relative angular velocity vector between the two plates, and is subparallel to the torque exerted on India by the Tibetan plateau. With earlier work showing that onset of the current episode of deformation in the Indian Ocean coincided with the attainment of maximum elevation of the Tibetan plateau, this indicates that the lithospheric deformation in the equatorial Indian Ocean is being driven by the outward push of the Tibetan plateau. To achieve a torque balance, we find that the force per unit length exerted by the Tibetan plateau on the Indian component plate must be nearly identical to the strength of the oceanic lithosphere, which we infer to be 9 (+/- 2) x 1012 N m-1. Given that the effect of plateau formation by horizontal shortening of continental crust strongly influences the compressive stress available to deform oceanic lithosphere, this coincidence may be necessary for plate tectonics to continue and evolve on geologically long time scales while restricting these zones of diffuse deformation to relatively minor proportions of the oceanic plate, if narrow plate boundaries such as subduction zones evolve from diffuse plate boundaries.

Gordon, R. G.; Zatman, S.

2001-12-01

212

GS of CAS Geodesy & Geodynamics Beijing June 20041 RIGID PLATE TECTONICS  

E-print Network

GS of CAS ­ Geodesy & Geodynamics ­ Beijing June 20041 RIGID PLATE TECTONICS · Plate definition · Plate deformation : strain and rotation tensors #12;GS of CAS ­ Geodesy & Geodynamics ­ Beijing June.e. plates. #12;GS of CAS ­ Geodesy & Geodynamics ­ Beijing June 20043 Plate geometry and plate tecctonics

Vigny, Christophe

213

The San Andreas fault experiment. [gross tectonic plates relative velocity  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

A plan was developed during 1971 to determine gross tectonic plate motions along the San Andreas Fault System in California. Knowledge of the gross motion along the total fault system is an essential component in the construction of realistic deformation models of fault regions. Such mathematical models will be used in the future for studies which will eventually lead to prediction of major earthquakes. The main purpose of the experiment described is the determination of the relative velocity of the North American and the Pacific Plates. This motion being so extremely small, cannot be measured directly but can be deduced from distance measurements between points on opposite sites of the plate boundary taken over a number of years.

Smith, D. E.; Vonbun, F. O.

1973-01-01

214

The Biggest Plates on Earth. Submarine Ring of Fire--Grades 5-6. Plate Tectonics.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This activity is designed to teach how tectonic plates move, what some consequences of this motion are, and how magnetic anomalies document the motion at spreading centers do. The activity provides learning objectives, a list of needed materials, key vocabulary words, background information, day-to-day procedures, internet connections, career

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (DOC), Rockville, MD.

215

How do tectonic plates deform? A case study from eastern Anatolia  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The theory of plate tectonics, despite all its accomplishments, still has some sizeable gaps. For instance, scientists are not sure whether to treat tectonic plates as rigid elastic slabs or more as viscous wafers overlain by a thin brittle layer. A new study of the Anatolian plate by Cavali and Jnsson should bring researchers a step closer to settling this debate.

Schultz, Colin

2014-05-01

216

Plate Tectonic Evolution of Eastern Australian Marginal Ocean M. Sdrolias1  

E-print Network

Plate Tectonic Evolution of Eastern Australian Marginal Ocean Basins M. Sdrolias1 , R.D. Müller2-arc ridge (remnant arc) on the other (Keary & Vine 1996). Plate tectonic reconstructions accounting exploration target is an accurate and self-consistent plate kinematic reconstruction of the region of interest

Müller, Dietmar

217

Booting Up Plate Tectonics: Feedbacks Between Mantle Viscosity, The Wavelength of Mantle Convection, and the Mode of Planetary Tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Previous studies have demonstrated that a low viscosity region in the upper mantle (i.e., the asthenosphere) can: 1) generate long wavelength mantle flow; and 2) favor a plate tectonic like mode of mantle convection. We show that wavelength and tectonics can feedback into the system and increase the degree of viscosity variation from the upper to the lower mantle. Plate subduction generates a non-adiabatic temperature gradient which, together with temperature-dependent viscosity, leads to a relatively low viscosity region in the upper mantle and a higher viscosity lower mantle. The degree of depth-variable viscosity increases with the wavelength of convection and decreases as plate margins become stronger, dropping to near zero as the system transitions from a plate tectonic to a single plate mode of convection. The plate strength needed to initiate that tectonic transition increases for long wavelength cells. The coupled feedbacks suggest a model in which the asthenosphere can not be defined solely in terms of material properties but must also be defined in terms of an active process, plate tectonics, which both maintains it and is maintained by it. The bootstrap aspect of the model is its circular causality between plates and the asthenosphere, neither being more fundamental than the other and the existence of each depending on the other. As the system is booting up, it is at its lowest state of tectonic resilience and a nascent mode of plate tectonics can become unstable in response to relatively small perturbations (e.g., changes in surface conditions driven by climate, changes in lithospheric strength associated with volatile cycling). As the feedbacks go to work and the system fully boots up, a plate tectonic mode of behavior stabilizes and the system becomes more resilient to changing conditions.

Lenardic, A.; Hoeink, T.; Richards, M. A.

2013-12-01

218

The ERESE Project: Modeling Inquiry-Based Plate Tectonic Lessons  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Enduring Resources for Earth Science Education (ERESE) project is a collaborative effort between earth scientists, educators, librarians and data archive managers. Its goal is to develop and maintain a persistent online research and education archive in a digital library environment that supports earth science education in plate tectonics. A key to the library's effectiveness as an educational tool is the efficiency with which educators can access, use and contribute to the library. We have created a master template that educators use to develop inquiry-based curriculum. The central components of the master template include a teacher log, a student log and resource matrices. The teacher's log is divided into stages that reflect our approach to inquiry. This approach was used during a workshop as scientists worked with the teachers to model a reasonable pedagogical analog to scientific inquiry. The student log is similar in structure to a scientific method lab report. There are currently 17 resource matrices that directly access canonical education objects in the digital library, 3 of which relate to expedition planning and 14 to plate tectonics. The structure of the resource matrices allows teachers and students to traverse manageable packets of information relating to a specific topic by expert level (rows) and information type (columns). Teachers download and customize the master template using any web composer and are then invited to upload their lessons through a simple interface at Earthref.org. Once uploaded the lessons become part of the ERESE digital library collection. The upload process allows teachers to define keywords and metadata to allow useful searches by topic, concept or educational standard. The use of a single master template for inquiry lesson design means library contributions will share a common format as well as exploit identical plate tectonic resources.

Symons, C. M.; Helly, M.; Helly, J.; Miller, S. P.; Staudigel, H.; Koppers, A.

2004-12-01

219

Plate Tectonics GEY 443/643 -Fall 2005 Room LFG 202 MW 2:30 3:45 pm  

E-print Network

Plate Tectonics ­ GEY 443/643 - Fall 2005 Room LFG 202 ­ MW 2:30 ­ 3:45 pm Instructors: Michael@unlv.nevada.edu Required Text: Global Tectonics by Philip Kearey and Frederick J. Vine Supplementary Text: Plate Tectonics and Policies GEY 443/643 ­ Plate Tectonics ­ Fall 2005 ­ Wells & Snelson 1 #12;1. Participation: You

Ahmad, Sajjad

220

Geoid Data and Implications for Plate Tectonic Dynamics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

It has long been recognized that the motion of the mechanically rigid lithospheric plates of the earth are the surface expression of large-scale convection in the mantle. It is also accepted that the stresses driving plate motion are an amalgam of the basal tractions associated with this convection and long-wavelength density variations within the plates themselves. Parsing the relative contribution from these two sources to the geodynamics of the lithosphere continues to be an important topic of plate dynamics research. Because geoid anomalies are directly related to the local dipole moment of the density-depth distribution, they provide an ideal method for evaluating density variations within the lithosphere and the associated tectonic stresses. The main challenge with this approach is isolating the lithospheric geoid contribution from the full geoid (which is dominated by sources from deeper in the earth, namely the lower mantle). We address this issue by using a high-pass spherical harmonic filtering of the EGM2008-WGS84 geoid (which is complete to spherical harmonic degree and order 2159), with a cosine taper between orders 9 to 13 and 78 to 82 to produce a 'lithospheric' geoid. In the present study we focus on tectonic implications of the lithospheric geoid in three different areas: 1) passive continental margins where we have evaluated over 150 margin-transects spaced roughly every three degrees. The global average geoid anomaly associated with the transition from old oceanic lithosphere to the continent was found to 6-9 meters and appears to be insensitive to a range of geoid filtering degrees and orders; 2) The geoid highs associated with the mid-ocean ridges and the cooling oceanic lithospheric, where we have examined a number of geoid profiles across ridges and find that previous estimates of a geoid anomaly of 10-15 meters associated with ridges to be valid; and 3) continental regions which are characterized by both elevated geoid anomalies (e.g., the Western U.S.) and geoid lows (e.g., the Congo Basin in Africa). All three of these geoid studies have implications for our understanding of the dynamics of plate tectonics. The 10-15 m geoid highs associated globally with ridges are consistent with a net force of ~3x1012 N/m due to 'ridge push.' Converting gradients in the oceanic 'lithospheric' geoid produce net torques on the plates consistent with this magnitude of 'ridge push.' The 6-9 meter geoid step up across passive continental margins is important for two reasons. First, it is consistent with a reduction of the ridge force acting on the continents, as evidenced by increased strike slip and normal deformation on the continents compared to oceanic lithosphere. Second, the very fact that such a small geoid step can affect tectonic style is evidence that even relatively small forces, like the ridge force compared to the negative buoyancy of subducted lithosphere, can be important in plate dynamics. Furthermore, the predicted intraplate stresses computed using a finite-element analysis of a lithospheric shell under traction from the gravitational potential energy forces associated with the lithospheric geoid provide a remarkably good fit between the predicted and observed intraplate stress field at long wavelengths (~1000km) and indicates that tectonic forces associated with the lithospheric density moment play an important role in global geodynamics.

Richardson, R. M.; Coblentz, D. D.

2013-12-01

221

G141 Earthquakes & Volcanoes Lab 2 Plate Tectonics Name _____________________________ G141 Lab 2: Exploring Plate Motion and Deformation in California Using GPS Data  

E-print Network

G141 Earthquakes & Volcanoes Lab 2 ­ Plate Tectonics Name _____________________________ 1 G141 Lab of modern GPS technology, we can actually observe the process of plate tectonics as the plates are moving of that segment of the Earth's tectonic plate. We will be using data recorded by UNAVCO consort- ium (www

Polly, David

222

Using the Mesozoic History of the Canadian Cordillera as a Case Study in Teaching Plate Tectonics.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Reviews a model used in the teaching of plate tectonics which includes processes and concepts related to: terranes and the amalgamation of terranes, relative plate motion and oblique subduction, the effects of continent-continent collision, changes in plate motion, plate configuration, and the type of plate boundary. Diagrams are included.

Chamberlain, Valerie Elaine

1989-01-01

223

On the breakup of tectonic plates by polar wandering  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The observed boundary system of the major tectonic plates on the surface of the earth lends fresh support to the hypothesis of polar wandering. A dynamic model of the outer shell of the earth under the influence of polar shift is developed. The analysis falls into two parts: (1) deriving equations for stresses caused by polar shifting; and (2) deducing the pattern according to which the fracture of the shell can be expected. For stress analysis, the theory of plates and shells is the dominant feature of this model. In order to determine the fracture pattern, the existence of a mathematical theorem of plasticity is recalled: it says that the plastic flow begins to occur when a function in terms of the differences of the three principal stresses surpasses a certain critical value. By introducing the figures for the geophysical constants, this model generates stresses which could produce an initial break in the lithosphere.

Liu, H. S.

1973-01-01

224

Observing tectonic plate motions and deformations from satellite laser ranging  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The scope of geodesy has been greatly affected by the advent of artificial near-earth satellites. The present paper provides a description of the results obtained from the reduction of data collected with the aid of satellite laser ranging. It is pointed out that dynamic reduction of satellite laser ranging (SLR) data provides very precise positions in three dimensions for the laser tracking network. The vertical components of the stations, through the tracking geometry provided by the global network and the accurate knowledge of orbital dynamics, are uniquely related to the center of mass of the earth. Attention is given to the observations, the methodologies for reducing satellite observations to estimate station positions, Lageos-observed tectonic plate motions, an improved temporal resolution of SLR plate motions, and the SLR vertical datum.

Christodoulidis, D. C.; Smith, D. E.; Kolenkiewicz, R.; Klosko, S. M.; Torrence, M. H.

1985-01-01

225

Episodic tectonic plate reorganizations driven by mantle convection  

Microsoft Academic Search

Periods of relatively uniform plate motion were interrupted several times throughout the Cenozoic and Mesozoic by rapid plate reorganization events [R. Hey, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 88 (1977) 14041420; P.A. Rona, E.S. Richardson, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 40 (1978) 111; D.C. Engebretson, A. Cox, R.G. Gordon, Geol. Soc. Am. Spec. Pap. 206 (1985); R.G. Gordon, D.M. Jurdy, J. Geophys. Res.

Scott D. King; Julian P. Lowman; Carl W. Gable

2002-01-01

226

Plate tectonics from VLBI and SLR global data  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

This study is based on data derived from fifteen years of observations of the SLR (side-looking radar) network and six years of the VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) network. In order to use all available information VLBI and SLR global data sets were combined in a least squares fashion to calculate station horizontal velocities. All significant data pertaining to a single site contribute to the station horizontal motion. The only constraint on the solution is that no vertical motion is allowed. This restriction does not greatly affect the precision of the overall solution given the fact that the expected vertical motion for most stations, even those experiencing post glacial uplift, is well under 1 cm/yr. Since the average baseline is under 4,000 km, only a small fraction of the station vertical velocity is translated into baseline rates so that the error introduced in the solution by restricting up-down station movement is minimal. As a reference, station velocities were then compared to the ones predicted by the NUVEL-1 geological model of DeMets et al. (1990). The focus of the study is on analyzing these discrepancies for global plate tectonics as well as regional tectonic settings. The method used also allows us not only to derive horizontal motion for individual stations but also to calculate Euler vectors for those plates that have enough stations located on the stable interior like North America, Pacific, Eurasia, and Australia.

Harrison, Christopher G. A.; Robaudo, Stefano

1992-01-01

227

Subduction and Plate Edge Tectonics in the Southern Caribbean  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The southern Caribbean plate boundary consists of a subduction zone at at either end of a complex strike-slip fault system: In the east at the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, the Atlantic part of the South American plate subducts beneath the Caribbean. In the north and west in the Colombia basin, the Caribbean subducts under South America. In a manner of speaking, the two plates subduct beneath each other. Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography confirms this, imaging the Atlantic and the Caribbean plates subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America (Bezada et al, 2010). The two subduction zones are connected by the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike-slip fault system, a San Andreas scale system that has been cut off at the Bocono fault, the southeastern boundary fault of the Maracaibo block. A variety of seismic probes identify subduction features at either end of the system (Niu et al, 2007; Clark et al., 2008; Miller et al. 2009; Growdon et al., 2009; Huang et al., 2010; Masy et al, 2011). The El Pilar system forms at the southeastern corner of the Antilles subduction zone with the Atlantic plate tearing from South America. The deforming plate edges control mountain building and basin formation at the eastern end of the strike-slip system. Tearing the Atlantic plate from the rest of South America appears to cause further lithospheric instability continentward. In northwestern South America the Caribbean plate very likely also tears, as its southernmost element subducts at shallow angles under northernmost Colombia but then rapidly descends to the transition zone under Lake Maracaibo (Bezada et al., 2010). We believe that the flat slab controls the tectonics of the Neogene Merida Andes, Perija, and Santa Marta ranges. The nonsubducting part of the Caribbean plate also underthrusts northern Venezuela to about the width of the coastal mountains (Miller et al., 2009). We infer that the edge of the underthrust Caribbean plate supports the elevations of the coastal mountains and controls continuing deformation.

Levander, A.; Schmitz, M.; Niu, F.; Bezada, M. J.; Miller, M. S.; Masy, J.; Ave Lallemant, H. G.; Pindell, J. L.; Bolivar Working Group

2013-05-01

228

Multi-Agent Modelling of Earth's Dynamics: Towards a Virtual Laboratory of Plate Tectonics Cecile Grigne(1)  

E-print Network

Multi-Agent Modelling of Earth's Dynamics: Towards a Virtual Laboratory of Plate Tectonics C-Agent Convective MAntle) is a new tool developed to simulate plate tectonics and mantle convection in a 2-D). Evolutive plate tectonics We obtain an evolutive system where the geometry and the number of plates

Paris-Sud XI, Université de

229

Geophys. J. Int. (1994) 119,595-610 A continuous kinematic model of plate-tectonic motions  

E-print Network

Geophys. J. Int. (1994) 119,595-610 A continuous kinematic model of plate-tectonic motions David of mantle dynamics-which involves continuum physics-and the theory of plate tectonics-which employs to adjust the plate-tectonic model to allow for continuous surface motions. Here we present a model of plate

230

Generation of plate tectonics with two-phase grain-damage and pinning: Source-sink model and toroidal flow  

E-print Network

Generation of plate tectonics with two-phase grain-damage and pinning: Source-sink model theory therefore readily satisfies key plate-tectonic metrics of localized toroidal motion and plate-boundary inheritance, and thus provides a predictive theory for the generation of plate tectonics on Earth and other

231

Global strike-slip faults: Bounds from plate tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

According to the tenets of plate tectonics, a transform fault is a strike-slip fault along which neither convergence nor divergence occurs. Analysis of global plate motion data indicates that the only true transform faults are the strike-slip faults that offset segments of mid-ocean ridges. Thus, many of Earth's major strike-slip fault systems are not true transform faults as they accommodate large components of oblique convergence or oblique divergence. This is particularly true for several important ocean-continent systems such as the San Andreas, the strike-slip systems bounding the northern and southern Caribbean plate, the Alpine fault system of New Zealand, the Anatolian fault system, and the Azores-Gibraltar-Alboran sea system. These strike-slip systems are commonly sites of large scale mountain building and basin formation. Here we examine the far-field constraints on the motions of the plates bounding several of these strike-slip systems using both conventional plate motion circuits and results from global positioning system and other space geodetic data. We pay particular attention to the San Andreas fault system in central and northern California, where the San Andreas system is part of the boundary between the Sierran microplate and the Pacific plate. Most of the fault system accommodates obliquely convergent motion, giving rise to the California Coast Range, but in the northern San Francisco Bay Area it is obliquely divergent, producing San Pablo Bay and a gap in the Coast Range that permits the Sierran watershed to drain to the Pacific through the Golden Gate.

Gordon, R. G.; Argus, D. F.

2006-12-01

232

Prototypical Concepts and Misconceptions of Plate Tectonic Boundaries  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Students of geology encounter many prototypical/exemplar concepts* that include representative, but not necessarily defining, features and characteristics. This study of students' prototypical representations of plate tectonic boundaries indicates that their representations are rich sources of information about their misconceptions about plate tectonics. After lectures in plate tectonics and mountain building, 353 students in a general education geology class were asked to draw a continent-continent convergent boundary. For this study, a correct answer is defined as having the major features in correct proportions as depicted in the plate boundary diagrams on the USGS web. Fifty-two percent of the drawings were either incorrect or incomplete such that they could not be interpreted. Only 48% were readily interpretable, and of these 22% drew the boundary correctly, showing a thickening of crust where two continents collide. Thirty-three percent drew the boundary showing concave slabs of continental crust as one might imagine two pieces of firm rubber pushed together on a rigid surface and 45% depicted mountains as one might imagine inverted ice cream cones on a rigid plank. Twenty-one senior class geology majors and graduate students were given the same assignment. Forty-eight percent rendered a correct drawing, whereas 38% drew the same ice cream cone on a plank type picture that 45% of the general education students drew. In a second class of 12 geology majors, only 1 student drew a cross section of a continent-ocean boundary similar to standard representation. Four of 12 drew mountains on the top of continental crust over a subduction zone but did not draw a compensating mass within the crust or lithosphere. Prototypical drawings provide more information about students' concepts than do most multiple-choice questions. For example, sixty-two percent of theses students who drew mountains similar to foam rubber pads pushed together on a desk or ice cream cones on a plank correctly answered a multiple-choice question that would appear to indicate a better understanding than the drawings reveal. Furthermore, 12 interviewed students made statements that could be interpreted to indicate that they understood the concept of mountain building at plate tectonic boundaries better than their drawings suggest. Incoherence of multiple-choice responses, verbal statements and drawings may be common in novice learners. If cognitive scientists are correct in their model of multiple types of mental representations for the same term, then the fact that novices may hold inconsistent representations is not surprising. The fact that students at various academic levels draw very similar prototypes that are incorrect is evidence that students have distinct and persistent prototype misconceptions. * Cognitive scientists define a prototypical/exemplar concept as a mental representation of the best examples or central tendencies of a term.

Sibley, D. F.; Patino, L. C.

2003-12-01

233

Past and present seafloor age distributions and the temporal evolution of plate tectonic heat transport  

E-print Network

spreading rate, ridge length, and the age distribution of seafloor being removed by subduction. UsingPast and present seafloor age distributions and the temporal evolution of plate tectonic heat: seafloor age distributions plate tectonics oceanic heat flow Variations in Earth's rates of seafloor

Becker, Thorsten W.

234

Ever deeper phylogeographies: trees retain the genetic imprint of Tertiary plate tectonics.  

PubMed

Changes in species distributions after the last glacial maximum (c. 18 000 years bp) are beginning to be understood, but information diminishes quickly as one moves further back in time. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Magri et al. (2007) present the fascinating case of a Mediterranean tree species whose populations preserve the genetic imprints of plate tectonic events that took place between 25 million years and 15 million years ago. The study provides a unique insight into the pace of evolution of trees, which, despite interspecific gene flow, can retain a cohesive species identity over timescales long enough to allow the diversification of entire plant and animal genera. PMID:18092990

Hampe, Arndt; Petit, Rmy J

2007-12-01

235

Lessons learned while playing with the Arctic plate tectonic puzzle  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The plate tectonic evolution of the Amerasia Basin in the Arctic Ocean is controversial, and a number of models have been suggested in which the common denominator is that they are all poorly constrained. In general the Canada Basin and the Makarov-Podvodnikov Basin, are separated by the Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge, which has a bathymetric and geophysical signature indicating either over-thickened oceanic crust or magmatically overprinted continental fragments. Both interpretations imply that the ridge has a connection to the High Arctic Large Igneous Province probably associated with a mantle plume emplacement beneath the lithosphere, causing excess magmatism in the region starting at about 125 Ma. It is widely accepted that the ';windshield wiper' model of Lawver et al. (2002) is applicable for the Canada Basin proper, yet it is still debated whether the boundary transform is located close to the Lomonosov Ridge, beneath the Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge, or on the Alaskan side of the Chukchi Borderland and Northwind Ridge. It remains a major uncertainty where large offset regional shear zones required by some models could be hidden beneath the Arctic continental shelves and how they were linked into the South Anhui Paleo-Ocean. The approach taken in this study is to dissect the Chukotka terranes, formed by long-lived compressional tectonism associated with the Pacific subduction system, to explore different scenarios for South Anhui Ocean evolution and consider potential Paleo-Pacific driving mechanisms for Amerasia Basin opening. The Chukotka terranes represent a complex of magmatic and sedimentary units younging towards the subduction zone, thus allowing restoration by ';undocking' them one by one. The remaining elements of the Alaskan and Siberian shelves are subsequently linked to conjugate elements on the North American and Eurasian plates based on correlation of geochemical and stratigraphic ';tie-points'. The study utilizes available geological markers, crustal cross sections, gravity and magnetic data, and mantle tomography models, seeking to discover pros and cons for different plate tectonic scenarios, with the ultimate goal of a unified model.

Skogseid, J.; Meisling, K. E.; Miller, E. L.; Nikishin, A. M.

2013-12-01

236

Petrogenesis and Tectonic Evolution of Granitic Rocks in The Northern Margin of North China Plate  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The late Paleozoic-early Mesozoic granites in Daqingshan district of the northern margin of north China plate is classified into six types as follows.Aguigou intrusion is consists of gabbro, diorite, quartz diorite, and granodiorite.Its feature is rich in mafic compositions.The formation age is 284.52.9Ma or 283.73.7Ma for the quartz diorite, and 281.13.4Ma for granodiorite. The genesis of the intrusion belongs to I-type granite. Laoyinhada intrusion comprises fine biotite monzonitic granite and porphyritic biotite monzonitic granite. The age is 2724Ma for the fine biotite monzonitic granite. The genesis of the body is I-type granite.Halaheshao intrusion is a group of medium-coarse biotite-bearing monzonitic granites and large porphyritic-bearing monzonitic granite. The age is 2600.5Ma for the biotite-bearing monzonitic granite.The tectonic environment belongs to post-orogenic granites.Taolegai intrusion consists of medium-fine granite, medium-coarse granite, porphyritic-bearing granite, and fine granite. The age is 2243Ma for medium-coarse granite.Its genesis is light color granite co-occurred with muscovite peraluminous granites. The tectonic environment belongs to post-orogenic granites.Gechoushan intrusion is medium-fine monzonitic granite, a kind of typical muscovite granites. Its formation era is late Triassic. The tectonic environment belongs to post-orogenic granite.Shadegai intrusion is mainly composed of biotite granites. The age is 211.20.7Ma for medium-coarse biotite granite. The tectonic setting belongs to post-orogenic granites. The different types granites in the area basically reveal all the magmatic events from late Palaeozoic orogeny, to post-orogeny, and to intracontinental orogeny in the north edge of the north China plate. Early Permian Aguigou intrusion is a magmatic arc granite, formed in the continental edge in the early period of the middle Asia ocean plate subduction. Mid-Permian Laoyinhada intrusion is a magmatic arc granite body, formed in the continental edge in the late period of the plate subduction. Late Permian Halaheshao intrusion is a granite formed in the colluvial period of a post-orogeny after two tectonic plates have collided.Late Triassic Taolegai,Gechoushan,and Shadegai magmatic bodies belong to granites formed by intracontinental nappes after Lausasia paleocontinent was generated.

Xu, X.; Zhao, Q.; Zheng, C.; Liu, W.; Xu, B.

2010-12-01

237

Self-consistent generation of tectonic plates in three-dimensional mantle convection  

Microsoft Academic Search

Despite the fundamental importance of plates in the Earth's mantle convection, plates have not generally been included in numerical convection models or analog laboratory experiments, mainly because the physical properties which lead to plate tectonic behavior are not well understood. Strongly temperature-dependent viscosity results in an immobile rigid lid, so that plates, where included at all in 3-D models, have

Paul J. Tackley

1998-01-01

238

Plate Tectonics: The Rocky History of an Idea  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Information on this site about the early history of the Theory of Plate Tectonics begins in 1912 with Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), who noticed that most of the continents seem to fit together like a puzzle. The west African coastline seems to fit nicely into the east coast of South America and the Caribbean sea, and a similar fit appears across the Pacific. He proposed that the continents were once compressed into a single protocontinent, which he called Pangaea, and over time they have drifted apart into their current distribution. The site includes further information that convinced Wegener of his theory and also the suggestion of Arthur Holmes that there were convection currents in the mantle. Lastly there is mention of sea floor spreading as suggested by Harry Hess and R. Deitz.

239

The Cariris Velhos tectonic event in Northeast Brazil  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Borborema Province in northeastern South America is a typical Brasiliano-Pan-African branching system of Neoproterozoic orogens that forms part of the Western Gondwana assembly. The province is positioned between the So Luis-West Africa craton to the north and the So Francisco (Congo-Kasai) craton to the south. For this province the main characteristics are (a) its subdivision into five major tectonic domains, bounded mostly by long shear zones, as follows: Mdio Corea, Cear Central, Rio Grande do Norte, Transversal, and Southern; (b) the alternation of supracrustal belts with reworked basement inliers (Archean nuclei + Paleoproterozoic belts); and (c) the diversity of granitic plutonism, from Neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian ages, that affect supracrustal rocks as well as basement inliers. Recently, orogenic rock assemblages of early Tonian (1000-920 Ma) orogenic evolution have been recognized, which are restricted to the Transversal and Southern domains of the Province. Within the Transversal Zone, the Alto Paje terrane locally includes some remnants of oceanic crust along with island arc and continental arc rock assemblages, but the dominant supracrustal rocks are mature and immature pelitic metasedimentary and metavolcaniclastic rocks. Contiguous and parallel to the Alto Paje terrane, the Riacho Gravat subterrane consists mainly of low-grade metamorphic successions of metarhythmites, some of which are clearly turbiditic in origin, metaconglomerates, and sporadic marbles, along with interbedded metarhyolitic and metadacitic volcanic or metavolcaniclastic rocks. Both terrane and subterrane are cut by syn-contractional intrusive sheets of dominantly peraluminous high-K calc-alkaline, granititic to granodioritic metaplutonic rocks. The geochemical patterns of both supracrustal and intrusive rocks show similarities with associations of mature continental arc volcano-sedimentary sequences, but some subordinate intra-plate characteristics are also found. In both the Alto Paje and Riacho Gravat terranes, TIMS and SHRIMP U-Pb isotopic data from zircons from both metavolcanic and metaplutonic rocks yield ages between 1.0 and 0.92 Ga, which define the time span for an event of orogenic character, the Cariris Velhos event. Less extensive occurrences of rocks of Cariris Velhos age are recognized mainly in the southernmost domains of the Province, as for example in the Poo Redondo-Maranc terrane, where arc-affinity migmatite-granitic and meta-volcano-sedimentary rocks show U-Pb ages (SHRIMP data) around 0.98-0.97 Ga. For all these domains, Sm-Nd data exhibit TDM model ages between 1.9 and 1.1 Ga with corresponding slightly negative to slightly positive ?Nd( t) values. These domains, along with the Borborema Province as a whole, were significantly affected by tectonic and magmatic events of the Brasiliano Cycle (0.7-0.5 Ga), so that it is possible that there are some other early Tonian rock assemblages which were completely masked and hidden by these later Brasiliano events. Cariris Velhos processes are younger than the majority of orogenic systems at the end of Mesoproterozoic Era and beginning of Neoproterozoic throughout the world, e.g. Irumide belt, Kibaride belt and Namaqua-Natal belt, and considerably younger than those of the youngest orogenic process (Ottawan) in the Grenvillian System. Therefore, they were probably not associated with the proposed assembly of Rodinia. We suggest, instead, that Cariris Velhos magmatism and tectonism could have been related to a continental margin magmatic arc, with possible back-arc associations, and that this margin may have been a short-lived (<100 m.y.) leading edge of the newly assembled Rodinia supercontinent.

dos Santos, Edilton Jos; Van Schmus, William Randall; Kozuch, Marianne; Neves, Benjamim Bley de Brito

2010-01-01

240

Your Mission: Investigate the relationship between tectonic plates, earthquakes, volcanoes, and other geophysical data through a computer mapping  

E-print Network

Your Mission: Investigate the relationship between tectonic plates, earthquakes, volcanoes, and other geophysical data through a computer mapping program. Your Supplies: (1) Earth's Tectonic Plates (2) map handouts Your Task: In this lab we are going to explore the nature of Earth's tectonic plates

Smith-Konter, Bridget

241

How plate tectonics is recorded in chalk deposits along the eastern English Channel in Normandy (France) and Sussex (UK)  

E-print Network

01/12/2011 - 1 - How plate tectonics is recorded in chalk deposits along the eastern English provides an excellent record of brittle tectonics generated by far-field stresses of plate tectonics re Kutzenhausen, France Abstract Intra-plate stresses that occurred in the Anglo-Paris Basin and English Channel

Boyer, Edmond

242

Rifting beneath Antarctica's ice sheet: A plate tectonic Supervisors: Graeme Eagles (RHUL) & Fausto Feraccioli (British Antarctic Survey)  

E-print Network

Rifting beneath Antarctica's ice sheet: A plate tectonic approach Supervisors: Graeme Eagles (RHUL rapid sea level changes by more than 100 m; it forms a crucial plate tectonic link between the African traditional geological techniques. Instead, studies of the circuit of plate tectonic motions in the South

Royal Holloway, University of London

243

Cenozoic geological and plate tectonic evolution of SE Asia and the SW Pacic: computer-based reconstructions, model and animations  

E-print Network

Cenozoic geological and plate tectonic evolution of SE Asia and the SW Paci®c: computer A plate tectonic model for the Cenozoic development of the region of SE Asia and the SW Paci the driving force of tectonics in most of SE Asia. The most important Cenozoic plate boundary reorganisation

Royal Holloway, University of London

244

The original kinematic plate tectonic model proposed that the outer shell (lithosphere) of the Earth is divided into a small  

E-print Network

The original kinematic plate tectonic model proposed that the outer shell (lithosphere driver of plate tectonics and mantle convection, but much of the energy dissipation may be in this part rele- vant to plate tectonics. Here we have compiled a series of global maps that help to confirm

Sandwell, David T.

245

Initiation of plate tectonics from post-magma ocean thermochemical convection  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Leading theories for the presence of plate tectonics on Earth typically appeal to the role of present day conditions in promoting rheological weakening of the lithosphere. However, it is unknown whether the conditions of the early Earth were favorable for plate tectonics, or any form of subduction, and thus, how subduction begins is unclear. Using physical models based on grain-damage, a grainsize-feedback mechanism capable of producing plate-like mantle convection, we demonstrate that subduction was possible on the Hadean Earth (hereafter referred to as proto-subduction or proto-plate tectonics), that proto-subduction differed from modern day plate tectonics, and that it could initiate rapidly. Scaling laws for convection with grain-damage show that though either higher mantle temperatures or higher surface temperatures lead to slower plates, proto-subduction, with plate speeds of ?1.75 cm/yr, can still be maintained in the Hadean, even with a CO2 rich primordial atmosphere. Furthermore, when the mantle potential temperature is high (e.g., above ?2000 K), the mode of subduction switches to a "sluggish subduction" style, where downwellings are drip like and plate boundaries are diffuse. Finally, numerical models of post-magma ocean mantle convection demonstrate that proto-plate tectonics likely initiates within 100 Myr of magma ocean solidification, consistent with evidence from Hadean zircons. After the initiation of proto-subduction, non-plate-tectonic "sluggish subduction" prevails, giving way to modern style plate tectonics as both the mantle interior and climate cool. Hadean proto-subduction may hasten the onset of modern plate tectonics by drawing excess CO2 out of the atmosphere and cooling the climate.

Foley, Bradford J.; Bercovici, David; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T.

2014-11-01

246

Dynamic Analysis of Modifications to Simple Plate Tectonic Theory  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A number of geological and geophysical observations suggest significant departures from simple, first-order plate tectonic theory. In this thesis we address the dynamic implications of some of these observations and propose generalized theories to explain their dynamics and conditions of formation. In Chapter 2, we develop a generalized theory and analytic model to predict the conditions under which large-volume removal of continental lithosphere can occur through the formation of drip instabilities. Using damage physics relevant for Earth, we find a large portion of the lithosphere may be mobilized and entrained into growing drip instabilities. For a critical amount of damage, the growth is accelerated sufficiently that large-volume drip instabilities may form within geologically feasible time frames. Our model suggests large-volume lithospheric drip instabilities may arise independently of tectonic settings through damage-assisted mobilization and entrainment of the highly viscous lithosphere. In Chapter 3, we develop a mechanical model independent of volcanism and thermal weakening to explain the initial formation and length scale of rifting and extension near convergent plate boundaries. We conduct a linear stability analysis of a simple viscous necking model, which includes the lithosphere's negative buoyancy, non-Newtonian rheology, and freely moving top surface, to determine which properties of the lithosphere govern the location of rifting. We find that the negative buoyancy of the lithosphere promotes the formation of rifting structures when simple Newtonian viscosities are present. However, localized weakening, introduced through a power law exponent, is required to generate realistic rifting length scales. Our model suggests that the initial location of rifting in the overriding plate at subduction zones is primarily due to the mechanical extension induced by rollback of the subducting slab. In Chapter 4, we propose a theory to explain the seismic anisotropy directions observed in the subslab mantle of subduction zones globally. We develop a three-dimensional model using COMSOL Multiphysics to investigate how interactions among the background mantle flow, trench migration, and the geometry of the slab determine the flow direction in the subslab mantle. We find that flow directions are determined primarily by the amount of coupling between the slab and the mantle, and the interaction between the net background flow (including trench migration) and the slab geometry. We present three-dimensional finite strain calculations, which demonstrate that the maximum stretching directions are aligned with the model subslab flow directions, allowing us to compare our flow directions directly to seismic anisotropy splitting directions of subduction zones globally. Our model successfully predicts the flow directions (parallel or perpendicular) suggested by a global dataset of fast splitting directions using only the net background mantle flow, and slab dip and depth.

Paczkowski, Karen

247

Pliocene eclogite exhumation at plate tectonic rates in eastern Papua New Guinea.  

PubMed

As lithospheric plates are subducted, rocks are metamorphosed under high-pressure and ultrahigh-pressure conditions to produce eclogites and eclogite facies metamorphic rocks. Because chemical equilibrium is rarely fully achieved, eclogites may preserve in their distinctive mineral assemblages and textures a record of the pressures, temperatures and deformation the rock was subjected to during subduction and subsequent exhumation. Radioactive parent-daughter isotopic variations within minerals reveal the timing of these events. Here we present in situ zircon U/Pb ion microprobe data that dates the timing of eclogite facies metamorphism in eastern Papua New Guinea at 4.3 +/- 0.4 Myr ago, making this the youngest documented eclogite exposed at the Earth's surface. Eclogite exhumation from depths of approximately 75 km was extremely rapid and occurred at plate tectonic rates (cm yr(-1)). The eclogite was exhumed within a portion of the obliquely convergent Australian-Pacific plate boundary zone, in an extending region located west of the Woodlark basin sea floor spreading centre. Such rapid exhumation (> 1 cm yr(-1)) of high-pressure and, we infer, ultrahigh-pressure rocks is facilitated by extension within transient plate boundary zones associated with rapid oblique plate convergence. PMID:15372021

Baldwin, Suzanne L; Monteleone, Brian D; Webb, Laura E; Fitzgerald, Paul G; Grove, Marty; Hill, E June

2004-09-16

248

Conditions for Plate Tectonics on Super-Earths: Inferences From Convection Models With Damage  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Numerical simulations of mantle convection with a damage-grainsize feedback are used to develop scaling laws for predicting conditions at which super-Earths would have plate tectonics. In particular, the numerical simulations are used to determine how large a viscosity ratio between pristine lithosphere and mantle (?l/?m) can be offset by damage to allow mobile (plate-like) convection. Regime diagrams of ?l/?m versus the damage number (D) show that the transition from stagnant lid to mobile convection occurs for higher ?l/?m as D increases; a similar trend occurs for increasing Rayleigh number. We hypothesize a new criterion for the onset of plate tectonics on terrestrial planets: that damage must reduce the viscosity of shear zones in the lithosphere to a critical value equivalent to the underlying mantle viscosity; a scaling law based on this hypothesis reproduces the numerical results. For the Earth, damage is efficient in the lithosphere and provides a viable mechanism for the operation of plate tectonics. We scale our theory to super-Earths and map out the transition between plate-like and stagnant-lid convection with a "planetary plate-tectonic phase" diagram in planet size-surface temperature space. Both size and surface conditions are found to be important, with plate tectonics being favored for larger, cooler planets. This gives a natural explanation for Earth, Venus, and Mars, and implies that plate tectonics on exoplanets should correlate with size, incident solar radiation, and atmospheric composition.

Foley, B. J.; Bercovici, D.

2012-04-01

249

Plate Tectonics and Earthquake Potential of Spreading Ridges and Oceanic Transform Faults  

E-print Network

203 Plate Tectonics and Earthquake Potential of Spreading Ridges and Oceanic Transform Faults Peter of California, Los Angeles, California We use the Harvard CMT catalog to separate ocean-ridge seismicity the plate boundary model PB1999 and use it to associate marine earthquakes with particular plate boundary

Bird, Peter

250

New insights on 3-D plates interaction near Taiwan from tomography and tectonic implications  

E-print Network

New insights on 3-D plates interaction near Taiwan from tomography and tectonic implications Serge trenches, respectively. In particular, the 3-D plates interaction beneath Taiwan is discussed based of Hualien, (2) the Eurasian plate subducts beneath most part of the Taiwan island down to the 670 km

Demouchy, Sylvie

251

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. ???, XXXX, DOI:10.1029/, Tectonic plate generation and two-phase damage: void  

E-print Network

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. ???, XXXX, DOI:10.1029/, Tectonic plate generation and two-PHASE DAMAGE AND PLATE GENERATION X - 3 1. Introduction Although the theory of plate tectonics is a well-PHASE DAMAGE AND PLATE GENERATION Abstract. The two-phase theory for compaction and damage employs a nonequi

Paris-Sud XI, Université de

252

Strain weakening enables continental plate tectonics Frdric GUEYDAN (1), Jacques PRCIGOUT (2) and Laurent G.J. MONTESI (3)  

E-print Network

1 Strain weakening enables continental plate tectonics Frédéric GUEYDAN (1), Jacques PR?CIGOUT (2-scale strain localization and hence enables plate tectonics. No rheological model proposed to date is comprehensive enough to describe both the weakness of plate boundary and rigid-like behaviour of plate interiors

Paris-Sud XI, Université de

253

On the possibility of plate tectonics on Venus  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Several arguments have been put forward suggesting that Venus has no plate tectonics. Some of these arguments are examined and it is suggested that because conditions on the surface of Venus are very different from those on Earth, the arguments should be reconsidered. It is shown that in the absence of an ocean, the differential hypsographic curve of earth would probably have only one mode, like that for Venus. It is shown that the atmosphere of Venus is quite capable of erosion, provided that near-surface velocities are about 1 m sec or more, and that therefore the oceanic areas on Venus, should they exist, are probably covered with some thickness of sediment. If sedimentation on Venus is at all rapid, it is likely that subduction zones could be filled up and made unrecognizable topographically. Because Venus does not have an ocean, and because its surface temperature is much greater than that on earth, ridge crests on Venus have a much smaller topographic expression than those on earth. If significant sedimentation occurs they would be completely unrecognizable topographically.

Brass, G. W.; Harrison, C. G. A.

1982-01-01

254

Initiation of plate tectonics from post-magma ocean thermo-chemical convection  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We investigate the initiation of plate tectonics on Earth from scaling laws for plate tectonic style convection with grain-damage, and from numerical models of mantle convection immediately after magma ocean solidification. Using scaling laws for convection with grain-damage we constrain the likelihood of plate tectonics on the early Earth. Both mantle temperature and surface temperature play key roles in how plate speed and heat flow scale, and thus whether plate tectonics would be likely on the early Earth. Specifically either high mantle temperatures or high surface temperatures decrease plate speed because grain-growth (or healing) increases in lithospheric shear zones, causing viscosity to go up in these regions. When applied to the early Earth, we find that while higher mantle temperatures decrease plate speed, it is not enough to shut off plate tectonics; plate speed only decreases by a factor of 2 going from the present day to Hadean mantle temperatures. Surface temperature has a bigger influence as it more directly controls the temperature in lithospheric shear zones; at a Venusian surface temperature plate tectonics can be effectively shut off. Earth's surface temperature in the Hadean is unknown, however, given that Hadean zircons show evidence for liquid water, the surface temperature was lower than that of present day Venus. Even under hot greenhouse conditions plate speeds on the order of 1 cm/yr could exist in the Hadean. Therefore early Earth conditions were favorable for plate tectonics, even with a higher surface temperature, although Hadean plate tectonics would be sluggish (slower plate speed and thicker lithosphere) compared to the present day. We perform numerical convection experiments to constrain the timescales over which plate tectonics would initiate in the early Earth, starting from post-magma ocean conditions. Rapid solidification of the magma ocean leaves behind a solid mantle with a temperature profile following the solidus. There is also the possibility of chemical differentiation which would lead to an initially unstable compositional density profile in the newly solidified mantle. We thus perform numerical models with an initially unstable temperature profile (approximating the silicate solidus) both with and without an initially unstable compositional density profile. All models show an initial overturn beneath a stagnant lid, followed by stagnant lid convection and the eventual onset of plate tectonic style convection. The timescale for initiating plate tectonics depends on the Rayleigh number, parameters for healing and damage, and on the degree of chemical differentiation during magma ocean solidification. Similar to the results of the scaling analysis, higher surface temperature retards the initiation of plate tectonics, due to the effects of lithospheric healing. Compositional buoyancy significantly reduces the timescale for initiating plate tectonics due to the increased negative buoyancy of the lithosphere (i.e. including both thermal and chemical buoyancy). Thus chemical differentiation during magma ocean solidification provides a significant boost to initiating plate tectonics in the Hadean Earth.

Foley, B. J.; Bercovici, D. A.

2013-12-01

255

Connecting Cross-Sectional Data from the Red Sea to Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students will use map views and cross-sectional profiles across the Red Sea to determine plate tectonic processes in the region. Google Earth is a technological tool used to facilitate the investigation.

Guertin, Laura

256

The Earth's Mantle Is Solid: Teachers' Misconceptions About the Earth and Plate Tectonics.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Discusses the misconceptions revealed by the teachers' answers and outlines more accurate answers and explanations based on established evidence and uses these to provide a more complete understanding of plate tectonic process and the structure of Earth. (Author/YDS)

King, Chris

2000-01-01

257

Present-day kinematics of Eastern African Rift tectonic plates using continuous and episodic GPS data  

Microsoft Academic Search

This paper focuses on the tectonic setup of the East African Rift, a complex system that extends from the Afar region where the triple junction between Somalia, Nubia and Arabia plates is located to the South West Indian Ridge where the Nubia and Antarctica meets with a third tectonic unit - possibly the so-called Lwandle block which is considered by

R. M. Fernandes; J. P. Ferreira; J. L. Quembo; L. Combrinck; C. M. Kamamia; A. Al-Aydrus; Y. Boodhoo

2009-01-01

258

Plate tectonic evolution of the southern margin of Eurasia in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic  

Microsoft Academic Search

Thirteen time interval maps were constructed, which depict the Triassic to Neogene plate tectonic configuration, paleogeography and general lithofacies of the southern margin of Eurasia. The aim of this paper is to provide an outline of the geodynamic evolution and position of the major tectonic elements of the area within a global framework. The Hercynian Orogeny was completed by the

J. Golonka

2004-01-01

259

Growth of the hemispheric dichotomy and the cessation of plate tectonics on Mars  

Microsoft Academic Search

Although Mars is currently not tectonically active, it may have experienced plate tectonics early in its history. The southern hemisphere of Mars possesses a thick crust which probably renders the lithosphere positively buoyant. In this paper we present numerical and scaling arguments which show that if the area of positively buoyant lithosphere grows beyond a critical fraction (?50% for Mars),

A. Lenardic; F. Nimmo; L. Moresi

2004-01-01

260

EVIDENCE FOR EARLY PROTEROZOIC PLATE TECTONICS FROM SEISMIC REFLECTION PROFILES IN THE BALTIC SHIELD  

Microsoft Academic Search

Plate tectonics provides the linking framework for all tectonic and\\u000a magmatic activity seen today, but it is not known when plate tectonics\\u000a first developed on Earth. New deep seismic reflection and coincident\\u000a refraction profiles across an exposed, 1.89-Gyr-old volcanic arc complex\\u000a show a 10-km-thick offset in the Moho and bivergent reflectors in the\\u000a crust, which were most probably created by

T. Dahl-Jensen; R. W. Hobbs; SL Klemperer; DH Matthews; DB Snyder; R Long; T Matthews; DJ Blundell; CE Lund; H Palm; LB Pedersen; RG Roberts; SA Elming; P Heikkinen; H Korhonen; U Luosto; SE Hjelt; K Komminaho; J Yliniemi; R Meissner; P Sadowiak; T Wever; T Dickmann; ER Fleuh; A Berthelsen; H Thybo; N Balling; E Normark

1990-01-01

261

PNG ON THE MOVE- GPS MONITORING OF PLATE TECTONICS AND EARTHQUAKES  

E-print Network

PNG is one of the most tectonically active countries in the world. Major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions resulting from this tectonic activity pose significant threats to PNG's population and fragile infrastructure. Modern surveying techniques such as GPS can measure movement of tectonic plates to within a centimetre anywhere in PNG. These measurements have provided a much better understanding of PNG's tectonic setting and also have the potential to significantly improve the accuracy of PNGs geodetic datum. This paper highlights contributions made by The Australian National University, the National Mapping Bureau, RVO and UniTech's Department of Surveying and Land Studies showing some startling results from these surveys.

Richard Stanaway

262

Vernal Point and Plate Tectonics: Indo-Australian  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A precession coordinate system (eccentricity -100Ka, obliquity -40Ka and precession -25Ka) developed by Milankovicht was the precession of the equinoxes, where the vernal point retrograde 1 every 72 years approximately and enter (0) into the Aquarius constellation on March 20, 1940. On earth this entry was verify through: a) stability of the magnetic equator in the south central zone of Peru and in the north zone of Bolivia, b) the greater intensity of equatorial electrojet (EEJ) in Peru and Bolivia since 1940. The vernal point is a maximum conductivity sensitive axis in the EEJ given at the equinoxes. There was a relationship between the equatorial electrojet - magnetic equator - crust, and besides there was a long history of studies of coupling between earthquake-ionosphere that can be founded in the following revisions: Liperovsky et al. (1990); Gaivoronskaya (1991); Liperovsky et al. (1992); Parrot et al. (1993); Pulinets et al. (1994) and Gokhberg et al. (1995). In IUGG (2007), Cusco was propose as a prime meridian (72 W == 0) that was parallel to the Andes; the objective was to synchronize the earth sciences phenomena (e.g. geology, geophysics, etc.). The coordinate system had the vernal point from meridian (72 W == 0) and March 20, 1940. The retrograde movement of the vernal point was the first precessional degree (2012 = 1940 + 72); from the new prime meridian (72 W == 0) it has obtained the opposite meridian (72 E == 180). The first precessional degree (2012) near the meridian (72 E) was related to the date of April 11, 2012 where a massive earthquake of 8.6 on the Richter scale, followed by several aftershocks, one of 8.2 degrees struck Indonesia with epicenter near Banda Aceh. Five months after that date, Matthias Delescluse et.al (2012), Han Yue et.al (2012), and Fred F. Pollitz et.al, (2012), explained that the two violent earthquakes would be evidence of a break in the Indo-Australian Plate Tectonics caused earthquakes around the world. It is noted that in one of the opposite meridian there was a correlation between the vernal point and the indo-australian plate.

Chavez C, Teodosio; Chavez-Sumarriva, Israel; Chavez S, Nadia

2013-04-01

263

Multiagent simulation of evolutive plate tectonics applied to the thermal evolution of the Earth  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The feedback between plate tectonics and mantle convection controls the Earth's thermal evolution via the seafloor age distribution. We therefore designed the MACMA model to simulate time-dependent plate tectonics in a 2D cylindrical geometry with evolutive plate boundaries, based on multiagent systems that express thermal and mechanical interactions. We compute plate velocities using a local force balance and use explicit parameterizations to treat tectonic processes such as trench migration, subduction initiation, continental breakup and plate suturing. These implementations allow the model to update its geometry and thermal state at all times. Our approach has two goals: (1) to test how empirically- and analytically-determined rules for surface processes affect mantle and plate dynamics, and (2) to investigate how plate tectonics impact the thermal regime. Our predictions for driving forces, plate velocities and heat flux are in agreement with independent observations. Two time scales arise for the evolution of the heat flux: a linear long-term decrease and high-amplitude short-term fluctuations due to surface tectonics. We also obtain a plausible thermal history, with mantle temperature decreasing by less than 200 K over the last 3 Gyr. In addition, we show that on the long term, mantle viscosity is less thermally influential than tectonic processes such as continental breakup or subduction initiation, because Earth's cooling rate depends mainly on its ability to replace old insulating seafloor by young thin oceanic lithosphere. We infer that simple convective considerations alone cannot account for the nature of mantle heat loss and that tectonic processes dictate the thermal evolution of the Earth.

Combes, M.; Grign, C.; Husson, L.; Conrad, C. P.; Le Yaouanq, S.; ParenthoN, M.; Tisseau, C.; Tisseau, J.

2012-05-01

264

Sediment subduction - A probable key for seismicity and tectonics at active plate boundaries  

Microsoft Academic Search

A model involving extensive occurrence of sediment subduction and viscous interaction of lithospheric plates at convergent zones is applied to derive simple relations between extremal values of seismic and global tectonic parameters. The strength of mechanical coupling at the interface zone is defined as the maximum shear stress at the base of the over-thrusting plate. A test of these relations

Vladimir Kostoglodov

1988-01-01

265

The Spherical Block Model: Dynamics of the Global System of Tectonic Plates and Seismicity  

Microsoft Academic Search

The spherical block model is used to study dynamics of the global system of tectonic plates and seismicity by means of numerical simulation. A brief description of the model is presented. Two block structures are considered: The first is characterized by specifying the largest plates as boundary blocks, whereas the second is the closed spherical structure without boundary blocks. Results

V. L. Rozenberg; P. O. Sobolev; A. A. Soloviev; L. A. Melnikova

2005-01-01

266

Models of convection-driven tectonic plates - A comparison of methods and results  

Microsoft Academic Search

Recent numerical studies of convection in the earth's mantle have included various features of plate tectonics. This paper describes three methods of modeling plates: through material properties, through force balance, and through a thin power-law sheet approximation. The results obtained are compared using each method on a series of simple calculations. From these results, scaling relations between the different parameterizations

Scott D. King; Carl W. Gable; Stuart A. Weinstein

1992-01-01

267

Present-day tectonic plate motions and crustal deformations from the DORIS space system  

Microsoft Academic Search

Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) data acquired between January 1993 and December 1996 from the SPOT-2, SPOT-3, and TOPEX\\/Poseidon satellites have been analyzed to determine velocities for 45 sites on eight major tectonic plates. For 28 sites far from deformation zones, the velocity estimates agree with plate model predictions. Least squares computation of poles of rotation, which

Jean-Franois Crtaux; Laurent Soudarin; Anny Cazenave; Florence Bouill

1998-01-01

268

Tectonic plate generation and two-phase damage: Void growth versus grain size reduction  

Microsoft Academic Search

The generation of plate tectonics from mantle convection requires shear localization in order to yield narrow, weak plate boundaries separating broad strong plates. A plausible shear-localizing mechanism involves damage (e.g., distributed microcracking), one theoretical model of which involves two-phase mechanics. Two-phase damage theory employs a nonequilibrium relation between interfacial surface energy, pressure, and viscous deformation, thereby providing a description of

David Bercovici; Yanick Ricard

2005-01-01

269

Initiation of Plate Tectonics from Post-Magma Ocean Thermo-Chemical Convection  

E-print Network

Leading theories for the presence of plate tectonics on Earth typically appeal to the role of present day conditions in promoting rheological weakening of the lithosphere. However, it is unknown whether the conditions of the early Earth were favorable for plate tectonics, or any form of subduction, and thus how subduction begins is unclear. Using physical models based on grain-damage, a grainsize-feedback mechanism capable of producing plate-like mantle convection, we demonstrate that subduction was possible on the Hadean Earth (hereafter referred to as proto-subduction or proto-plate tectonics), that proto-subduction differed from modern day plate tectonics, and that it could initiate rapidly. Scaling laws for convection with grain-damage show that, though either higher mantle temperatures or higher surface temperatures lead to slower plates, proto-subduction, with plate speeds of $\\approx 1.75$ cm/yr, can still be maintained in the Hadean, even with a CO$_2$ rich primordial atmosphere. Furthermore, when the...

Foley, Bradford J; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

2014-01-01

270

The Arctic Eurekan Orogen : A plate tectonic conundrum  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Eurekan orogen is a fold and thrust belt that extends from West Spitsbergen across northernmost Greenland and into Ellesmere Island and the eastern Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The favored mechanisms for generating this orogenic belt are: 1. Counterclockwise rotation of Greenland; subduction and collision between Greenland and Ellesmere Island along Nares Straight and transpression between Greenland and Spritbergen along Fram Straight. 2. Wedge-like northward indentation of Greenland into Spitsbergen and Ellesmere island driven by seafloor spreading to the southeast and southwest, and accommodated along the dextral Spitsbergen transform to the northeast and the Wegener transform to the northwest. Both of these models have problems. The widely accepted rotation and collision model requires that Nares Straight is the final remnant of a former oceanic trough and that enough old, cold oceanic crust was present so as to initiate foundering of the oceanic lithosphere and negative buoyancy driven rotation and collision between Greenland (lower plate) and Ellesmere Island. However, evidence of an accretionary complex, clear collisional suture or a subduction-related volcanic edifice are lacking. The second, Greenland indentor, model lacks a viable source of potential energy. Contractional deformation of continental crust is usually associated with continental collision which is a process driven by the subduction of oceanic crust attached to or surrounding a continent (the potential energy of a sinking oceanic slab is converted into the kinetic energy of collision). Calling on "ridge push" to induce continental deformation and uplift is problematic because the ridge lacks the potential energy required to deform high standing continental crust. Further, the extensional stresses at ridges are significantly lower than the stresses required to break rocks in compression so it is hard to envision a scenario whereby ridge push could have much effect. Adding to the troubles of the above models are geological and geophysical observations from southern Nares Straight where a clear "linchpin" has been driven into the Smith Sound region. Here the geology of western Greenland can be clearly linked to Ellesmere Island on the west side of the sound. The Smith Sound Linchpin effectively requires that southeastern Ellesmere Island is attached to Greenland, thereby pushing any suture between Greenland and Ellesmere Island off to the west, into the interior of the Island. This linchpin is used as evidence to argue that the Wegener transform, commonly drawn through Smith Sound, does not exist. Our new work in the northern interior of Ellesmere Island is in part focused on developing a revised model to explain the presence of the Eurekan orogenic belt and its latest Cretaceous to Paleogene evolution. A key observation from our recent fieldwork is that many of the large E-W striking faults previously mapped as normal faults or thrust faults are in fact dextral strike slip or dextral oblique reverse faults. These findings suggest that the Eurekan Orogen may be a transpressional belt rather than a classical fold and thrust belt. Clarifying the internal kinematics of the belt may help resolve some of the large-scale plate tectonic questions

Guest, B.; Hill, M.; Beauchamp, B.

2011-12-01

271

The effect of melting and crustal production on plate tectonics on terrestrial planets  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In the Solar System, Earth is the only planet to be in a mobile-lid regime, whilst it is generally accepted that all the other terrestrial planets are currently in a stagnant-lid regime, showing little or no surface motion. A transitional regime between these two, showing episodic overturns of an unstable stagnant lid, is also possible and has been proposed for Venus (e.g. Armann and Tackley, JGR 2012). In recent years a number of studies have focused on the feasibility of plate tectonics on large (1-10 Earth masses) extra-solar terrestrial planets; so-called super-Earths, with some studies concluding that these bodies should be in a mobile-regime mode (Valencia et al., ApJ 2007; van Heck and Tackley, EPSL 2011), but others predicting that they should be in a stagnant-lid regime (O'Neill and Leonardic, GRL 2007; Stein et al., GRL 2011). Using plastic yielding to self-consistently generate plate tectonics on an Earth-like planet with strongly temperature-dependent viscosity is now well-established, but such models typically focus on purely thermal convection, whereas compositional variations in the lithosphere can alter the stress state and greatly influence the likelihood of plate tectonics. For example, Rolf and Tackley (GRL, 2011) showed that the addition of a continent can reduce the critical yield stress for mobile-lid behaviour by a factor of ~2, while Armann and Tackley (JGR, 2012) found that bursts of crustal production caused by partial melting my trigger lithospheric overturn events, suggesting that laterally-heterogeneous crustal production in earlier studies (e.g. papers by Nakagawa and Tackley) may also play an important role in facilitating plate tectonics. Complicating matters is the finding that the final state of the system (stagnant- or mobile-lid) can depend on initial condition (Tackley, G3 2000 - part 2); Weller and Lenardic (GRL, 2012) found that the parameter range in which two solutions are obtained increases with viscosity contrast, leading to Lenardic and Crowley (ApJ, 2012) proposing a bistability of the system, introducing bifurcation theory to predict the tectonic state of a planet. Here we thus test (i) whether melting-induced crustal production changes the critical yield stress needed to obtain mobile-lid behaviour as a function of governing parameters (particularly Rayleigh number and viscosity contrast (Moresi and Solomatov, GJI 1998) as well as internal heating rate), and (ii) whether, under these conditions, there is an initial-condition dependence (bimodality) to the state of the system Weller and Lenardic (GRL, 2012). We study these using StagYY (Tackley, PEPI 2008), which uses a finite-volume scheme for advection of temperature, a multigrid solver to obtain a velocity-pressure solution at each timestep, tracers to track composition, and a treatment of partial melting and crustal formation.

Loureno, Diogo; Tackley, Paul

2013-04-01

272

Models of convection-driven tectonic plates - A comparison of methods and results  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Recent numerical studies of convection in the earth's mantle have included various features of plate tectonics. This paper describes three methods of modeling plates: through material properties, through force balance, and through a thin power-law sheet approximation. The results obtained are compared using each method on a series of simple calculations. From these results, scaling relations between the different parameterizations are developed. While each method produces different degrees of deformation within the surface plate, the surface heat flux and average plate velocity agree to within a few percent. The main results are not dependent upon the plate modeling method and herefore are representative of the physical system modeled.

King, Scott D.; Gable, Carl W.; Weinstein, Stuart A.

1992-01-01

273

Focal Mechanisms and Plate Tectonics of the Southwest Pacific  

Microsoft Academic Search

Ninety-six new focal mechanisms were determined for earthquakes on the belt of seismic activity separating the Pacific and Australian plates. The direction of convergence of these plates varies from Ntg-SW to E-W. The Australian plate underthrusts the Pacific plate to the ENE under the Solomon and New Hebrides islands and overthrusts the Pacific to the east along the Tonga-Kermadec arc

Tracy Johnson; Peter Molnar

1972-01-01

274

Sediment deformation and plate tectonics in the Gulf of Oman  

Microsoft Academic Search

The continental margin off the Makran coast of Iran and Pakistan is an excellent example of active deformation of sediments at a compressive plate boundary. Seismic reflection profiles across the margin suggest that relatively flat-lying sediments from the Oman abyssal plain are being scraped off the Arabian plate and accreted onto the Eurasian plate in a series of tightly folded

R. S. White; K. Klitgord

1976-01-01

275

Mantle convection models featuring plate tectonic behavior: An overview of methods and progress  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Arguably, the presence of plate-tectonic-type surface motion for periods that endure over hundreds of millions of years is the primary feature a mantle convection model must possess in order to be considered Earth-like. From the early days of mantle dynamics modeling, research has been dedicated to understanding how mantle convection produces the first order observations of plate tectonics as well as how the plates and deep mantle interact. Fledgling studies of the effect of plates on the mantle recognized the ability of imposed plate-scale surface motion to influence global temperatures and heat flux and organize convective planform. Later studies featuring model plates with dynamically determined velocities discovered that the interaction between convection and the plates could result in cyclic plate motion patterns and other time-dependent behavior that was not manifested in systems in which dynamic plates were absent. Focussing on different aspects of system realism (with respect to terrestrial mantle convection) has spawned multiple approaches for modeling convection with dynamic integrated plates. In broadest terms, the two main approaches can be categorized as rheological modeling methods and methods utilizing evolving surface boundary conditions. Over the past dozen years, studies focussing on the former approach have steadily made progress in modeling the self-generation of plate tectonics from convection dynamics. Continual advances have been encouraging, and a consensus is beginning to form regarding the necessary requirements for obtaining the primary elements of plate-like surface motion. However, despite significant progress, the generation of plates over long periods has not yet been modeled with Earth-like convective vigor. In contrast, models utilizing dynamically determined boundary conditions to achieve plate-like surface motion have relatively little difficulty with emulating terrestrial convective vigor or simulations of billions of years. Instead, their weakness is more fundamental; they can only provide insight into the reciprocating dynamics of the mantle and plates once the existence of the plates is assumed and they cannot model any aspects of the dynamics responsible for the origin of the plates. This paper briefly reviews the evolution of mantle convection models featuring plates and examines the progress that has been made in our understanding of the feedback between the mantle and plate tectonics through the use of both rheological and boundary condition modeling methods. Common findings, recent advances and unbridged problems are identified and discussed.

Lowman, Julian P.

2011-09-01

276

Thermochronology and tectonics of the Leeward Antilles: Evolution of the southern Caribbean Plate boundary zone  

Microsoft Academic Search

Tectonic reconstructions of the Caribbean Plate are severely hampered by a paucity of geochronologic and exhumation constraints from anastomosed basement blocks along its southern margin. New U\\/Pb, 40Ar\\/39Ar, apatite fission track, and apatite (U-Th)\\/He data constrain quantitative thermal and exhumation histories, which have been used to propose a model for the tectonic evolution of the emergent parts of the Bonaire

Roelant van der Lelij; Richard A. Spikings; Andrew C. Kerr; Alexandre Kounov; Michael Cosca; David Chew; Diego Villagomez

2010-01-01

277

Plate tectonic models derived from multiple data sources: Examples from the Arctic  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Plate tectonic reconstructions are a useful tool in the modern exploration industry. A variety of interpretative applications and data sets require robust plate models; specific examples include the rotation of well data to their past locations, analysis of palaeogeographic environments and predictions of properties such as heat flux through time. As plate tectonic reconstructions become more widely used they become more ambitious, pushing further back in time and including older stratigraphic units, often with increasingly complex tectonic histories. Geological data becomes increasingly sparse for these older units, leading to more subjective choices when creating plate models. In our global plate tectonic model we collate data from numerous sources, including geological structure mapping, interpretation and analysis of potential field data and depth to basement maps, palaeomagnetism and geological relationships from published literature. The plate model is strongly interlinked with on-going global studies at Getech, such as palaeoenvironment mapping, palaeotopography and palaeoclimate; direct feedback from these studies is used to refine and test tectonic solutions both within a regional and global framework. Our global plate model is currently undergoing major improvements extending it back to the start of the Permian (300 Ma). This includes updates to oceanic structures and ocean-continent boundaries to better constrain the internal boundaries and fit of the Pangaea supercontinent. The update also includes Permian-Triassic modelling of South East Asia and China, improvements in Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the North American Cordillera and a re-evaluation of our existing Arctic tectonics. These regions also contain feedback from Jurassic palaeoenvironment mapping to improve the current tectonic reconstructions. We present the multi-disciplinary approach to plate modelling with particular focus on North America and the Arctic. Numerous and often conflicting hypotheses exist for the formation of the North American Cordillera; including the accretion of a series of allochthonous and parautochthonous terranes to ancestral North America in a prolonged orogeny, the formation of a ribbon continent in the Panthalassa Ocean which eventually accreted to North America or the accretion of two superterranes migrating northwards from significantly south of their present day position. To some degree, Russian Arctic tectonics mirrors the North American counterpart, with the Arctic Alaska and Chukotka terranes thought to be of similar or contiguous origin. The Verkhoyansk fold and thrust belt is formed during the collision of a micro-continent with the Siberian Craton and a series of arcs and back arcs accrete on the Pacific side of the craton. We demonstrate the construction of the plate model using the techniques described above to assess the validity of hypotheses and the origin of exotic Arctic terranes.

Webb, Peter; Masterton, Sheona; Eue, Dorothea

2013-04-01

278

Earth and Planetary Science Letters 157 (1998) 9-22 Self-consistent generation of tectonic plates in three-dimensional  

E-print Network

lead to plate tectonic behavior are not well understood. Strongly temperature-dependent viscosity Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. Ke~uorcls: plate tectonics: plates: mantle; convection: models und Plunrtary Science Lrttvrs 157 (1998) 9-22 1. Introduction Plate tectonics is arguably the most

Tackley, Paul J.

279

Plate Tectonics: Geodynamic models of evolution of oil and gas bearing basins of Kazakhstan  

SciTech Connect

Five types of sedimentary basins in Kazakhstan have been recognized by using plate tectonics to reinterpret geological and geophysical data: (1) intracontinental, central pre-Caspian, above rift, south pre-Caspian; (2) passive margin, east pre-Caspian; (3) back-arc, Turgan and Sir-Daria; (4) intra-arc, north Kisil-Koum, interior, Tengis and Chu-Sarisiu; and (5) marginal, north Usturt. Paleozoic history of these basins was connected with the spreading and collision of two lithospheric plates: east European and Kazakhstanian, which were separated by the paleo-Ural Ocean. Different tectonic positions of sedimentary basins were the reason for their different oil and gas potential.

Zholtayev, G. (Kazakhpolitecnic Institute, Almaty (Kazakhstan))

1994-07-01

280

Mesozoic plate tectonic reconstruction of the Carpathian region  

Microsoft Academic Search

Palaeomagnetic, palaeobiogeographic and structural comparisons of different parts of the AlpineCarpathian region suggest that four terranes comprise this area: the Alcapa, Tisza, Dacia and Adria terranes. These terranes are composed of different Mesozoic continental and oceanic fragments that were each assembled during a complex Late JurassicCretaceousPalaeogene history. Palaeomagnetic and tectonic data suggest that the Carpathians are built up by two

Lszl Csontos; Attila Vrs

2004-01-01

281

Subduction and Plate Edge Tectonics in the Southern Caribbean  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The southern Caribbean plate boundary consists of a subduction zone at at either end connected by a strike-slip fault system: In the east at the Lesser Antilles subduction zone, the Atlantic part of the South American plate subducts beneath the Caribbean. In the north and west in the Colombia basin, the Caribbean subducts under South America. In a manner of speaking, the two plates subduct beneath each other. Finite-frequency teleseismic P-wave tomography confirms this, imaging the Atlantic and the Caribbean subducting steeply in opposite directions to transition zone depths under northern South America (Bezada et al, 2010). The two subduction zones are connected by the El Pilar-San Sebastian strike-slip fault system, a San Andreas scale system that has been cut off at the Bocono fault, the southeastern boundary of the Maracaibo block. A variety of seismic probes identify where the two plates tear as they begin to subduct (Niu et al, 2007; Clark et al., 2008; Miller et al. 2009; Growdon et al., 2009; Huang et al., 2010; Masy et al., 2011). The El Pilar system forms at the southeastern corner of the Antilles subduction zone with the Atlantic plate tearing from South America. The deforming plate edges control mountain building and basin formation at the eastern end of the strike-slip system. In northwestern South America the Caribbean plate very likely also tears, as its southernmost element subducts at shallow angles under northernmost Colombia and the northern, nonsubducting part underthrusts the continental edge. The subducting segment rapidly descends to transition zone depths under Lake Maracaibo (Bezada et al., 2010). We believe that the flat slab produces the Merida Andes, the Perija, and the Santa Marta ranges. The nonsubducting part of the Caribbean plate underthrusts northern Venezuela to about the width of the coastal mountains (Miller et al., 2009), where the plate edge supports the coastal mountains, and controls continuing deformation.

Levander, A.; Schmitz, M.; Niu, F.; Bezada, M. J.; Miller, M. S.; Masy, J.; Ave Lallemant, H. G.; Pindell, J. L.

2012-12-01

282

Role of structural heritage and global tectonics events in evolution of Algerian Triassic basin: Tectonic inversion and reservoir distribution  

SciTech Connect

Fieldwork and subsurface studies (350 bore holes and more than 100 seismic profiles) show the structural evolution of the Triassic Saharian basin. This evolution is controlled by the successive motions of ancient faults of the Paleozoic basement during the different compressional and distensional tectonic phases. These movements led to some tectonic inversions. Depending on the strike of the faults, the present results correspond to normal throw or reverse throw at the level of hydrocarbon reservoirs. These tectonic phases clearly result from relative motions between African, American, and European lithospheric plates. The Triassic basin, a mobile zone between two rigid shields, constitutes a very good indication of the successive motions. The distribution and the nature of hydrocarbon fields are clearly related to the proximity of the faults, the post-tectonic erosion of a part of the source rocks, the burial and maturation of the organic matter, and the age of structural traps.

Boudjema, A.; Tremolieres, P.

1988-01-01

283

Neogene Caribbean plate rotation and associated Central American tectonic evolution  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

A theoretical model of the opening of the Cayman Trough is developed on the basis of geological evidence from a wide area. It is proposed that strike slip motion began about 30 Myr ago and proceeded at a rate of 37 + or - 6 mm/yr for a total of 1100 km of relative plate displacement, and that Central America Underwent an anticlockwise rotation with internal plate deformation. Maps of the reconstructed motion are provided.

Wadge, G.; Burke, K.

1983-01-01

284

Introduction of the Concepts of Plate Tectonics into Secondary-School Earth Science Textbooks.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Secondary school earth-science textbooks in print from 1960 through 1979 were examined to determine how rapidly concepts of plate tectonics were incorporated into those texts during the period when scientists' views about these concepts were evolving most rapidly. Suggests that delays were probably due to an unwillingness to engage in speculation

Glenn, William Harold

1992-01-01

285

a subduction-related andesite that was not used to promote plate tectonics on Mars.  

E-print Network

a subduction-related andesite that was not used to promote plate tectonics on Mars. The classification of "andesite" rocks at the Mars Pathfinder landing site is tenuous: this name (actually icelandite occurrences of type-2 materials in the southern highlands. These might be either andesites formed by igneous

Savage, Van M.

286

Plate Tectonics and Sea-Floor Spreading: Maps and Graphics, etc.  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This page offers access to maps and graphics of earthquakes, active volcanoes and plate tectonics for the world, the Cascade Range , Juan de Fuca Ridge, Gorda Ridge and Axial Seamount in North America, South America, and Western Canada. The Ring of Fire is noted in some maps, and others offer data for the years 1994-1999.

287

Genesis of the Iceland Melt Anomaly by Plate Tectonic G. R. Foulger1  

E-print Network

Genesis of the Iceland Melt Anomaly by Plate Tectonic Processes G. R. Foulger1 , James H. Natland3 252-21, Pasadena, CA 91125, dla@gps.caltech.edu Abstract Iceland is the best-studied, currently erupted in Iceland has geochemistry little different from normal mid-ocean ridge basalt and the detailed

Anderson, Don L.

288

Global pattern of earthquakes and seismic energy distributions: Insights for the mechanisms of plate tectonics  

E-print Network

of plate tectonics P. Varga a , F. Krumm b , F. Riguzzi c, , C. Doglioni d , B. Süle a , K. Wang b , G and Chirkov, 2001; Levin and Sasorova, 2009; Riguzzi et al., 2010; Shanker et al., 2001; Sun, 1992; Varga

Doglioni, Carlo

289

Global pattern of earthquakes and seismic energy distributions: Insights for the mechanisms of plate tectonics  

E-print Network

for the mechanisms of plate tectonics P. Varga, F. Krumm, F. Riguzzi, C. Doglioni, B. S¨ule, K. Wang, G.F. Panza PII cite this article as: Varga, P., Krumm, F., Riguzzi, F., Doglioni, C., S¨ule, B., Wang, K., Panza, G

Stuttgart, Universität

290

Plate Tectonics: The Way the Earth Works. Teacher's Guide. LHS GEMS.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This teacher guide presents a unit on plate tectonics and introduces hands-on activities for students in grades 6-8. In each unit, students act as real scientists and gather evidence by using science process skills such as observing, graphing, analyzing data, designing and making models, visualizing, communicating, theorizing, and drawing

Cuff, Kevin

291

Influence of early plate tectonics on the thermal evolution and magnetic field of Mars  

Microsoft Academic Search

Recent magnetic studies of Mars suggest that (1) it possessed a periodically reversing magnetic field for the first ~500 Myr of its existence and (2) plate tectonics may have been operating during this time. On Earth the geodynamo is thought to occur because of convection in the outer core. This paper estimates the amount of heat the Martian core can

F. Nimmo; D. J. Stevenson

2000-01-01

292

A new class of ``pseudofaults'' and their bearing on plate tectonics: A propagating rift model  

Microsoft Academic Search

The pattern of magnetic anomaly offsets striking obliquely to the Blanco fracture zone near the Juan de Fuca spreading center appears to be incompatible with the rigid-plate hypothesis. Previous workers have thus called upon complex, or anomalous, mechanisms to explain the tectonic evolution of this area. According to the ``propagating rift'' model developed here, the basic observations that previous hypotheses

Richard Hey

1977-01-01

293

Absence of plate tectonics in Venus is supported from deformation experiments and numerical simulation  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Plate tectonics is one of the most important mechanism for material and heat circulation in Earth (Turcotte et al., 1999), however it does not exist on Venus for unknown reasons. The strength of planetary materials is a key control on plate tectonics because temperature, pressure, stress, and chemical composition produce strong rheological layering (Kohlstedt et al., 1995). We conducted two-phase deformation experiments to consider the reason of absence of plate tectonics on Venus in terms of rheological structure. Our deformation experiments show that mantle olivine is much stronger than crustal plagioclase under conditions corresponding to Venusian Moho (i.e. Venus has a large strength contrast between the crust and mantle at the Moho.). Consequently, this strength contrast may cause the mechanical decoupling between crust and mantle convection in Venus. One-dimensional simulations using our experimental results show that strength contrast at the Moho prevent the motion of Venusian crust. This is an important factor to explain the absence of plate tectonics on Venus. Also, we conduct the two-dimensional simulation comprising the weak zone and our experimental data to verify the effect of the strength contrast on subduction. In our presentation, we will report these specific results of deformation experiments and numerical simulations.

Azuma, S.; Katayama, I.; Nakakuki, T.

2013-12-01

294

Diffuse Oceanic Plate Boundaries, Thin Viscous Sheets of Oceanic Lithosphere, and Late Miocene Changes in Plate Motion and Tectonic Regime  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Diffuse plate boundaries are often viewed as a characteristic only of continental lithosphere and as a consequence of its rheology, while narrow boundaries and plate rigidity are viewed as characteristic of oceanic lithosphere. Here we review some of the evidence that shows that deformation in the ocean basins is in many places just as diffuse as deformation in the continents. Moreover, we argue that the best description of these oceanic deforming zones is the un-plate tectonic-like representation as a fluid. Diffuse oceanic plate boundaries are deforming zones that are typically thousands of kilometers long (along strike) and hundreds to thousands of kilometers wide (across strike). These plate boundaries also appear to have deformation that is broadly distributed with no single fault or system of faults taking up most of the relative plate motion. Consequently the spatially averaged strain rates across diffuse oceanic plate boundaries are orders of magnitude lower than in narrow plate boundaries. One of Earth's best examples of a diffuse oceanic plate boundary is located in the equatorial Indian Ocean. A fluid-like representation of deformation in this diffuse boundary explains many observations, including the steadiness of the deformation process, the characteristic across-strike width of deformation relative to the along-strike length of the deforming zone, and the change of style in deformation across the 86E fracture zone. In addition, poles of relative rotation between adjacent component plates tend to lie within the diffuse plate boundary that separates them; this is also predicted by models of diffuse plate boundaries that assume a power-law fluid approximation, irrespective of rheology (for power-law rheologies between Newtonian and plastic end-members). A change in behavior of the lithosphere from elastic or visco-elastic to that of a fluid may be interpreted as a phase change, not in microscopic but in megascopic properties, above a certain threshold of force per unit length applied to the lithosphere. There remain many outstanding fundamental kinematic, dynamical, and rheological questions, the answers to which would enhance our understanding of diffuse oceanic plate boundaries. These questions include the timing of initiation and acceleration of motion across various diffuse oceanic plate boundaries, the relative and absolute strengths of the upper and lower oceanic lithosphere, changes in torques across diffuse oceanic plate boundaries and their role in causing rapid changes in plate motion. Of particular interest is the role of diffuse oceanic plate boundaries in the widespread re-organization of plate motion and tectonic regime that occurred at ~8 Ma in the Tibetan Plateau, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and western North America. Diffuse plate boundaries, especially in the oceans, are excellent natural laboratories, not only as windows on the mechanical and rheological properties of the lithosphere, but also--at least in the oceans--for investigating a variety of styles of widely distributed deformation that is ignored by traditional plate tectonics.

Gordon, R. G.; Royer, J.

2005-12-01

295

A model of convergent plate margins based on the recent tectonics of Shikoku, Japan  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

A viscoelastic finite element plate tectonic model is applied to displacement data for the island of Shikoku, Japan. The flow properties and geometry of the upper portions of the earth are assumed known from geophysical evidence, and the loading characteristics are determined from the model. The nature of the forces acting on the Philippine Sea plate, particularly in the vicinity of the Nankai trough, is determined. Seismic displacement data related to the 1946 Nankaido earthquake are modeled in terms of a thick elastic plate overlying a fluidlike substratum. The sequence of preseismic and seismic displacements can be explained in terms of two independent processes operating on elastic lithospheric plates: a strain accumulation process caused by vertical downward forces acting on or within the lithosphere in the vicinity of the trench, and a strain release process caused by plate failure along a preexisting zone on weakness. This is a restatement of Reid's elastic rebound theory in terms of elastic lithospheric plates.

Bischke, R. E.

1974-01-01

296

The dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle flow: from local to global scales.  

PubMed

Plate tectonics is regulated by driving and resisting forces concentrated at plate boundaries, but observationally constrained high-resolution models of global mantle flow remain a computational challenge. We capitalized on advances in adaptive mesh refinement algorithms on parallel computers to simulate global mantle flow by incorporating plate motions, with individual plate margins resolved down to a scale of 1 kilometer. Back-arc extension and slab rollback are emergent consequences of slab descent in the upper mantle. Cold thermal anomalies within the lower mantle couple into oceanic plates through narrow high-viscosity slabs, altering the velocity of oceanic plates. Viscous dissipation within the bending lithosphere at trenches amounts to approximately 5 to 20% of the total dissipation through the entire lithosphere and mantle. PMID:20798311

Stadler, Georg; Gurnis, Michael; Burstedde, Carsten; Wilcox, Lucas C; Alisic, Laura; Ghattas, Omar

2010-08-27

297

Nubia-Arabia-Eurasia Plate Motions and the Dynamics of Mediterranean and Middle East Tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We use geodetic and plate tectonic observations to constrain the tectonic evolution of the Nubia-Arabia-Eurasia plate system. Two phases of slowing of Nubia-Eurasia convergence, each of which resulted in an ~ 50% decrease in the rate of convergence, coincided with the initiation of Nubia-Arabia continental rifting along the Red Sea and Somalia-Arabia rifting along the Gulf of Aden at 24 4 Ma, and the initiation of oceanic rifting along the full extent of the Gulf of Aden at 11 2 Ma. In addition, both the northern and southern Red Sea (Nubia-Arabia plate boundary) underwent changes in the configuration of extension at 11 2 Ma, including the transfer of extension from the Suez Rift to the Gulf of Aqaba/Dead Sea fault system in the north, and from the central Red Sea basin (Bab al Mandab) to the Afar volcanic zone in the south. While Nubia-Eurasia convergence slowed, the rate of Arabia - Eurasia convergence remained constant within the resolution of our observations, and is indistinguishable from the present-day GPS rate. The timing of the initial slowing of Nubia-Eurasia convergence (24 4 Ma) corresponds to the initiation of extensional tectonics in the Mediterranean Basin, and the second phase of slowing to changes in the character of Mediterranean extension reported at ~ 11 Ma. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that changes in Nubia-Eurasia convergence, and associated Nubia-Arabia divergence, are the fundamental cause of both Mediterranean and Middle East post-Late Oligocene tectonics. We speculate about the implications of these kinematic relationships for the dynamics of Nubia-Arabia-Eurasia plate interactions, and favor the interpretation that slowing of Nubia-Eurasia convergence, and the resulting tectonic changes in the Mediterranean Basin and Middle East, resulted from a decrease in slab pull from the AR subducted lithosphere across the Nubia-Arabia, evolving plate boundary.

Reilinger, R. E.; Mcclusky, S.

2011-12-01

298

Nubia-Arabia-Eurasia plate motions and the dynamics of Mediterranean and Middle East tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We use geodetic and plate tectonic observations to constrain the tectonic evolution of the Nubia-Arabia-Eurasia plate system. Two phases of slowing of Nubia-Eurasia convergence, each of which resulted in an 50 per cent decrease in the rate of convergence, coincided with the initiation of Nubia-Arabia continental rifting along the Red Sea and Somalia-Arabia rifting along the Gulf of Aden at 24 4 Ma, and the initiation of oceanic rifting along the full extent of the Gulf of Aden at 11 2 Ma. In addition, both the northern and southern Red Sea (Nubia-Arabia plate boundary) underwent changes in the configuration of extension at 11 2 Ma, including the transfer of extension from the Suez Rift to the Gulf of Aqaba/Dead Sea fault system in the north, and from the central Red Sea Basin (Bab al Mandab) to the Afar volcanic zone in the south. While Nubia-Eurasia convergence slowed, the rate of Arabia-Eurasia convergence remained constant within the resolution of our observations, and is indistinguishable from the present-day global positioning system rate. The timing of the initial slowing of Nubia-Eurasia convergence (24 4 Ma) corresponds to the initiation of extensional tectonics in the Mediterranean Basin, and the second phase of slowing to changes in the character of Mediterranean extension reported at 11 Ma. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that changes in Nubia-Eurasia convergence, and associated Nubia-Arabia divergence, are the fundamental cause of both Mediterranean and Middle East post-Late Oligocene tectonics. We speculate about the implications of these kinematic relationships for the dynamics of Nubia-Arabia-Eurasia plate interactions, and favour the interpretation that slowing of Nubia-Eurasia convergence, and the resulting tectonic changes in the Mediterranean Basin and Middle East, resulted from a decrease in slab pull from the Arabia-subducted lithosphere across the Nubia-Arabia, evolving plate boundary.

Reilinger, Robert; McClusky, Simon

2011-09-01

299

Tectonics of the Nazca-Antarctic plate boundary  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

A new bathymetric chart of part of the Chile transform system is constructed, based mainly on an R/V Endeavor survey from 100 deg W to its intersection with the East Ridge of the Juan Fernandez microplate. A generally continuous lineated trend can be followed through the entire region, with the transform valley being relatively narrow and well-defined from 109 deg W to approximately 104 deg 30 min W. The fracture zone then widens to the east, with at least two probable en echelon offsets to the south at 104 deg and 102 deg W. Six new strike-slip mechanisms along the Chile Transform and one normal fault mechanism near the northern end of the Chile Rise, inverted together with other plate-motion data from the eastern portion of the boundary, produce a new best-fit Euler pole for the Nazca-Antarctic plate pair, providing tighter constraints on the relative plate motions.

Anderson-Fontana, Sandra; Larson, Roger L.; Engeln, Joseph F.; Lundgren, Paul; Stein, Seth

1987-01-01

300

A diffuse plate boundary model for Indian Ocean tectonics  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

It is suggested that motion along the virtually aseismic Owen fracture zone is negligible, so that Arabia and India are contained within a single Indo-Arabian plate divided from the Australian plate by a diffuse boundary. The boundary is a zone of concentrated seismicity and deformation commonly characterized as 'intraplate'. The rotation vector of Australia relative to Indo-Arabia is consistent with the seismologically observed 2 cm/yr of left-lateral strike-slip along the Ninetyeast Ridge, north-south compression in the Central Indian Ocean, and the north-south extension near Chagos.

Wiens, D. A.; Demets, C.; Gordon, R. G.; Stein, S.; Argus, D.

1985-01-01

301

578 R. J. STERN Chinese Science Bulletin | March 2007 | vol. 52 | no. 5 | 578-591 When and how did plate tectonics begin? Theoretical  

E-print Network

plate tectonics begin? Theoretical and empirical considerations R. J. STERN Geosciences Department mantle (asthenosphere) and is mostly driven by lithosphere sinking in subduction zones. Plate tectonics and viscous mantle. Plate tectonics is an unusual way for a silicate planet to lose heat, as it exists on only

Stern, Robert J.

302

Plate tectonics on super-Earths: Equally or more likely than on Earth H.J. van Heck , P.J. Tackley  

E-print Network

Plate tectonics on super-Earths: Equally or more likely than on Earth H.J. van Heck , P.J. Tackley 29 July 2011 Available online xxxx Editor: Y. Ricard Keywords: super-Earths plate tectonics mantle and evo- lution, and in whether their lithospheres are most likely to be undergoing active plate tectonics

Tackley, Paul J.

303

Self-Consistent Generation of Tectonic Plates in Time Dependent Three-Dimensional Mantle Convection  

Microsoft Academic Search

Abstract. Presented here are the first three-dimensional simulations of mantle convection,to display self-consistently-generated plate tectonic-like behavior which,is continuous,in space and,time. Plate behavior,arises through,a reasonable material description of silicate deformation, with a simple yield stress being sufficient to give first-order plate-like behavior. Toroidal:poloidal ratios are within geologically-observed limits. The sensitivity of the system to yield strength and,the form,of strength envelope,is systematically

Paul J. Tackley

304

Discussions on the sedimentary-tectonic event and tectonic setting of the North Tarim Basin in Cryogenian-Cambrian  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Across the Tarim Basin, limited surface outcrops of Cryogenian to Cambrian sedimentary succession are completely exposed in the vicinity of Aksu area(Northwest Tarim), Kuruktag(Northeast Tarim)and Southwest Tarim, thus provides a unique, well preserved and accessible means by which to study the early development of the north Tarim Basin. Based on the field geological investigation in the northwestern and northeastern of Tarim Basin, with the referencing of paleomagnetism mapping and previous research, basin evolution process in Cryogenian-Cambrian is discussed according to sedimentary-tectonic event and other evidences. The major lithological types of Cryogenian-Cambrian system in Northeast Tarim are: tillite, clastic rocks(rich in organic matter) and carbonate ,with interbeds of volcanic rocks while in Northwest Tarim, the calstic rocks and carbonate are the common rock type, with tillite and volcanic interbeds in a small amount. The north margin of Tarim Block, which was a part of Rodinia supercontinent, neighboring the northwestern margin of Australia, was deeply rifted in Cryogenian-Ediacaran and developed into two rifts in the northwestern and northeastern margin, while formed a thick layer of the rift-passive margin deposits and the layer in the northwestern rift was not completely developed as the northeastern. The deepest rift-passive magin sediment which can be observed is Cryogenian-Middle Ordovician strata, and the period can be divided into Cryogenian faulted period (supercontinent rifting stage) and Ediacaran-Middle Ordovician subsidence period (plate drifting stage).

Zhou, X. B.; Li, J. H.; Li, W. S.

2012-04-01

305

The rapid drift of the Indian tectonic plate  

Microsoft Academic Search

The breakup of the supercontinent Gondwanaland into Africa, Antarctica, Australia and India about 140 million years ago, and consequently the opening of the Indian Ocean, is thought to have been caused by heating of the lithosphere from below by a large plume whose relicts are now the Marion, Kerguelen and Runion plumes. Plate reconstructions based on palaeomagnetic data suggest that

Prakash Kumar; Xiaohui Yuan; M. Ravi Kumar; Rainer Kind; Xueqing Li; R. K. Chadha

2007-01-01

306

Seismicity and plate tectonics in south central Alaska  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Hypocenter distribution shows that the Benioff zone associated with the Aleutian arc terminates in interior Alaska some 75 km north of the Denali fault. There appears to be a break in the subducting Pacific plate in the Yentna River-Prince William Sound area which separates two seismically independent blocks, similar to the segmented structure reported for the central Aleutian arc.

Van Wormer, J. D.; Davies, J.; Gedney, L.

1974-01-01

307

Plate Tectonics of the Red Sea and East Africa  

Microsoft Academic Search

The relative motion between the plates on each side of the East African Rift Valley can be obtained from the opening of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The calculated direction of relative motion agrees well with fault plane solutions for earthquakes north of the equator.

D. P. McKenzie; D. Davies; P. MOLNAR

1970-01-01

308

Correlation between plate motions and tectonic subsidence of sedimentary basins in Africa  

SciTech Connect

From the early Mesozoic until the Holocene, the African continent was generally in a state of extension, based on plate tectonic reconstructions and sedimentary basin subsidence studies. Beginning with the breakup of Gondwana in the Permian-Triassic, this resulted in the formation of the present-day African continental margins and a series of intracontinental rift basins, located mainly on older (late Proterozoic) shear zones. Numerous wells from marginal, as well as intracontinental rift basins, have been backstripped to elucidate their Mesozoic and Tertiary tectonic histories. They show a generally consistent patterns of subsidence and uplift phases in all basins. During the evolution of these basins, the direction of African plate motion changed several times. This was related to the differential opening of the central and south Atlantic oceans, changes in spreading rates in both the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and the collision between Africa and Europe. Episodes of compressional deformation related to these plate tectonic changes are revealed in backstripped tectonic subsidence curves.

Janssen, M.E. (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (Netherlands))

1993-09-01

309

Organization of the tectonic plates in the last 200 Myr (Invited)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The present tessellation of the Earth's surface into tectonic plates displays a remarkably regular plate size distribution, described by either one (Sornette and Pisarenko, 2003) or two (Bird, 2003) statistically distinct groups, characterised by large and small plate size. A unique distribution implies a hierarchical structure from the largest to the smallest plate. Alternatively, two distributions indicate distinct evolutionary laws for large and small plates, the first tied to mantle flow, the second determined by a hierarchical fragmentation process. We analyse detailed reconstructions of plate boundaries during the last 200 Myr and find that (i) large and small plates display distinct statistical distributions, (ii) the small plates display little organisational change since 60 Ma and (iii) the large plates oscillate between heterogeneous (200-170 Ma and 65-50 Ma) and homogeneous (120-100 Ma) plate tessellations on a timescale of about 100 Myr. Heterogeneous states are reached more rapidly, while the plate configuration decays into homogeneous states following a slower asymptotic curve, suggesting that heterogeneous configurations are excited states while homogeneous tessellations are equilibrium states. We explain this evolution by proposing a model that alternates between bottom- and top-driven Earth dynamics, physically described by fluid-dynamic analogies, the Rayleigh-Benard and Bnard-Marangoni convection, respectively. We discuss the implications for true polar wander (TPW), global kinematic reorganisations (50 and 100 Ma) and the Earth's magnetic field inversion frequency. Earth's present tessellation: grey scale proportional to the logarithm of plate size. Plot: logarithm of complementary 'cumulative plate count' (Y-axis) vs. the logarithm of the plate size (X-axis). Time evolution of the 'standard deviation' of the plate size every one million years.

Morra, G.; Seton, M.; Quevedo, L. E.; Mller, D.

2013-12-01

310

Gravity anomalies, plate tectonics and the lateral growth of Precambrian North America  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The widespread gravity coverage of North America provides a picture of the gross structural fabric of the continent via the trends of gravity anomalies. The structural picture so obtained reveals a mosaic of gravity trend domains, many of which correlate closely with structural provinces and orogenic terranes. The gravity trend map, interpreted in the light of plate-tectonic theory, thus provides a new perspective for examining the mode of assembly and growth of North America. Suture zones, palaeosubduction directions, and perhaps, contrasting tectonic histories may be identified using gravity patterns.

Thomas, M. D.; Grieve, R. A. F.; Sharpton, V. L.

1988-01-01

311

in press, AGU Monograph on The History and Dynamics of Global Plate Motions, ed. M. Richards, 1999 The Quest for Self-Consistent Generation of Plate Tectonics in Mantle  

E-print Network

1 The Quest for Self-Consistent Generation of Plate Tectonics in Mantle Convection Models Paul J. Tackley Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles Plate tectonics do not exhibit plate tectonic behavior unless it is imposed by the modeler. This paper explores

Tackley, Paul J.

312

The class material is designed to address fundamental yet extremely interesting questions about earthquakes and plate tectonic activity and their cyclicity. For example: Just why and how are earthquakes generated at plate edges and  

E-print Network

earthquakes and plate tectonic activity and their cyclicity. For example: Just why and how are earthquakes? Ideas about interactions of the various components of the plate tectonic model and its attendant of crustal deformation produced during complex plate tectonic interactions. Earth is a gigantic heat engine

313

Numerical modelling of tectonic plates subduction using X-FEM  

Microsoft Academic Search

The numerical modelling of plate subduction requires solving a coupled thermo-mechanical highly-nonlinear transient problem. The mechanical description of the phenomenon results in a multiphase quasi-static Stokes flow, where the inertia terms are neglected. The transient thermal problem is dominated by the advection term. Here, the representation and evolution of the different phases are described using level sets. The phase tracking

Sergio Zlotnik; Pedro Dez; Manel Fernndez; Jaume Vergs

2007-01-01

314

Tectonic tremor and brittle seismic events triggered along the Eastern Denali Fault in northwest Canada  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Deep tectonic tremor has been observed in a number of plate-bounding tectonic environments around the world. It can occur both spontaneously (i.e. ambient) and as a result of small stress perturbations from passing seismic waves (i.e. triggered). Because tremor occurs beneath the seismogenic zone (> 15 km), it is important to understand where and how tremor occurs to discern its relationship with shallower earthquakes. In this study, we search for triggered tremor and brittle seismic events along the Eastern Denali Fault (EDF) in northwest Canada, an intraplate strike-slip region where previously tremor has not been observed. We retrieve seismic data for 19 distant earthquakes from 9 broadband stations monitored by the Canadian National Seismograph Network (CNSN). We apply high-pass or band-pass filters to the seismic data to suppress signals from distant events and search for local sources. Triggered tremor signals exhibit high-frequency contents, have long duration (> 15 s), are coincident with passing surface waves of the distant earthquakes, and are observable among nearby stations. Using this simple approach, we have identified 4 mainshocks that triggered tremor in our study region: the 2011/03/11 Mw9.1 Tohoku, 2012/04/11 Mw8.6 Sumatra, 2012/10/28 Mw7.7 Haida Gwaii, and 2013/01/05 Mw7.5 Craige earthquakes. Our initial locations indicate that the tremor source occurs on or near the southeastern portion of the EDF near the fault trace. In addition to the triggered tremor sources, we also identified many 'brittle' events with very short durations triggered by the Rayleigh waves of the 2012/10/28 Mw7.7 Haida Gwaii earthquake. While we were unable to locate these brittle events, they appear to be seismically similar to triggered icequakes observed in Antarctica (Peng et al., 2013) and occur during the dilatational strain changes caused by the Rayleigh waves.

Zimmerman, J. P.; Aiken, C.; Peng, Z.

2013-12-01

315

Topography of Venus and earth - A test for the presence of plate tectonics  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Comparisons of earth and Venus topography by use of Pioneer/Venus radar altimetry are examined. Approximately 93% of the Venus surface has been mapped with a horizontal resolution of 200 km and a vertical resolution of 200 m. Tectonic troughs have been indicated in plains regions which cover 65% of Venus, and hypsometric comparisons between the two planets' elevation distributions revealed that while the earth has a bimodal height distribution, Venus displays a unimodal configuration, with 60% of the planet surface within 500 m of the modal planet radius. The effects of mapping the earth at the same resolution as the Venus observations were explored. Continents and oceans were apparent, and although folded mountains appeared as high spots, no indications of tectonic activity were discernible. A NASA Venus Orbiting Imaging radar is outlined, which is designed to detect volcanoes, folded mountain ranges, craters, and faults, and thereby allow definition of possible plate-tectonic activity on Venus.

Head, J. W.; Yuter, S. E.; Solomon, S. C.

1981-01-01

316

Cenozoic plate tectonic reconstructions and plate boundary processes in the Southwest Pacific  

Microsoft Academic Search

The Australia-Pacific-Antarctic plate circuit has long been a weak link in global plate reconstruction models for Cenozoic time. The time period spanning chron 20 to chron 7 (43-25 Ma) is particularly problematic for global plate models because seafloor spreading was occurring in two poorly constrained regions in the Southwest Pacific - the Macquarie Basin southwest of New Zealand, and the

William R. Keller

2005-01-01

317

Earthquake stress drops, ambient tectonic stresses and stresses that drive plate motions  

USGS Publications Warehouse

A variety of geophysical observations suggests that the upper portion of the lithosphere, herein referred to as the elastic plate, has long-term material properties and frictional strength significantly greater than the lower lithosphere. If the average frictional stress along the non-ridge margin of the elastic plate is of the order of a kilobar, as suggested by the many observations of the frictional strength of rocks at mid-crustal conditions of pressure and temperature, the only viable mechanism for driving the motion of the elastic plate is a basal shear stress of several tens of bars. Kilobars of tectonic stress are then an ambient, steady condition of the earth's crust and uppermost mantle. The approximate equality of the basal shear stress and the average crustal earthquake stress drop, the localization of strain release for major plate margin earthquakes, and the rough equivalence of plate margin slip rates and gross plate motion rates suggest that the stress drops of major plate margin earthquakes are controlled by the elastic release of the basal shear stress in the vicinity of the plate margin, despite the existence of kilobars of tectonic stress existing across vertical planes parallel to the plate margin. If the stress differences available to be released at the time of faulting are distributed in a random, white fasbion with a mean-square value determined by the average earthquake stress drop, the frequency of occurrence of constant stress drop earthquakes will be proportional to reciprocal faulting area, in accordance with empirically known frequency of occurrence statistics. ?? 1977 Birkha??user Verlag.

Hanks, T.C.

1977-01-01

318

Continental Margin Tectonics Along the Convergent Plate Boundary of Central Chile  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Multibeam bathymetry along central Chile provides a detailed map of recent tectonic deformation of the margin and incoming oceanic plate from about 28? S to 36? S. The data were collected during R/V SONNE cruises 101, 102, 104 and 161 and a cruise with R/V Vidal Gormaz. Individual pings were edited and cleaned and the different surveys have been merged after depth calculations using a different measured velocity function for each of them. The oceanic Nazca plate is covered by about 100 m of pelagic sediment and the morphology of the igneous basement is displayed well in the bathymetric maps. The oceanic plate topography changes markedly along the subduction zone and exerts a first order control in the distribution of trench sediment infill and in the tectonic style of deformation of the margin. A major boundary occurs at latitude 32?-33? S where the hotspot volcanic chain of Juan Fernadez is currently subducting. The chain subducts oblique to the margin strike and thus the tectonic boundary has been migrating along the subduction zone through time. South of the area of ridge subduction the trench is filled with turbidites and a 20-40 km wide accretionary prism occurs at the front of the continental slope. The upper slope has a smooth morphology indicative of a quiet tectonic domain. At the current area of ridge subduction and north of it (28?-33?S) the trench has a reduced turbiditic infill. The trench infill seems to be at minimum at 31-32S and slightly larger to the north as the trench axis becomes deeper. Here, a small ridge at the slope toe may indicate that reduced accretion is active. The continental slope is deeper and more rugged that to the south displaying a series of small midslope basins. Here, the continental slope morphotectonic structure is the product of tectonic erosion due to the passage of the volcanic ridge.

Weinrebe, W.; Ranero, C. R.; Diaz, J.; Reichert, C.; Vera, E. E.

2003-12-01

319

California takes earthquakes very seriously. The state straddles two major tectonic plates and is subject to relatively frequent, often major, potentially devastating quakes.  

E-print Network

California takes earthquakes very seriously. The state straddles two major tectonic plates the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The Pacific Plate includes a sliver of California and Baja California, as well as Hawaii and most of the Pacific Ocean, while the North American Plate includes

320

Global plate tectonics and the secular motion of the pole  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Astronomical data compiled during the last 70 years by the international organizations providing the coordinates of the instantaneous pole clearly shows a persistent drift of the mean pole. The differential contributions to the earth's second-order tensor of inertia were obtained and applied, resulting in no significant displacement of the earth's principal axis. In view of the above, the effect that theoretical geophysical models for absolute plate velocities may have on an apparent displacement of the mean pole as a consequence of station drifting was analyzed. The investigation also reports new values for the crustal tensor of inertia (assuming an ellipsoidal earth) and the orientation of its axis of figure, reopening the old speculation of a possible sliding of the whole crustover the upper mantle, including the supporting geophysical and astronomic evidence.

Soler, T.

1977-01-01

321

Changes in electrical resistivity track changes in tectonic plate coupling  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

coupling on the Hikurangi subduction margin along the east coast of New Zealand's North Island changes north to south from almost uncoupled to locked. Clay-rich sediments and aqueous fluids at the subduction interface have been invoked as key factors in the frictional processes that control interplate coupling. Here we use magnetotelluric data to show that the subduction interface in the weakly coupled region is electrically conductive but is resistive in the locked region. These results indicate the presence of a layer of fluid- and clay-rich sediments in the weakly coupled region and support the idea that the presence of fluid and hydrated clays at the interface is a major factor controlling plate coupling.

Heise, Wiebke; Caldwell, T. Grant; Bertrand, Edward A.; Hill, Graham J.; Bennie, Stewart L.; Ogawa, Yasuo

2013-10-01

322

Tectonic plate under a localized boundary stress: fitting of a zero-range solvable model  

Microsoft Academic Search

We suggest a method of fitting of a zero-range model of a tectonic plate under a boundary stress on the basis of comparison of the theoretical formulae for the corresponding eigenfunctions\\/eigenvalues with the results extraction under monitoring, in the remote zone, of non-random (regular) oscillations of the Earth with periods 0.2-6 h, on the background seismic process, in case of

L. Petrova; B. Pavlov

2008-01-01

323

The birth of the Rheic Ocean Early Palaeozoic subsidence patterns and subsequent tectonic plate scenarios  

Microsoft Academic Search

New plate-tectonic reconstructions of the Gondwana margin suggest that the location of Gondwana-derived terranes should not only be guided by the models, but should also consider the possible detrital input from some Asian blocks (Hunia), supposed to have been located along the Cambrian Gondwana margin, and accreted in the Silurian to the North-Chinese block. Consequently, the Gondwana margin has to

Jrgen F. von Raumer; Grard M. Stampfli

2008-01-01

324

High-resolution global upper mantle structure and plate tectonics  

Microsoft Academic Search

A global high-resolution S wave velocity model RG5.5 is obtained for the upper 500 km of Earth's mantle using a 5 x 5 deg equal-area block parameterization. The data set consists of some 18,000 seismograms associated with 971 events with magnitudes larger than 5.5. Fundamental modes are used with periods from 75 to 250 s. The horizontal resolution length is

Yu-Shen Zhang; Toshiro Tanimoto

1993-01-01

325

Stability of active mantle upwelling revealed by net characteristics of plate tectonics.  

PubMed

Viscous convection within the mantle is linked to tectonic plate motions and deforms Earth's surface across wide areas. Such close links between surface geology and deep mantle dynamics presumably operated throughout Earth's history, but are difficult to investigate for past times because the history of mantle flow is poorly known. Here we show that the time dependence of global-scale mantle flow can be deduced from the net behaviour of surface plate motions. In particular, we tracked the geographic locations of net convergence and divergence for harmonic degrees 1 and 2 by computing the dipole and quadrupole moments of plate motions from tectonic reconstructions extended back to the early Mesozoic era. For present-day plate motions, we find dipole convergence in eastern Asia and quadrupole divergence in both central Africa and the central Pacific. These orientations are nearly identical to the dipole and quadrupole orientations of underlying mantle flow, which indicates that these 'net characteristics' of plate motions reveal deeper flow patterns. The positions of quadrupole divergence have not moved significantly during the past 250 million years, which suggests long-term stability of mantle upwelling beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean. These upwelling locations are positioned above two compositionally and seismologically distinct regions of the lowermost mantle, which may organize global mantle flow as they remain stationary over geologic time. PMID:23803848

Conrad, Clinton P; Steinberger, Bernhard; Torsvik, Trond H

2013-06-27

326

Cenozoic geological and plate tectonic evolution of SE Asia and the SW Pacific: computer-based reconstructions, model and animations  

Microsoft Academic Search

A plate tectonic model for the Cenozoic development of the region of SE Asia and the SW Pacific is presented and its implications are discussed. The model is accompanied by computer animations in a variety of formats, which can be viewed on most desktop computers. GPS measurements and present seismicity illustrate the high rates of motions and tectonic complexity of

Robert Hall

2002-01-01

327

Rubidium-strontium geochronology and plate-tectonic evolution of the southern part of the Arabian Shield  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Rubidium-strontium studies of Precambrian volcanic and plutonic rocks of the Arabian Shield document an early development of the Arabian craton between 900 and 680 m.y. (million years) ago. Geologic studies indicate an island-arc environment characterized by andesitic (dioritic) magmas, volcaniclastic sedimentation, rapid deposition, and contemporaneous deformation along north or northwest-trending axes. Magmatic trends show consistent variation in both composition and geographic location as a function of age. The oldest units belong to an assemblage of basaltic strata exposed in western Saudi Arabia that yield an age of 1165:!:110 m.y. The oldest andesitic strata studied yield an age of 912:!:76 m.y. The earliest plutonic units are diorite to trondhjemite batholiths that range from 800 to 9,00 m.y. in age and ,occur along the western and southern parts of Saudi Arabia. Younger plutonic units, 680 to 750 m.y. in age, range from quartz diorite to granodiodte and become more abundant in the central and northeastern parts of the Arabian Shield. Initial 'Sr/ 86 Sr ratios for both dioritic groups range from 0.7023 to 0.7030 and average 0.7027. The absence of sialic detritus in sedimentary units and the evidence for an island-arc environment suggest the early development of the Arabian craton at a convergent plate margin between plates of oceanic lithosphere. Active subduction apparently extended from at least 900 m.y. to about 680 m.y. Subsequent to this subduction-related magmatism and tectonism, called the Hijaz tectonic cycle, the Arabian craton was sutured to the late Precambrian African plate in a collisional event. This period of orogeny, represented in Arabia and eastern Africa by the Mozambiquian or Pan-African event, extended from some time before 650 m.y. to at least 540 m.y. and perhaps 520 m.y. B.P. Although the tectonic processes of subduction and continental collision during the 900+ to 500-m.y. period require similar directions of plate convergence, the differences in magmatic and tectonic. styles of Hijaz orogenesis from those of the Pan-African and the temporal break between them in much of the southern part of the Arabian Shield support division into at least two events. As defined by the ages of major plutonic units, the axis of magmatic and tectonic activity migrated eastward or northeastward during the Hijaz cycle, the predominantly dioritic plutonic rocks becoming younger and more siliceous to the east. Granodiorite to granite pl}.1tonism of the Pan-African event, however, shows no geographic bias, being distributed throughout the Arabian Shield. Although the Hijaz diorites and Pan-African granitic rocks exhibit strong contrasts in composition and age differences as great as 250 m.y. in the westernmost parts of the area, the two groups are less distinct compositionally and nearly the same age in the eastern part.

Fleck, Robert J.; Greenwood, W.R.; Hadley, D.G.; Anderson, R.E.; Schmidt, D.L.

1980-01-01

328

Reidar Lvlie and Plate Tectonic consequences of sedimentary inclination shallowing  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Reidar Lvlie was my mentor and supervisor in the early 1980s and he thought me all about laboratory experiments and palaeomagnetic methods, but also various aspects of science philosophy. My first fieldworks were together with him and I enjoyed memorable trips to the Bear Island, Spitsbergen and Scotland. Acquisition of magnetism in sediments was always a favourite topic of Reidar and in the early 1980s he was particularly interested in sedimentary inclination shallowing. From one of our fieldtrips to Spitsbergen we sampled unconsolidated flood-plain deposits of hematite-bearing Devonian red sand/siltstone from Dicksonfjorden. These were used for redeposition experiments in a coil system that could simulate different latitudes (field inclinations) and in 1994 we published a paper entitled"Magnetic remanence and fabric properties of laboratory-deposited hematite-bearing red sandstone" that demonstrated the tangent relationship between inclinations of detrital remanent magnetization and the ambient magnetic field. Inclination (I) error in sediments is latitude dependent, antisymmetric and the bias closely mimics errors produced by octupole fields of the same sign as the dipole field. Inclination shallowing is commonly predicted from tan (Observed Inclination) = f * tan (Field Inclination) where f is the degree of inclination error. In our study we calculated a f value of 0.4 and this laboratory value (and many others) is significant lower than those estimated from the E/I or the magnetic fabric methods developed in the past decade (f typically around 0.6). There is now little doubt that inclination shallowing in detrital sediments is a serious problem that affects plate reconstructions and apparent polar wander paths. As an example, a f value of 0.6 amounts to a latitude error of 1600 km at around 50 degrees N or S (comparable to the effects of octupole contributions as high as 22%) and this have led to erroneous Pangea reconstructions.

Torsvik, Trond H.

2014-05-01

329

This Dynamic Planet: World map of volcanoes, earthquakes, impact craters and plate tectonics  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Our Earth is a dynamic planet, as clearly illustrated on the main map by its topography, over 1500 volcanoes, 44,000 earthquakes, and 170 impact craters. These features largely reflect the movements of Earth's major tectonic plates and many smaller plates or fragments of plates (including microplates). Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are awe-inspiring displays of the powerful forces of nature and can be extraordinarily destructive. On average, about 60 of Earth's 550 historically active volcanoes are in eruption each year. In 2004 alone, over 160 earthquakes were magnitude 6.0 or above, some of which caused casualties and substantial damage. This map shows many of the features that have shaped--and continue to change--our dynamic planet. Most new crust forms at ocean ridge crests, is carried slowly away by plate movement, and is ultimately recycled deep into the earth--causing earthquakes and volcanism along the boundaries between moving tectonic plates. Oceans are continually opening (e.g., Red Sea, Atlantic) or closing (e.g., Mediterranean). Because continental crust is thicker and less dense than thinner, younger oceanic crust, most does not sink deep enough to be recycled, and remains largely preserved on land. Consequently, most continental bedrock is far older than the oldest oceanic bedrock. (see back of map) The earthquakes and volcanoes that mark plate boundaries are clearly shown on this map, as are craters made by impacts of extraterrestrial objects that punctuate Earth's history, some causing catastrophic ecological changes. Over geologic time, continuing plate movements, together with relentless erosion and redeposition of material, mask or obliterate traces of earlier plate-tectonic or impact processes, making the older chapters of Earth's 4,500-million-year history increasingly difficult to read. The recent activity shown on this map provides only a present-day snapshot of Earth's long history, helping to illustrate how its present surface came to be. The map is designed to show the most prominent features when viewed from a distance, and more detailed features upon closer inspection. The back of the map zooms in further, highlighting examples of fundamental features, while providing text, timelines, references, and other resources to enhance understanding of this dynamic planet. Both the front and back of this map illustrate the enormous recent growth in our knowledge of planet Earth. Yet, much remains unknown, particularly about the processes operating below the ever-shifting plates and the detailed geological history during all but the most recent stage of Earth's development.

Simkin, Tom; Tilling, Robert I.; Vogt, Peter R.; Kirby, Stephen H.; Kimberly, Paul; Stewart, David B.

2006-01-01

330

A plate-tectonic model for the Mesozoic and Early Cenozoic history of the Caribbean plate  

Microsoft Academic Search

We present a model in which the Caribbean plate is an intra-American feature formed along the Caribbean spreading center as opposed to the current model that considers the Caribbean plate as a far-travelled crustal segment that formed in the Pacific region. Paleomagnetic data, which cover an age range from Jurassic through Paleocene, indicate the ophiolite complexes in Costa Rica and

Martin Meschede; Wolfgang Frisch

1998-01-01

331

Filling in the juvenile magmatic gap: Evidence for uninterrupted Paleoproterozoic plate tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Despite several decades of research on growth of the continental crust, it remains unclear whether the production of juvenile continental crust has been continuous or episodic throughout the Precambrian. Models for episodic crustal growth have gained traction recently through compilations of global U-Pb zircon age frequency distributions interpreted to delineate peaks and lulls in crustal growth through geologic time. One such apparent trough in zircon age frequency distributions between ?2.45 and 2.22 Ga is thought to represent a pause in crustal addition, resulting from a global shutdown of magmatic and tectonic processes. The ?2.45-2.22 Ga magmatic shutdown model envisions a causal relationship between the cessation of plate tectonics and accumulation of atmospheric oxygen over the same period. Here, we present new coupled U-Pb, Hf, and O isotope data for detrital and magmatic zircon from the western Churchill Province and Trans-Hudson orogen of Canada, covering an area of approximately 1.3 million km2, that demonstrate significant juvenile crustal production during the ?2.45-2.22 Ga time interval, and thereby argue against the magmatic shutdown hypothesis. Our data is corroborated by literature data showing an extensive 2.22-2.45 Ga record in both detrital and magmatic rocks on every continent, and suggests that the operation of plate tectonics continued throughout the early Paleoproterozoic, while atmospheric oxygen rose over the same time interval. We argue that uninterrupted plate tectonics between ?2.45 and 2.22 Ga would have contributed to efficient burial of organic matter and sedimentary pyrite, and the consequent rise in atmospheric oxygen documented for this time interval.

Partin, C. A.; Bekker, A.; Sylvester, P. J.; Wodicka, N.; Stern, R. A.; Chacko, T.; Heaman, L. M.

2014-02-01

332

Tectonic plates, D (double prime) thermal structure, and the nature of mantle plumes  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

It is proposed that subducting tectonic plates can affect the nature of thermal mantle plumes by determining the temperature drop across a plume source layer. The temperature drop affects source layer stability and the morphology of plumes emitted from it. Numerical models are presented to demonstrate how introduction of platelike behavior in a convecting temperature dependent medium, driven by a combination of internal and basal heating, can increase the temperature drop across the lower boundary layer. The temperature drop increases dramatically following introduction of platelike behavior due to formation of a cold temperature inversion above the lower boundary layer. This thermal inversion, induced by deposition of upper boundary layer material to the system base, decays in time, but the temperature drop across the lower boundary layer always remains considerably higher than in models lacking platelike behavior. On the basis of model-inferred boundary layer temperature drops and previous studies of plume dynamics, we argue that generally accepted notions as to the nature of mantle plumes on Earth may hinge on the presence of plates. The implication for Mars and Venus, planets apparently lacking plate tectonics, is that mantle plumes of these planets may differ morphologically from those of Earth. A corollary model-based argument is that as a result of slab-induced thermal inversions above the core mantle boundary the lower most mantle may be subadiabatic, on average (in space and time), if major plate reorganization timescales are less than those acquired to diffuse newly deposited slab material.

Lenardic, A.; Kaula, W. M.

1994-01-01

333

Infrequent earthquakes and far-field plate tectonic forces: the importance of crustal structure in relating short and long term processes in intraplate settings.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Regions of the Earth located far from active plate boundaries are subject to subtle, yet very significant tectonic stresses which propagate large distances from active plate boundaries. Intraplate earthquakes release the accumulated strain in infrequent events, often at unforeseen locations. We examine the interplay between the short term and long term processes using the distribution and focal mechanisms of earthquakes from regions of the Antarctic and Australian continents. Providing a coherent explanation of such processes requires an understanding of the long term current and recent plate dynamics, also incorporating relict structures and deformation from past plate interactions. Short term processes, in particular the infrequent earthquakes characteristic of intraplate regions are important clues to pervasive stress directions, but can also be misleading. We provide examples of the reinterpretation of an earthquake focal mechanism that was made possible by improving the detailed structure of the source and surrounding area. Such examples show that the response to intraplate stress and strain, in the far-field plate tectonic environment, can be highly variable. Crustal structure is therefore significant on two accounts. It produces heterogeneities in strain accommodation, and stress propagation, resulting in significant local variations in stress magnitude and direction. Structure is also an essential component in the correct determination of the earthquake focal mechanisms from infrequent events which help to constrain the orientations of crustal stress and strain across extensive areas of the Earth.

Reading, A. M.; Young, M. K.; Rawlinson, N.; Tkalcic, H.; Sandiford, M.

2012-12-01

334

Tectonic implications of post-30 Ma Pacific and North American relative plate motions  

USGS Publications Warehouse

The Pacific plate moved northwest relative to North America since 42 Ma. The rapid half rate of Pacific-Farallon spreading allowed the ridge to approach the continent at about 29 Ma. Extinct spreading ridges that occur offshore along 65% of the margin document that fragments of the subducted Farallon slab became captured by the Pacific plate and assumed its motion proper to the actual subduction of the spreading ridge. This plate-capture process can be used to explain much of the post-29 Ma Cordilleran North America extension, strike slip, and the inland jump of oceanic spreading in the Gulf of California. Much of the post-29 Ma continental tectonism is the result of the strong traction imposed on the deep part of the continental crust by the gently inclined slab of subducted oceanic lithosphere as it moved to the northwest relative to the overlying continent. -from Authors

Bohannon, R.G.; Parsons, T.

1995-01-01

335

A unit of instruction on the plate tectonic evolution of New England  

SciTech Connect

A unit of instruction has been developed which enables high school students to decipher the plate tectonic evolution of a typical mountain belt, the New England segment of the Appalachian Orogen. It integrates a wide variety of geological topics including: geological time, the fossil record, global tectonics, geological environments, rocks, minerals, and representative sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic processes. Students are provided with a simplified tectonic map of the New England area and data cards on each of 12 units. They use fossils and radiometric dates to sort the units chronologically and the map to sort them geographically. Next, they compare the fossil and geological data for each unit with modern tectonic settings and interpret each unit as either oceanic crust [+-] mantle, volcanic arc, arc margin, continental crust, passive margin (rift, shelf, or slope), granite system, or collision margin. Finally, they reconstruct the paleogeography for each time period which reveals the cycle of Iapetus Ocean growth and destruction and the initiation of the Atlantic Ocean cycle.

Reusch, D. (Maine Geological Survey, Augusta, ME (United States))

1993-03-01

336

Conception and realisation of educational models for an exhibition explaining the plate tectonics theory  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Alfred Wegener suggested in 1915 that the seven continents were once one large land mass that broke apart creating the continents, which then drifted to their current locations. The Atlantic Ocean was created by this process. The mid-Atlantic Ridge is an area where new sea floor is being created. The sea floor continues to spread and the plates get bigger and bigger. Therefore, when plates diverge and form new crust in one area, the plates must converge in another area and be destroyed. When two continental plates meet each other this results in the formation of a mountain. As the subducting oceanic crust melts as it goes deeper into the Earth, the newly-created magma rises to the surface and forms volcanoes. So, the plates move towards each other. The amount of crust on the surface of the earth remains relatively constant. In this context, the aim of this study is to elaborate some educational models to facilitate the comprehension of plate tectonics and there results for pupils and science city visitors.

Ouerghi, S.; Harchi, M.; Riadh chebbi, M.

2012-04-01

337

Tectonomagmatic evolution of the Earth: from the primordial crust to plate tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

There are two dominating hypotheses about composition of the primordial Earths crust now: basic or sialic. Both models require a global melting of primary chondritic material, and final result would depend on degree of melt differentiation during hardening of global magmatic ocean. Such a solidification, due to difference in adiabatic and melting point gradients proceeded in bottom-top direction and resulted in accumulation of low-temperature derivates in outer shell of the planet. Geological data, namely granite-dominated Archean crust, composed mainly by tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) rocks, and Hadean detrital zircons from Australia with U-Pb age 4.4-4.2 Ga supports the primordial-sialic crust hypothesis. Formation of the sialic crust was responsible for the depletion of the upper mantle matter. The early Precambrian (Archean, Early Paleoproterozoic) tectonomagmatic activity was rather different from the Phanerozoic: the major structures were granite-greenstone terranes and their separating granulite belts; high-Mg melts (komatiite-basaltic and boninite-like), derived from a depleted source of the first generation mantle superplumes, predominated. Situation can be described in terms of plume-tectonics. Cardinal change of tectonomagmatic processes occurred in the period of 2.3 to 2.0 Ga, which was characterized by voluminous eruption of Fe-Ti picrites and basalts similar to the Phanerozoic within-plate magmas, derived from geochemical-enriched mantle source. Simultaneously, important compositional changes occurred in the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere (Melezhik et al., 2005). The first Phanerozoic-type orogens (Svecofennian of the Baltic Shield, Trans-Hudson and others of the Canadian Shield, etc.) appeared ca. 2 Ga. Since then, subduction of the ancient sialic continental crust (together with newly-formed oceanic crust) is a permanent process and the crustal material has stored in the slab graveyard, estimated in the mantle by seismic tomography. We believe that the ascending of the second generation mantle plumes (thermochemical), enriched in Fe, Ti, P, LREE, etc., was responsible for those changes. Those plumes were generated at the core-mantle boundary in D" layer and this process is active so far. The thermochemical plume matter possessed less density and could reach shallower depths; triggering plate tectonics processes. So, previously absent geochemical-enriched material started to involve from ~2.3 Ga in the Earths tectonomagmatic processes. Where such material was conserved and how it was activated? The established succession of events could be provided by a combination of two independent factors: (1) the Earth originally was heterogeneous, and (2) the downward heating of the Earth (from the surface to the core) was followed by the cooling of its outer shells. The most evidently cause of the centripetal heating of the Earth was a zone/wave of heat-generating deformation, appeared after its accretion completion, which moved inside the planet as a result of acceleration of the bodys rotation around axis due to momentum conservation law as a result of material compaction and its radius shortening.

Sharkov, E. V.; Bogatikov, O. A.

2009-12-01

338

Thrust -wrench interference tectonics in the Gulf of Cadiz (Africa -Iberia plate boundary in the North-East Atlantic): insights from  

E-print Network

Thrust - wrench interference tectonics in the Gulf of Cadiz (Africa - Iberia plate boundary to a segment of the Africa- Eurasia plate boundary previously described as tectonically diffuse (e.g. Sartori key segment of the Africa-Iberia plate boundary (North- East Atlantic ocean), three main different

Paris-Sud XI, Université de

339

Tertiary plate tectonics and high-pressure metamorphism in New Caledonia  

USGS Publications Warehouse

The sialic basement of New Caledonia is a Permian-Jurassic greywacke sequence which was folded and metamorphosed to prehnite-pumpellyite or low-grade greenschist facies by the Late Jurassic. Succeeding Cretaceous-Eocene sediments unconformably overlie this basement and extend outwards onto oceanic crust. Tertiary tectonism occurred in three distinct phases. 1. (1) During the Late Eocene a nappe of peridotite was obducted onto southern New Caledonia from northeast to southwest, but without causing significant metamorphism in the underlying sialic rocks. 2. (2) Oligocene compressive thrust tectonics in the northern part of the island accompanied a major east-west subduction zone, at least 30 km wide, which is identified by an imbricate system of tectonically intruded melanges and by development of lawsonite-bearing assemblages in adjacent country rocks; this high-pressure mineralogy constituted a primary metamorphism for the Cretaceous-Eocene sedimentary pile, but was overprinted on the Mesozoic prehnite-pumpellyite metagreywackes. 3. (3) Post-Oligocene transcurrent faulting along a northwest-southeast line (the sillon) parallel to the west coast caused at least 150 km of dextral offset of the southwest frontal margin of the Eocene ultramafic nappe. At the present time, the tectonics of the southwest Pacific are related to a series of opposite facing subduction (Benioff) zones connected by transform faults extending from New Britain-Solomon Islands south through the New Hebrides to New Zealand and marking the boundary between the Australian and Pacific plates. Available geologic data from this region suggest that a similar geometry existed during the Tertiary and that the microcontinents of New Guinea, New Caledonia and New Zealand all lay along the former plate boundary which has since migrated north and east by a complex process of sea-floor spreading behind the active island arcs. ?? 1973.

Brothers, R.N.; Blake, M.C., Jr.

1973-01-01

340

Ultra-slow spreading ridges: a response to the interplay between mantle convection and plate tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Ultra-slow spreading ridges such as the South West Indian ridge or the Arctic ridge system are oddities amongst oceanic ridges. Conversely to faster oceanic ridges, petrographic and seafloor studies have shown that they are characterized by low melt supply and present low crustal thicknesses and heat flow; these features are interpreted as an evidence for a cooler sublithospheric mantle. In cartoonish sketches of plate tectonics, ridges open above upwellings, subduction zones occur over downwellings, and plates are riding over the mantle convection cells. In this study, we designed a simple yet dynamically consistent thermal convection model to test the impact of far-field forces on spreading ridges and show that this pattern is disrupted by plate tectonics. In particular, continental collisions modulate the spreading rates because resisting forces build up at plate boundaries. As a consequence, this modifies the surface boundary conditions and therefore the underlying mantle flow. We show that the ideal convection cell pattern quickly breaks down when plate motion is impeded by continental collisions in the far field. Not only the decreasing spreading rates are diagnostic, but in the same time, (i) the heat flow is decreasing at the ridge, (ii) the thermal structure of the cooling lithosphere no longer matches the cooling half-space model, and (iii) the mantle temperature beneath the ridge drops by more than 100 degrees. We compare our model predictions to available observables and show that this simple mechanism explains the atypical thermo-mechanical evolution of the South West Indian ridge and Arctic ridge system. Last, the recent S wave seismic tomography model of Debayle and Ricard (2012) reveals that only away from those two ridges does lithospheric thickening departs from the half-space cooling model, in accord with our model predictions.

Husson, Laurent; Yamato, Philippe; Bezos, Antoine

2014-05-01

341

Earth Exploration Toolbook: Writing to Support the Theory of Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

How does one write about plate tectonics? It's an important question for those studying the earth sciences. This resource from the Earth Exploration Toolbook was created by Sabina F. Thomas and William A. Prothero and is designed to help students use a range of images of earthquakes, volcanoes, and seafloor ages to craft just such a paper. On this site, visitors can take advantage of teaching notes, step-by-step instructions, and a range of tools. Instructors will find this material quite useful and it's important to note that students are encouraged to use these resources for improving their own skills of scientific inquiry and synthesis.

342

Plate tectonics 2.5 billion years ago - Evidence at Kolar, south India  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The Archean Kolar Schist Belt, south India, is a suture zone where two gneiss terranes and at least two amphibolite terranes with distinct histories were accreted. Amphibolites from the eastern and western sides of the schist belt have distinct incompatible element and isotopic characteristics suggesting that their volcanic protoliths were derived from different mantle sources. The amphibolite and gneiss terranes were juxtaposed by horizontal compression and shearing between 2530 and 2420 million years ago (Ma) along a zone marked by the Kolar Schist Belt. This history of accretion of discrete crustal terranes resembles those of Phanerozoic convergent margins and thus suggests that plate tectonics operated on earth by 2500 Ma.

Krogstad, E. J.; Hanson, G. N.; Balakrishnan, S.; Rajamani, V.; Mukhopadhyay, D. K.

1989-01-01

343

This Dynamic Planet: World Map of Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Impact Craters, and Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Published by the US Geological Survey (USGS), this Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) document contains text and figures depicting volcanoes, earthquakes, impact craters, and plate tectonics located around the world, as well as a 44 inch wide world map. The text explains the geological reasoning for the distribution of volcanoes and earthquakes (shown in the figures) and the formation of impact craters, and describes the preparation of the complex This Dynamic Planet world map. A hardcopy version of the map may be ordered from the USGS. Selected references contain additional editor's notes throughout the document.

344

Plate tectonics on large exoplanets and the importance of the initial conditions  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Several numerical studies have been published in the past years speculating about the existence of plate tectonics on large exoplanets. These studies focus on various aspects like the mass of a planet [1,2,3,5], the interior heating rate and mantle temperatures [4,5] and the occurrence of water in the upper mantle [6]. Different trends in the propensity for plate tectonics have been observed in particular when varying the planetary mass: with increasing mass the surface mobilization is found to be either more [2,3,5], equally [3,6] or less [1,4] likely than on Earth. These studies and their implications are, however, difficult to compare as they assume different initial conditions and parameter sets, and either neglect the pressure effect on the viscosity or assume a rather small influence of the pressure on the rheology. Furthermore, the thermal evolution of the planets (i.e. cooling of core and decrease in radioactive heat sources with time) is typically neglected. In our study, we us the finite volume code GAIA [7] and apply a pseudo-plastic rheology. We investigate how a strong pressure-dependence of the viscosity [8] influences not only the convective regime in the lower mantle, but also the upper mantle and hence the likelihood to obtain plate tectonics. We investigate how our results change when assuming different initial conditions, focussing on the initial temperature in the lower mantle and at the core-mantle boundary. We find that the initial temperature conditions have a first-order influence on the likelihood of plate tectonics on large exoplanets and (as observed in earlier studies) surface mobilization may either be more, equally or less likely than on Earth. References [1] O'Neill, C. and A. Lenardic (2007), GRL 34, 1-4. [2] Valencia, D., O'Connell, R.J. and Sasselov, D.D. (2007), Astrophys. J. Let., 670(1):45-48. [3] van Heck, H.J. and Tackley, P.J. (2011), EPSL, 310:252-261. [4] Stein, C.; A. Finnenktter, J. P. Lowman and U. Hansen (2011), GRL 38, L21201. [5] Foley, B.J., Bercovici, D. and Landuyt, W. (2012), EPSL 331-332, 281-290. [6] Korenaga, J. (2010), Astrophys. J. Let. 725, L43-L46. [7] Httig, C. and K. Stemmer (2008), PEPI 171, 137-146. [8] Stamenkovic, V.; L. Noack, D. Breuer and T. Spohn (2012), Astroph. J. 748(1), 41.

Noack, Lena; Breuer, Doris

2013-04-01

345

The effect of plate movements in the northern region of South America on tectonics and sedimentation in the Eastern Llanos Basin  

SciTech Connect

The geological configuration of the Eastern Llanos pericratonic mega-basin has been directly affected by the overall tectonic regime experienced in the Northern part of South America. Interaction between the Pacific (Cocos), South American and Caribbean Plates generated a regional compressional dextral rotational force expressed as a regional North-South striking structural trend in the southern part of the basin and an east-west striking trend in portion nearest the Caribbean Plate Boundary. Nearly 90% of the strike-slip faults in this northern area show right lateral displacement. The majority of the structures in the East Llanos basin are related to the Late Miocene uplift of the Eastern Andes. Nevertheless we can subdivide the structures into two major groups: pre-Miocene and post-Miocene. By being able to recognize pre-Miocene Cretaceous age structures, much altered by later movements, we can envision remigration of hydrocarbons out of early traps into those created more recently. Plate tectonic events in the north of South America have produced a general regional structure strike directional through time. Sedimentary-tectonic relationships depend upon regional phenomena which, if interpreted correctly, help to sub-divide the mega-basin into genetically related parts. By understanding the mechanism that creates large scale structural features, the geologist is thus provided with an important tool that can aid him in exploring the Eastern Llanos basin.

Pena, L.E. (Empresa Colombiana de Petroleos, Santafe de Bogota (Colombia))

1993-02-01

346

Tectonic plate under a localized boundary stress: fitting of a zero-range solvable model  

E-print Network

We suggest a method of fitting of a zero-range model of a tectonic plate under a boundary stress on the basis of comparison of the theoretical formulae for the corresponding eigenfunctions/eigenvalues with the results extraction under monitoring, in the remote zone, of non-random (regular) oscillations of the Earth with periods 0.2-6 hours, on the background seismic process, in case of low seismic activity. Observations of changes of the characteristics of the oscillations (frequency, amplitude and polarization) in course of time, together with the theoretical analysis of the fitted model, would enable us to localize the stressed zone on the boundary of the plate and estimate the risk of a powerful earthquake at the zone.

Petrova, L

2008-01-01

347

Tectonic plate under a localized boundary stress: fitting of a zero-range solvable model  

E-print Network

We suggest a method of fitting of a zero-range model of a tectonic plate under a boundary stress on the basis of comparison of the theoretical formulae for the corresponding eigenfunctions/eigenvalues with the results extraction under monitoring, in the remote zone, of non-random (regular) oscillations of the Earth with periods 0.2-6 hours, on the background seismic process, in case of low seismic activity. Observations of changes of the characteristics of the oscillations (frequency, amplitude and polarization) in course of time, together with the theoretical analysis of the fitted model, would enable us to localize the stressed zone on the boundary of the plate and estimate the risk of a powerful earthquake at the zone.

L. Petrova; B. Pavlov

2008-01-18

348

This Dynamic Planet: World Map of Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Impact Craters, and Plate Tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This map shows Earth's tectonic features, volcanoes, earthquakes, and impact craters. Smaller inset maps are included to depict the North and South Poles. The back of the map provides additional information, highlighting examples of fundamental processes; and providing text, timelines, references, and other resources to enhance understanding. The main and polar maps feature online interactive versions. Users can use the zoom and pan functions to make their own regional maps, and choose from a selection of data layers including volcanoes, plate motion symbols, earthquakes, plate boundary types, and others. Data for any volcano, earthquake, or impact symbol can be found by using the 'Identify' tool. This map is the companion to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) publication 'This Dynamic Earth'. Downloadable, printable versions of the entire map and selected smaller portions are available, and a hardcopy version is available for purchase.

2010-09-21

349

Thermochronology and tectonics of the Leeward Antilles: Evolution of the southern Caribbean Plate boundary zone  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Tectonic reconstructions of the Caribbean Plate are severely hampered by a paucity of geochronologic and exhumation constraints from anastomosed basement blocks along its southern margin. New U/Pb, 40Ar/39Ar, apatite fission track, and apatite (U-Th)/He data constrain quantitative thermal and exhumation histories, which have been used to propose a model for the tectonic evolution of the emergent parts of the Bonaire Block and the southern Caribbean Plate boundary zone. An east facing arc system intruded through an oceanic plateau during ~90 to ~87 Ma and crops out on Aruba. Subsequent structural displacements resulted in >80C of cooling on Aruba during 7060 Ma. In contrast, exhumation of the island arc sequence exposed on Bonaire occurred at 8580 Ma and 5545 Ma. Santonian exhumation on Bonaire occurred immediately subsequent to burial metamorphism and may have been driven by the collision of a west facing island arc with the Caribbean Plate. Island arc rocks intruded oceanic plateau rocks on Gran Roque at ~65 Ma and exhumed rapidly at 5545 Ma. We attribute Maastrichtian-Danian exhumation on Aruba and early Eocene exhumation on Bonaire and Gran Roque to sequential diachronous accretion of their basement units to the South American Plate. Widespread unconformities indicate late Eocene subaerial exposure. Late Oligoceneearly Miocene dextral transtension within the Bonaire Block drove subsidence and burial of crystalline basement rocks of the Leeward Antilles to ?1 km. Late Miocenerecent transpression caused inversion and ?1 km of exhumation, possibly as a result of the northward escape of the Maracaibo Block.

van der Lelij, Roelant; Spikings, Richard A.; Kerr, Andrew C.; Kounov, Alexandre; Cosca, Michael; Chew, David; Villagomez, Diego

2010-01-01

350

Tectonic plates, difficulties for pupils to link models and scientific data.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In a secondary school in the west of France, I teach Biology and Geology to young pupils from 12 to 15 years old. This poster deals with the difficulties that pupils have to link the scientific data concerning the plate tectonics and the models. I choose to reproduce for pupils some situations that faced some first scientific people as they discovered arguments for the plate tectonics. For example, they have to discover the thickness of the plates by studying the speed of the seismic waves regarding the deepness. That means that they have to construct a curve starting with a table and then to analyze it. The first step is linked to math lessons and is quite easy for them. But the second one needs to mix the curve with its signification. This point is particularly hard and as we correct it, it appears like one moment of pure science because they seem to discover something none did before, with the power of their brain ! The second work on this subject is to study the representations of the subduction at an oceanic trench and of the mid-ocean ridge. They first look for drawing explaining what happens for the plates in those places and then they look for proofs that permitted to create those drawings. They really need help to make the difference between scientific data (pictures, curves...) and other drawings similar to the one they choose. For this subject working with documents is not easy because pupils have to ask themselves what kind of document is it ? before going further into their thinking. Nevertheless, they often succeed in those works because the teacher helps them a little. Those subjects open their eyes on what science is for a geological theme. It's also a good method to make them having fun doing science and to make them being seduced by making science.

David-Ameline, Jacques

2014-05-01

351

Effects of tectonic plate deformation on the geodetic reference frame of Mexico  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Positioning for geodetic applications is commonly determined at one observation epoch, but tectonic drift and tectonic deformation cause the coordinates to be different for any other epoch. Finding the right coordinates at a different epoch from that of the observation time is necessary in Mexico in order to comply the official reference frame, which requires all coordinates to be referred to the standard epoch 2010.0. Available models of horizontal movement in rigid tectonic plates are used to calculate the displacement of coordinates; however for a portion of Mexico these models fail because of miss-modeled regional deformation, decreasing the quality of users' data transformed to the standard epoch. In this work we present the progress achieved in measuring actual horizontal motion towards an improved modeling of horizontal displacements for some regions. Miss-modeled velocities found are as big as 23mm/a, affecting significantly applications like cadastral and geodetic control. Data from a large set of GNSS permanent stations in Mexico is being analyzed to produce the preliminary model of horizontal crustal movement that will be used to minimize distortions of the reference frame.

Gonzalez Franco, G. A.; Avalos, D.; Esquivel, R.

2013-05-01

352

Crustal structure beneath southern Africa: insight into how tectonic events affect the Mohorovi?i? discontinuity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The long and complex history of southern Africa makes it a geological nexus for understanding how crust forms, evolves and survives plate tectonic processes over billions of years. The goal of this study is to characterize the crustal thickness, composition, and Moho impedance contrasts across the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons and surrounding mobile belts, which range in age from Archean to Palaeozoic. We use data gathered from the 1997-1999 Southern Africa Seismic Experiment, the Africa Array (2006-2007) and the Global Seismographic Network (1993-2009) to generate P-wave receiver function Gaussian-weighted common conversion point stacks across the region in order to provide a continuous 3-D image of crustal variations throughout southern Africa. We observe thickened crust associated with mobile belts and the intrusion of the Bushveld Complex relative to the less-deformed cratons. The southern Kaapvaal and eastern Zimbabwe Cratons have a well-defined Moho with an average depth of 34 km and Vp/Vs of 1.73, indicative of felsic average crustal composition. We explain the felsic composition observed in the Kaapvaal Craton in the context of significant crustal modification related to the deposition of the Ventersdorp lavas. We find that the Bushveld Province, the site of the world's largest layered mafic intrusion, has a thick (>40 km) crust with a Vp/Vs > 1.8, indicative of a mafic average crustal composition. The magnitude of Moho conversions beneath the Bushveld Province is variable, with the lowest amplitude conversion appearing between the eastern and western limbs of the Bushveld Complex, indicative of mafic underplating beneath the region. In the Limpopo Belt and western Zimbabwe Craton, we observe low amplitude Moho conversions beneath the Okavango Dyke Swarm, and attribute this to the reworking of the crust by mafic underplating and intrusion during the Jurassic rifting of Gondwanaland. The Namaqua-Natal event thickened the crust and created a gradational transition from crust to mantle as seen by low amplitude Ps arrivals from receiver functions. Evidence for the presence of a mafic lower crust beneath the Namaqua-Natal Belt is observed in high Vp/Vs values (1.8) and a high concentration of granulite xenoliths in kimberlite intrusions. In contrast to past interpretations for craton formation that suggest sharp Moho boundaries and low Vp/Vs ratios are characteristic of undisturbed cratons, we propose that these crustal properties are more controlled by tectonic events that later modify the existing cratonic crust. We cannot rule out secular crustal formation variations in the early Earth, but we propose that the southern African cratonic crust has been too heavily modified by later tectonic events to be used in arguments for secular variation, as may be the case for other cratons as well. Thus, it is important to consider the regional geological history of cratons to ensure that secular variation is not confused with the effects of later tectonic deformation and crustal modification.

Delph, Jonathan R.; Porter, Ryan C.

2015-01-01

353

Learning by exploring planets, plate tectonics, and the process of inquiry  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Inquiry-based instruction should be question driven, involve good triggers for learning, emphasize researchable questions, build research skills, provide mechanisms for students to monitor their progress, and draw on the expertise of the instruction to promote inquiry and reflection. At Brigham Young University Hawaii, we have implemented an inquiry based approach to teaching introductory Earth science which provides students with little or no background in the sciences immediate access to participation in current research of genuine scientific interest. An example of this process is presented in which students are engaged in reflecting on whether plate tectonics is a general theory of planetary organization and evolution. Students use topographic, magnetic, spectral, and other data from NASA and ESA missions to determine whether "Earth-style" plate tectonics is functional on planets and moons elsewhere in the solar system. Students are engaged in a data- rich environment from which they must formulate and test multiple hypotheses. Throughout the process, students are engaged in small groups to identify what they need to learn to answer their questions, what resources are available to them, how best to report their findings, and how they can assess the amount of learning that is taking place. Students' responses to the course have been overwhelmingly positive and suggest that many of the students are internalizing the meta-cognitive skills the course is designed to inculcate.

Bartlett, M. G.

2006-12-01

354

Marine Magnetic Anomaly Compilations in the Indian Ocean for Plate Tectonics and Beyond (Invited)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The French territories in the western and southern parts of the Indian Ocean (i.e. Reunion and Mayotte islands, islands in the Mozambique Channel, Kerguelen and Crozet archipelagos, Saint Paul and Amsterdam islands) have triggered significant scientific activities, including marine geophysics, by French scientists in this area. French marine magnetic data in this ocean span more than four decades, with records as old as 1966 and as recent as early 2009. Similarly, Indian scientists have collected a large amount of geophysical data in the northern Indian Ocean, with a focus on the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, the Central Indian Basin, and surrounding areas. To take advantage of the obvious complementarity of the French and Indian data sets for plate tectonics studies, we have conducted two projects funded by the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research, the first one regarding the Arabian and eastern Somali basins, the second one the Central Indian, Madagascar and Crozet basins. These projects have been complemented by more localized work over the Mascarene Basin and Wharton basins, both characterized by an abandoned spreading centre. The purpose of this presentation is to show how such a compilation is being used to conduct plate tectonic studies, from the identification of the magnetic anomalies to their unambiguous picking using the analytic signal, the construction of isochrons and tectonic chart, and the paleogeographic reconstructions. Beyond this classical use, the compiled data can be used to produce magnetic anomaly grids and maps in areas with sufficient data coverage: such grids may help to improve and/or complement future versions of the World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map (WDMAM).

Dyment, J.; Bhattacharya, G. C.; Vadakkeyakath, Y.; Bissessur, D.; Jacob, J.; Kattoju, K. R.; Ramprasad, T.; Royer, J.; Patriat, P.; Chaubey, A. K.; Srinivas, K.; Choi, Y.

2009-12-01

355

GIS Plate Tectonic Reconstruction of the Gulf of California-Salton Trough Oblique Rift  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We present GIS-based plate tectonic reconstruction maps for the Gulf of California-Salton Trough oblique rift. The maps track plate boundary deformation in 2 and 1 Myr slices (6-2 Ma and 2 Ma-present) using a custom ArcGIS add-in tool to close extensional basins and restore slip on dextral faults. The tool takes a set of polygons depicting present day locations of tectonic blocks and sequentially restores displacement of their centroids along a vector specific to that time slice. Tectonic blocks are defined by faults, geology, seismic data, and bathymetry/topography. Spreading center and fault-slip rates were acquired from geologic data, cross-Gulf tie points, GPS studies, and aeromagnetic data. A recent GPS study indicated that ~92% of modern-day Pacific-North America (PAC-NAM) plate motion is localized between the Baja California microplate and North America. Relative plate motion azimuth varies from ~302 in the southern Gulf to ~314 in the Salton Trough. Baja-North America GPS rates agree remarkably with ~6 Ma geologic offsets across the Gulf and are used during reconstruction steps back to 6 Ma. In the southern Gulf, unpublished GPS data indicate that modern plate motion is partitioned between the plate boundary, Gulf-margin system, and borderland faults west of Baja California. The Alarcon and Guaymas spreading centers initiated at 2.4 Ma and 6 Ma (Lizarralde et al., 2007), respectively, while the Farallon, Pescadero, and Carmen spreading centers began between ~2-1 Ma (Lonsdale, 1989). Therefore, the 2, 4, and 6 Ma reconstruction steps include a long transtensional fault zone along much of the southern Gulf, connecting the Guaymas spreading center with either the Alarcon spreading center or East Pacific Rise. In the northern Gulf, transtensional strain initiated in coastal Sonora by ~7 Ma and migrated westward as the Gulf opened. At ~6 Ma strain migrated west into marine pull-apart basins that now lie within the eastern Gulf. Seismic reflection studies suggest that these eastern basins were abandoned ~3.3-2.0 Ma as strain migrated west, forming new transtensional basins that host the modern-day plate boundary. Cross-rift geologic tie points include a fusulinid-bearing clast conglomerate, the Poway conglomerate, and 12.5 Ma & 6.1-6.4 Ma correlative tuffs. Since ~6.1 Ma, the magnitude of extension across the northern Gulf requires that ~90% of PAC-NAM relative plate motion has been located in marine pull-apart basins, while ~10% has been accommodated by faults west of Baja California. In the Salton Trough, roughly 90% of the relative plate motion became localized at 7-8 Ma, prior to regional marine incursion at 6.3-6.5 Ma. Plio-Pleistocene strain was accommodated linked dextral slip on the San Andreas fault and oblique extension on the West Salton detachment fault. Initiation of new strike slip faults at ~1.1-1.3 Ma resulted in westerly expansion and widening of the dextral deformation zone. Modern strain is accommodated by a network of transtensional pull-aparts and transpressional fold-thrust belts.

Skinner, L. A.; Bennett, S. E.; Umhoefer, P. J.; Oskin, M. E.; Dorsey, R. J.; Nava, R. A.

2011-12-01

356

C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP-NEW/2476231/WORKINGFOLDER/KKE/9780521897150C07.3D 95 [95114] 10.1.2011 9:06PM Next-generation plate-tectonic reconstructions  

E-print Network

Next-generation plate-tectonic reconstructions using GPlates james a. boyden, r. dietmar mu¨ ller s. cannon 7.1 Introduction Plate tectonics is the kinematic theory that describes the large and interactions of large, rigid, interlocking fragments of lithosphere called tectonic plates. Plates form

Torsvik, Trond Helge

357

Tectonics of the Scotia-Antarctica plate boundary constrained from seismic and seismological data  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The plate boundary between the Scotia and Antarctic plates runs along the broadly E-W trending South Scotia Ridge. It is a mainly transcurrent margin that juxtaposes thinned continental and transitional crust elements with restricted oceanic basins and deep troughs. Seismic profiles and regional-scale seismological constraints are used to define the peculiarities of the crustal structures in and around the southern Scotia Sea, and focal solutions from recent earthquakes help to understand the present-day geodynamic setting. The northern edge of the western South Scotia Ridge is marked by a sub-vertical, left-lateral master fault. Locally, a narrow wedge of accreted sediments is present at the base of the slope. This segment represents the boundary between the Scotia plate and the independent South Shetland continental block. Along the northern margin of the South Orkney microcontinent, the largest fragment of the South Scotia Ridge, an accretionary prism is present at the base of the slope, which was possibly created by the eastward drift of the South Orkney microcontinent and the consequent subduction of the transitional crust present to the north. East of the South Orkney microcontinent, the physiography and structure of the plate boundary are less constrained. Here the tectonic regime exhibits mainly strike-slip behavior with some grade of extensional component, and the plate boundary is segmented by a series of NNW-SSE trending release zones which favored the fragmentation and dispersion of the crustal blocks. Seismic data have also identified, along the north-western edge of the South Scotia Ridge, an elevated region - the Ona Platform - which can be considered, along with the Terror Rise, as the conjugate margin of the Tierra del Fuego, before the Drake Passage opening. We propose here an evolutionary sketch for the plate boundary (from the Late Oligocene to the present) encompassing the segment from the Elephant Island platform to the Herdman Bank.

Civile, D.; Lodolo, E.; Vuan, A.; Loreto, M. F.

2012-07-01

358

The Azores-Gibraltar plate boundary: Focal mechanisms, depths of earthquakes, and their tectonic implications  

Microsoft Academic Search

We have analyzed the focal mechanisms and depths of 10 moderately sized earthquakes along the Azores-Gibraltar plate boundary by a variety of methods including formal inversion of the waveform and amplitude of teleseismic P and SH waves, first motion readings, and the identification of depth phases. Our data, together with a compilation of results reported for very large events from

Nina L. Grimison; Wang-Ping Chen

1986-01-01

359

Modeling the Philippine Mobile Belt: Tectonic blocks in a deforming plate boundary zone  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Philippine Mobile Belt, a seismically active, rapidly deforming plate boundary zone situated along the convergent Philippine Sea/Eurasian plate boundary, is examined using geodetic and seismological data. Oblique convergence between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian plate is accommodated by nearly orthogonal subduction along the Philippine Trench and the Manila Trench, as well as by strike-slip faulting along the Philippine Fault system. We develop a model of active plate boundary deformation in this region, using elastic block models constrained by known fault geometries, published GPS observations and focal mechanism solutions. We then present an estimate of block rotations, fault coupling, and intra-block deformation, based on the best-fit model that minimizes the misfit between observed and predicted geodetic vectors and earthquake slip vectors. Slip rates along the Philippine fault vary from ~22 - 36 mm/yr in the Central Visayas and about 10 to 40 mm/yr in Luzon, trending almost parallel to the fault trace. In northern Luzon, Philippine Fault splays accommodate transpressional strain. The Central Visayas block experiences convergence with the Sundaland block along the Negros Trench and the Mindoro-Palawan collision zone. On the eastern side of Central Visayas, sinistral strike-slip faulting occurs along the NNW-SSE-trending Philippine Fault. Mindanao Island in southern Philippines is dominated by east-verging subduction along the Cotabato Trench, and strain partitioning (strike- slip faulting with west-verging subduction) in eastern Mindanao along the southern Philippine Fault and Philippine Trench, respectively. Oblique active sinistral strike slip faults in Central and Eastern Mindanao that were hypothesized to be responsible for basin formation are obvious boundaries for tectonic blocks. Located south of Mindanao Island we define an adjoining oceanic block defined by the N-S trending complex dual subduction zone of Sangihe and Halmahera, primarily delineated by seismicity, bathymetric profiles and E-W thrust mechanisms. In our preferred model, the Philippine Mobile Belt can be represented by at least 12 independently moving rigid tectonic blocks, separated by active faults and subduction zones.

Galgana, G. A.; Hamburger, M. W.; McCaffrey, R.; Bacolcol, T. C.; Aurelio, M. A.

2007-12-01

360

Architecture of Colliding Tectonic Plates in Tibet by Passive Source Seismology  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The fate of the colliding Indian and Asian tectonic plates below the Tibetan high plateau may be visualized by, in addition to seismic tomography, mapping the deep seismic discontinuities, like the crust-mantle boundary (Moho), the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB), or the discontinuities at 410 and 660 km depth. We herein present observations of seismic discontinuities with the P and S receiver function techniques beneath central and western Tibet along two new profiles. The LAB of the Indian and Asian plates is well-imaged by several profiles and suggests a changing mode of India-Asia collision in the east-west direction. From eastern Himalayan syntaxis to the western edge of the Tarim Basin, the Indian lithosphere is underthrusting Tibet at an increasingly shallower angle and reaching progressively further to the north. A particular lithospheric region called Tibetan Plate was found in northern and eastern Tibet between the two colliding plates, the existence of which is marked by high temperature, low mantle seismic velocity (correlating with late arriving signals from the 410 discontinuity), poor Sn propagation, east and southeast oriented global positioning system displacements, and strikingly larger seismic (SKS) anisotropy. The crustal shortening in the southern Tibet is accommodated by underthrusting of the Indian crust below the Asian crust that may reach further north than the YZS. In northern Tibet, crustal shortening is accommodated by homogeneous crustal thickening. The more rugged and higher topography in west Tibet can be supported by the rigid mantle lithosphere there, whereas to the east the lithosphere is weaker due to the existence of the crush zone. Under pressure by Indian and Asian plates, the subducted Indian lithospheric materials moved eastward and divided into four directions when meeting the Sichuan basin, two horizontal (southeastern ward forming Yun-Gui-Chuan plateau, northeastern ward to Erdos) and two vertical(upward forming Longmen Shan and down ward entering deep mantle).

Zhao, Junmeng; Yuan, Xiaohui; Liu, Hongbing; Kumar, Prakash; Kind, Rainer; Pei, Shunping

2013-04-01

361

Interactive Ocean Observatories are Essential for Global Assessment of Plate-tectonically Modulated Microbial Input to the Deep Ocean  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A major new planetary-scale research thrust can only be addressed with interactive, next-generation ocean-observatory capabilities. These new research opportunities arise from the possibility that input into the ocean of chemosynthetically derived microbial biomass from below the seafloor rivals the biomass from primary photosynthetic productivity near the top of the ocean. All three types of plate boundaries and many plate interiors vent microbe-bearing fluids into the deep ocean continuously AND episodically. Unpredicted episodes increase nutrient output and venting volume by as much as a factor of 100 for weeks to months at a time (Lilley et al.,2003, Nature). Because of the highly non-linear nature of these fluxes, quantification of such processes represents essential, but unconstrained, variables in equations for carbon budgets and bio-flux in the deep ocean. Triggering events and their induced fluxes must be detected, located, responded to, and quantified before their relative importance to the global-ocean system can be evaluated. Addressing these issues requires an essential new capability in the ocean sciences. High-power and high-bandwidth cabled systems will enable remote and long-term experimentation with processes via thousands of stationary and/or mobile sensor platforms on, below, and above the seafloor. The Ocean Research Interactive Observatory Networks (ORION) program is currently working with NEPTUNE Canada to produce a plate-tectonic-scale, regional cabled ocean observatory (RCO), an ideal platform for adaptive surveillance and quantitative response to fluid-flux generating events at the margins and interior of the Juan de Fuca (JdF) Plate. The W. M. Keck Foundation is supporting a pre-NEPTUNE exploration of the linked processes involved in the deformation-fluid/microbial flux concept. Thirteen seismometers (3 broadband, 10 short-period) and 45 fluid-movement/chemical sensors are co-deployed on three different, but adjacent, plate boundaries at the northern end of the JdF Plate: the Endeavour spreading segment, the Nootka transform fault, and the convergent margin at the toe of the Cascadia subduction complex. All sensors are capable of measuring time-varying behavior for a year. A novel deep-sea remote sensor capable of autonomous detection of microbial output at the seafloor will be added to the existing ensemble in 2005-6. These instrument systems will be phased into NEPTUNE, scheduled to come on line in 2007-8. As of September 2004, we also have a live satellite-mooring link from a seismometer and flow meter at a cold-seep site near the intersection of the Nootka transform and the Cascadia prism. The ultimate goal is to utilize the power of NEPTUNE-like installations to quantitatively assess the regional, and eventually, the global, fluxes and biodiversity associated with this newly recognized tectonically-generated phenomenon of subseafloor microbial productivity. Fully characterizing this planetary-scale process requires establishing a permanent presence on the seafloor to continuously observe, document, and interact with co-varying processes driving fluid expulsion, the chemical consequences, and the microbial responses. Similar phenomena may operate on other planets; we might even export approaches learned on earth. *The Keck Team includes more than 25 scientists and engineers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Inst., Scripps Inst. of Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst., Univ. of Victoria, Inst. of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, BC, and Univ. of Washington.

Delaney, J.; Team, K.

2004-12-01

362

Miocene-Pliocene transition in the southern Cyprus basins: The sedimentary expression of regional tectonic events  

SciTech Connect

In the southern part of Cyprus, a Maastrichtian-Pleistocene sedimentary area fringes Troodos Mountain, a fragment of an ancient crust. During the Neogene, three basins formed in this area: Polemi, Pissouri, and Psematismenos. A deep marine condition has prevailed since the Maastrichtian. During the Paleocene and early Miocene, the sea gradually become shallower until the Messinian, where the most spectacular sedimentary event concerns the deposition of evaporites contemporaneous with other Mediterranean evaporites. Some sedimentary phenomena express the tectonic instability during the upper Miocene. A well-known tectonic event affecting the east Mediterranean region generally referred to as the Miocene-Pliocene phase occurs at the Miocene-Pliocene limit. Recent sedimentological studies indicate this event is in fact complex. The Tortonian-lower Pliocene period is marked by a constraint involving an N20 distension in the Polemi and Pissouri basins and an N100 distension in the Psematismenos basin. Sedimentologic studies have demonstrated three tectonic pulsations during the Messinian prior to the Pliocene transgression. These are expressed by two episodes of seismic brecciation and a paleoemersion indicated by paleosols and detrital discharges. These phenomena suggest brief tectonic instability during the Messinian. Microtectonic studies reveal that the main change in tectonic constraint does not coincide with the Miocene-Pliocene contact but occurs at the top of the lower Pliocene.

Orzag-Sperber, F.; Rouchy, J.M. (Universite Paris XI, Orsay (France))

1988-08-01

363

Break-up of Gondwana and opening of the South Atlantic: Review of existing plate tectonic models  

USGS Publications Warehouse

each model. We also plot reconstructions at four selected epochs for all models using the same projection and scale to facilitate comparison. The diverse simplifying assumptions that need to be made in every case regarding plate fragmentation to account for the numerous syn-rift basins and periods of stretching are strong indicators that rigid plate tectonics is too simple a model for the present problem.

Ghidella, M.E.; Lawver, L.A.; Gahagan, L.M.

2007-01-01

364

Evidence for relative motions between the Indian and Australian Plates during the last 20 m.y. From plate tectonic reconstructions: Implication for the deformation of the Indo-Australian plate  

Microsoft Academic Search

We use plate tectonic reconstructions to establish whether motions between India and Australia occurred since chron 18 (43 Ma). We test the Africa\\/Antarctica\\/Australia\\/India plate circuit closure at chrons 5 (10 Ma), 6 (21 Ma) and 13 (36 Ma) using a complication of magnetic anomalies and fracture zone traces from the Southeast, Southwest, Central Indian and the Carlsberg ridges. Additional reconstructions

Jean-Yves Royer; Ted Chang

1991-01-01

365

Satellite Elevation Magnetic and Gravity Models of Major South American Plate Tectonic Features  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Some MAGSAT scalar and vector magnetic anomaly data together with regional gravity anomaly data are being used to investigate the regional tectonic features of the South American Plate. An initial step in this analysis is three dimensional modeling of magnetic and gravity anomalies of major structures such as the Andean subduction zone and the Amazon River Aulacogen at satellite elevations over an appropriate range of physical properties using Gaus-Legendre quadrature integration method. In addition, one degree average free-air gravity anomalies of South America and adjacent marine areas are projected to satellite elevations assuming a spherical Earth and available MAGSAT data are processed to obtain compatible data sets for correlation. Correlation of these data sets is enhanced by reduction of the MAGSAT data to radial polarization because of the profound effect of the variation of the magnetic inclination over South America.

Vonfrese, R. R. B.; Hinze, W. J.; Braile, L. W.; Lidiak, E. G.; Keller, G. R. (principal investigators); Longacre, M. B.

1984-01-01

366

A Pilot Search for Evidence of Extrasolar Earth-analog Plate Tectonics  

E-print Network

Relative to calcium, both strontium and barium are markedly enriched in Earth's continental crust compared to the basaltic crusts of other differentiated rocky bodies within the solar system. Here, we both re-examine available archived Keck spectra to place upper bounds on n(Ba)/n(Ca) and revisit published results for n(Sr)/n(Ca) in two white dwarfs that have accreted rocky planetesimals. We find that at most only a small fraction of the pollution is from crustal material that has experienced the distinctive elemental enhancements induced by Earth-analog plate tectonics. In view of the intense theoretical interest in the physical structure of extrasolar rocky planets, this search should be extended to additional targets.

Jura, M; Xu, S; Young, E D

2014-01-01

367

The effect of melting and crustal production on plate tectonics on terrestrial planets  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Within the Solar System, Earth is the only planet to be in a mobile-lid regime, whilst it is generally accepted that all the other terrestrial planets are currently in a stagnant-lid regime, showing little or no surface motion. A transitional regime between these two, showing episodic overturns of an unstable stagnant lid, is also possible and has been proposed for Venus (Armann and Tackley, JGR 2012). Using plastic yielding to self-consistently generate plate tectonics on an Earth-like planet with strongly temperature-dependent viscosity is now well-established, but such models typically focus on purely thermal convection, whereas compositional variations in the lithosphere can alter the stress state and greatly influence the likelihood of plate tectonics. For example, Rolf and Tackley (GRL, 2011) showed that the addition of a continent can reduce the critical yield stress for mobile-lid behaviour by a factor of around 2. Moreover, it has been shown that the final state of the system (stagnant- or mobile-lid) can depend on the initial condition (Tackley, G3 2000 - part 2); Weller and Lenardic (GRL, 2012) found that the parameter range in which two solutions are obtained increases with viscosity contrast. We can also say that partial melting has a major role in the long-term evolution of rocky planets: (1) partial melting causes differentiation in both major elements (like Fe and Si) and trace elements, which are generally incompatible (Hofmann, Nature 1997). Trace elements may contain heat-producing isotopes, which contribute to the heat loss from the interior; (2) melting and volcanism are an important heat loss mechanism at early times that act as a strong thermostat, buffering mantle temperatures and preventing it from getting too hot (Xie and Tackley, JGR 2004b; Armann and Tackley, JGR 2012); (3) mantle melting dehydrates and hardens the shallow part of the mantle (Hirth and Kohlstedt, EPSL 1996) and introduces viscosity and compositional stratifications in the shallow mantle due to viscosity variations with the loss of hydrogen upon melting (Faul and Jackson, JGR 2007; Korenaga and Karato, JGR 2008). In this work we present a set of 2D spherical annulus simulations (Hernlund and Tackley, PEPI 2008) using StagYY (Tackley, PEPI 2008), which uses a finite-volume scheme for advection of temperature, a multigrid solver to obtain a velocity-pressure solution at each timestep, tracers to track composition, and a treatment of partial melting and crustal formation. We address the question whether melting-induced crustal production changes the critical yield stress needed to obtain mobile-lid behaviour as a function of governing parameters. Our results show that melting and crustal production strongly influence plate tectonics on terrestrial planets, by making plate tectonics both easier and harder; i.e., for the same yield stress and reference viscosity the use or not of a treatment for melting and crustal production may result in a change from a stagnant-lid regime into an episodic-lid regime or a change from mobile-lid regime to an episodic-lid regime. Several factors can play a role on these, namely lateral heterogeneities and differences in the lid thickness induced by melting and crustal production, the maximum depth of melting, etc.

Louro Loureno, D. J.; Tackley, P. J.

2013-12-01

368

Real-Time, Long-Term Ocean and Earth Studies at the Scale of a Tectonic Plate  

Microsoft Academic Search

The NEPTUNE project will establish a linked array of undersea observatories on the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate. The NEPTUNE infrastructure, consisting of fiber-optic\\/power cable and junction boxes, will provide significant amounts of power and an Internet communications link to sensors and sensor networks on, above, and below the seafloor. This observatory will provide a new kind of research platform

John Delaney; Alan Chave; G. Ross Heath; Bruce Howe; Patricia Beauchamp; William Wilcock; Andrew Maffei

369

NEPTUNE: real-time, long-term ocean and Earth studies at the scale of a tectonic plate  

Microsoft Academic Search

The NEPTUNE project will establish a linked array of undersea observatories on the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate. The NEPTUNE infrastructure, consisting of fiber-optic\\/power cable and junction boxes, will provide significant amounts of power and an Internet communications link to sensors and sensor networks on, above, and below the seafloor. This observatory will provide a new kind of research platform

John Delaney; G. R. Heath; Alan Chave; Harold Kirkham; Bruce Howe; William Wilcock; Patricia Beauchamp; Andrew Maffei

2001-01-01

370

Subduction on Europa: Evidence for plate tectonics on an icy world (Invited)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Europa is the primary target in NASA's future outer solar system exploration strategy. A tidally heated global ocean beneath its ice shell is important for astrobiological considerations; however, habitability requires a source of chemical nutrients. Europa's radiolytically processed surface is a potential source, but a means of delivery of compounds to the ocean is required. Past studies of Europa's surface have been unable to explain an abundance of extensional features (e.g., dilational bands) yet scant evidence of contraction. Moreover, the crater-based surface age (40-90 Myr) indicates one of the solar system's youngest surfaces, implying Europa's surface (3.09 x 107 km2) may have been recycled in this time frame (i.e., 0.3-0.8 km2 per year). We address this enigma by presenting evidence for subduction, and hence plate tectonics, on Europa. We reconstruct geologic features in a 106,000 km2 candidate region to show that the current surface configuration involved numerous translations and rotations of rigid plates. The reconstruction reveals ~100 km of missing surface that seemingly vanished along a 20-km-wide, band-like zone with unusual color characteristics. Mismatching geological features across this zone suggest an ~80-km-wide region may have subducted along a ?300-km-long plate boundary. The subduction zone is arcuate, has no topographic expression at image resolutions, and is partially bounded by transform faults. The overriding plate has numerous strike-slip faults consistent with strain partitioning related to oblique convergence. The surface of the overriding plate is also pervasively dotted with isolated patches of disrupted terrain, which we interpret as erupted cryolava, implying a significant subsurface thermal perturbation related to the potential subduction. If a subduction model for Europa is accurate, buoyancy constraints and a lack of contractional topography imply that the subducting slab does not enter the ocean directly. We thus interpret a thin (~several km), brittle lid overlying a thicker, convecting ice layer, with plate motions and subduction restricted to the brittle lid. The subducting plate is presumably consumed at a rate conducive to complete subsumption into the convecting layer. On Earth, oceanic lithosphere recycling occurred along 55,000 km of subduction zones in <200 Myr at 20-80 mm/yr. On Europa, similar subduction rates (11-26 mm/yr), if valid, are possible for 30,000 km of subduction boundaries. Europa's surface area (~6% of Earth's) would accordingly recycle over a shorter time frame, consistent with the surface age. Our work potentially provides a new paradigm for interpreting Europa's surface features and age, and provides a mechanism to deliver nutrients from the surface to the ocean: crucial for astrobiology and habitability. If subduction exists, Europa would become the only other solar system body beyond Earth to exhibit plate tectonics, involving subduction (surface area removal), mid-ocean-ridge-like spreading (surface area creation at dilational bands), and transform motions. Such motions are presumably driven by convection in the deeper, warmer ice, evidenced by thermal upwellings at sites of chaos and lenticulae.

Kattenhorn, S. A.; Prockter, L. M.

2013-12-01

371

Jules Verne Voyager, Jr: An Interactive Map Tool for Teaching Plate Tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We present an interactive, web-based map utility that can make new geological and geophysical results accessible to a large number and variety of users. The tool provides a user-friendly interface that allows users to access a variety of maps, satellite images, and geophysical data at a range of spatial scales. The map tool, dubbed 'Jules Verne Voyager, Jr.', allows users to interactively create maps of a variety of study areas around the world. The utility was developed in collaboration with the UNAVCO Consortium for study of global-scale tectonic processes. Users can choose from a variety of base maps (including "Face of the Earth" and "Earth at Night" satellite imagery mosaics, global topography, geoid, sea-floor age, strain rate and seismic hazard maps, and others), add a number of geographic and geophysical overlays (coastlines, political boundaries, rivers and lakes, earthquake and volcano locations, stress axes, etc.), and then superimpose both observed and model velocity vectors representing a compilation of 2933 GPS geodetic measurements from around the world. A remarkable characteristic of the geodetic compilation is that users can select from some 21 plates' frames of reference, allowing a visual representation of both 'absolute' plate motion (in a no-net rotation reference frame) and relative motion along all of the world's plate boundaries. The tool allows users to zoom among at least three map scales. The map tool can be viewed at http://jules.unavco.org/VoyagerJr/Earth. A more detailed version of the map utility, developed in conjunction with the EarthScope initiative, focuses on North America geodynamics, and provides more detailed geophysical and geographic information for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The EarthScope Voyager can be accessed at http://jules.unavco.org/VoyagerJr/EarthScope. Because the system uses pre-constructed gif images and overlays, the system can rapidly create and display maps to a large number of users simultaneously and does not require any special software installation on users' systems. In addition, a javascript-based educational interface, dubbed "Exploring our Dynamic Planet", incorporates the map tool, explanatory material, background scientific material, and curricular activities that encourage users to explore Earth processes using the Jules Verne Voyager, Jr. tool. Exploring our Dynamic Planet can be viewed at http://www.dpc.ucar.edu/VoyagerJr/. Because of its flexibility, the map utilities can be used for hands-on exercises exploring plate interaction in a range of academic settings, from high school science classes to entry-level undergraduate to graduate-level tectonics courses.

Hamburger, M. W.; Meertens, C. M.

2010-12-01

372

Opening of the Aden Gulf Ridge Derived from GPS Constraints and Plate Tectonic Models  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Aden Gulf Ridge forms, together with the Red Sea and the Ethiopian Rift, the only emerged RRR-type (Ridge/Ridge/Ridge) triple junction in the globe: the Afar Triple Junction. The Aden Gulf Ridge defines the boundary between two major tectonic blocks: Arabia and Somalia, being Nubia the third unit in the triple junction (bordering Arabia along the Red Sea and Somalia along the Ethiopian Rift). Although the extensional behaviour of these structures are well known, the present-day magnitudes of their opening rates are still under evaluation, in particular for the opening rate between the Arabia and Somalia plates. This work uses GPS observations acquired in campaign and continuous mode in order to better constrain the opening rates of the three plate boundaries. For the Nubia-Arabia and Nubia-Somalia boundary plates, we use solely the velocity predictions given by our computed angular velocity models using the available continuous stations in Nubia, Somalia and Arabia. The available data set is augmented here with several stations in Saudi Arabia, which allow us to better constrain the angular velocity for the stable part of the Arabia plate. We estimate the angular velocity model with respect to ITRF2008 (the latest realization of the International Terrestrial Reference System) using the value of 2.5 years (although most of the stations have already a significantly longer time-series) as threshold data span for the processed time-series. Temporal correlations are used to properly estimate the uncertainty of the time-series and derived angular velocity model. In addition, to study the near-field in the Aden Gulf, data acquired in denser campaign networks in Yemen and Oman are used to also directly compute the extension rate in the Red Sea. We show that most of the Arabian Peninsula is stable (within the uncertainties) but the southwest part (Yemen) is influenced by the proximity with the Afar Triple Junction.

Fernandes, R. M.; Rolandone, F.; Leroy, S.; Alothman, A.; Al-Aydrus, A.; Khalil, H.; Ahmed, A.; Khanbari, K.; Bos, M. S.; Nicolon, P.; Heydel, L.

2012-12-01

373

The effect of melting and crustal production on plate tectonics on terrestrial planets  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Within the Solar System, Earth is the only planet to be in a mobile-lid regime, whilst it is generally accepted that all the other terrestrial planets are currently in a stagnant-lid regime, showing little or no surface motion. A transitional regime between these two, showing episodic overturns of an unstable stagnant lid, is also possible and has been proposed for Venus (Armann and Tackley, JGR 2012). Using plastic yielding to self-consistently generate plate tectonics on an Earth-like planet with strongly temperature-dependent viscosity is now well-established, but such models typically focus on purely thermal convection, whereas compositional variations in the lithosphere can alter the stress state and greatly influence the likelihood of plate tectonics. For example, Rolf and Tackley (GRL, 2011) showed that the addition of a continent can reduce the critical yield stress for mobile-lid behaviour by a factor of around 2. Moreover, it has been shown that the final tectonic state of the system can depend on the initial condition (Tackley, G3 2000 - part 2); Weller and Lenardic (GRL, 2012) found that the parameter range in which two solutions are obtained increases with viscosity contrast. We can also say that partial melting has a major role in the long-term evolution of rocky planets: (1) partial melting causes differentiation in both major elements and trace elements, which are generally incompatible (Hofmann, Nature 1997). Trace elements may contain heat-producing isotopes, which contribute to the heat loss from the interior; (2) melting and volcanism are an important heat loss mechanism at early times that act as a strong thermostat, buffering mantle temperatures and preventing it from getting too hot (Xie and Tackley, JGR 2004b); (3) mantle melting dehydrates and hardens the shallow part of the mantle (Hirth and Kohlstedt, EPSL 1996) and introduces viscosity and compositional stratifications in the shallow mantle due to viscosity variations with the loss of hydrogen upon melting (Faul and Jackson, JGR 2007; Korenaga and Karato, JGR 2008). We present a set of 2D spherical annulus simulations (Hernlund and Tackley, PEPI 2008) using StagYY (Tackley, PEPI 2008), which uses a finite-volume scheme for advection of temperature, a multigrid solver to obtain a velocity-pressure solution at each timestep, tracers to track composition, and a treatment of partial melting and crustal formation. We address the question whether melting-induced crustal production changes the critical yield stress needed to obtain mobile-lid behaviour as a function of governing parameters. Our results show that melting and crustal production strongly influence plate tectonics on terrestrial planets. For the same parameters the use of a treatment for melting and crustal production facilitates breaking the stagnant-lid, replacing it with episodic-lid; however, a smoothly evolving mobile lid can also be replaced by episode-lid. Several factors can play a role on these, namely lateral heterogeneities, differences in the lid thickness and internal planetary temperatures induced by melting and crustal production.

Loureno, Diogo L.; Tackley, Paul J.

2014-05-01

374

Characteristics of the Cenozoic crustal deformations in SE Korea and its vicinity due to major tectonic events  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The southeastern Korean Peninsula has experienced multiple crustal deformations according to changes of global tectonic setting during the Cenozoic. Characteristics of the crustal deformations in relation to major Cenozoic tectonic events are summarized as follows. (1) Collision of Indian and Eurasian continents and abrupt change of movement direction of the Pacific plate (50 ~ 43 Ma): The collision of Indian and Eurasian continents caused the eastward extrusion of East Asia block as a trench-rollback, and then the movement direction of the Pacific plate was abruptly changed from NNW to WNW. As a result, the strong suction-force along the plate boundary produced a tensional stress field trending EW or WNW-ESE in southeastern Korea, which resultantly induced the passive intrusion of NS or NNE trending mafic dike swarm pervasively. (2) Opening of the East Sea (25 ~ 16 Ma): The NS or NNW-SSE trending opening of the East Sea generated a dextral shear stress regime trending NNW-SSE along the eastern coast line of the Korean Peninsula. As a result, pull-apart basins were developed in right bending and overstepping parts along major dextral strike slip faults trending NNW-SSE in southeastern Korea. The basins can be divided into two types on the basis of geometry and kinematics: Parallelogram-shaped basin (rhombochasm) and wedged-shaped basin (sphenochasm), respectively. At that time, the basins and adjacent basement blocks experienced clockwise rotation and northwestward tilting, and the eastward propagating rifting also occurred. At about 17 Ma, the Yeonil Tectonic Line, which is the westernmost border fault of the Miocene crustal deformation in southeastern Korea, began to move as a major dextral strike slip fault. (3) Clockwise rotation of southeastern Japan Island (16~15 Ma): The collision of the Izu-Bonin Arc and southeastern Japan Island, as a result of northward movement of the Philippine sea-plate, induced the clockwise rotation of southeastern Japan Islands. The event caused a NW-SE compression in the Korea Strait as a tectonic inversion, which resultantly terminated the basin extension and caused locally counterclockwise rotation of blocks in southeastern Korea. At that time, the folding of the San'in folded zone commenced. The folding in the Tsushima Island was almost completely accomplished at about 15 Ma and then an extensive intrusion of felsic magma occurred in the southern part of the island which led the island to be tilted about 20 into northeast. Simultaneously, the Tsushima-Goto fault was reactivated as major sinistral strike-slip faults owing to the accumulated NNW-trending compressional stress. The adjacent blocks to the fault were rotated horizontally about 28 counterclockwise due to the sinistral movement, and resultantly the western part of the San'in folded zone was dragged counterclockwise. (4) E-W compression in the East Asia (after about 5 Ma): Decreasing subduction angle of the Pacific plate and eastward movement of the Amurian plate have constructed the-top-to-west thrusts and become a major cause for earthquakes in southeastern Korea.

Son, M.; Kim, J.; Song, C.; Sohn, Y.; Kim, I.

2010-12-01

375

Time variability in Cenozoic reconstructions of mantle heat flow: plate tectonic cycles and implications for Earth's thermal evolution.  

PubMed

The thermal evolution of Earth is governed by the rate of secular cooling and the amount of radiogenic heating. If mantle heat sources are known, surface heat flow at different times may be used to deduce the efficiency of convective cooling and ultimately the temporal character of plate tectonics. We estimate global heat flow from 65 Ma to the present using seafloor age reconstructions and a modified half-space cooling model, and we find that heat flow has decreased by approximately 0.15% every million years during the Cenozoic. By examining geometric trends in plate reconstructions since 120 Ma, we show that the reduction in heat flow is due to a decrease in the area of ridge-proximal oceanic crust. Even accounting for uncertainties in plate reconstructions, the rate of heat flow decrease is an order of magnitude faster than estimates based on smooth, parameterized cooling models. This implies that heat flow experiences short-term fluctuations associated with plate tectonic cyclicity. Continental separation does not appear to directly control convective wavelengths, but rather indirectly affects how oceanic plate systems adjust to accommodate global heat transport. Given that today's heat flow may be unusually low, secular cooling rates estimated from present-day values will tend to underestimate the average cooling rate. Thus, a mechanism that causes less efficient tectonic heat transport at higher temperatures may be required to prevent an unreasonably hot mantle in the recent past. PMID:17720806

Loyd, S J; Becker, T W; Conrad, C P; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C; Corsetti, F A

2007-09-01

376

A plate tectonic-paleoceanographic hypothesis for Cretaceous source rocks and cherts of northern South America  

SciTech Connect

New paleocontinental reconstructions show a northern migration of the South American Plate with respect to the paleoequator from the Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous. This movement caused the northern margin of South America to migrate from a position south to a position north of the paleoequator. Ekman transport generated net surface water movement towards the south during times when northern South America was south of the paleoequator. This situation favored downwelling and prevented Jurassic and earliest Cretaceous marine source rocks from being deposited. When northern South America was north of the paleoequator Ekman transport forced net water movement to the north favoring upwelling, paleoproductivity, and the deposition of one of the best marine source rocks known (the La Luna, Villeta, and equivalents). This plate tectonic paleoceanographic hypothesis explains the origin of hydrocarbons in northern South America. The stratigraphic record reflects this increase in paleoproductivity through time. This can be observed in facies (non-calcareous shales to calcareous shales to siliceous shales and finally to bedded cherts) and in changing planktic communities which were initially dominated by healthy calcareous foraminifer assemblages, followed by stressed foraminifer populations and finally by radiolarians. Total organic carbon and source rock quality were affected by this long term increase in paleoproductivity but also, and more markedly, by a punctuated sequence stratigraphic record dominated by low- frequency changes in relative sea level. The magnitude of transgressive episodes caused by rise in sea level determined the extent of source rock intervals and indirectly the content of organic carbon.

Villamil, T.; Arango, C. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)

1996-12-31

377

A plate tectonic-paleoceanographic hypothesis for Cretaceous source rocks and cherts of northern South America  

SciTech Connect

New paleocontinental reconstructions show a northern migration of the South American Plate with respect to the paleoequator from the Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous. This movement caused the northern margin of South America to migrate from a position south to a position north of the paleoequator. Ekman transport generated net surface water movement towards the south during times when northern South America was south of the paleoequator. This situation favored downwelling and prevented Jurassic and earliest Cretaceous marine source rocks from being deposited. When northern South America was north of the paleoequator Ekman transport forced net water movement to the north favoring upwelling, paleoproductivity, and the deposition of one of the best marine source rocks known (the La Luna, Villeta, and equivalents). This plate tectonic paleoceanographic hypothesis explains the origin of hydrocarbons in northern South America. The stratigraphic record reflects this increase in paleoproductivity through time. This can be observed in facies (non-calcareous shales to calcareous shales to siliceous shales and finally to bedded cherts) and in changing planktic communities which were initially dominated by healthy calcareous foraminifer assemblages, followed by stressed foraminifer populations and finally by radiolarians. Total organic carbon and source rock quality were affected by this long term increase in paleoproductivity but also, and more markedly, by a punctuated sequence stratigraphic record dominated by low- frequency changes in relative sea level. The magnitude of transgressive episodes caused by rise in sea level determined the extent of source rock intervals and indirectly the content of organic carbon.

Villamil, T.; Arango, C. (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States))

1996-01-01

378

The geochemical fingerprint of serpentinite- and crust-dominated plate-interface settings: some tectonic implications  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The interface between converging plates is made of kilometre-thick domains where slab and upper plate mantle materials are tectonically slicied within a matrix dominated either by (meta)sedimentary/crustal rocks or by serpentinite. The latter may correspond to supra-subduction mantle altered by uprising slab fluids. Once formed, these plate-interface domains act as hydrated low-viscosity layers where tectonic stress and fluid-mediated mass transfer are strongly focussed. Here we present the geochemical study of two plate-interface environments: (1) serpentinite-rich, represented by the high-pressure serpentinites of the Ligurian Alps (Erro-Tobbio and Voltri Units); (2) sediment-dominated top slab mlange, represented by de-serpentinized garnet peridotite and chlorite harzburgite bodies (hosting eclogite and metarodingite) embedded in paragneiss and micaschist from Cima di Gagnone (Adula Unit, Central Alps). The Ligurian serpentinites derive from oceanic and wedge mantle tectonically coupled and dragged to depth during Alpine subduction: they may represent the hydrated precursors of the Cima di Gagnone peridotites. The B, Pb and Sr isotopic composition of the above sets of rocks helps defining tectonic and mass transfer processes during accretion of slab and suprasubduction mantle rocks in plate-interface domains, and to retrieve the imprint of fluids from these settings, which that ultimately affect arc magmatism. The serpentinized peridotites from Erro-Tobbio (ET) show high B (10-30 ppm), delta11B (10-25 per mil), B/Nb ratio (>380) and limited enrichment in 206Pb/204Pb (18.17-18,51) and 87Sr/86Sr (0.7046- 0.7060). Scambelluri & Tonarini (2012) interpreted the B and Sr isotopic imprint of ET as representative of upper plate mantle altered by slab-fluids. The B contents (up to 30 ppm), delta11B (18-30 per mil), B/Nb ratio (>900) and 206Pb/204Pb (18.09-18.22) of the Voltri serpentinites are similar to ET. Their 87Sr/86Sr (0.7079 to 0.7105) is higher than ET. The garnet peridotite and harzburgite from Gagnone have low B (up to 9 ppm), low B/Nb (<100) and high Pb and Sr isotopic ratios (206Pb/204Pb up to 18.84; 87Sr/86Sr 0.7124). Eclogite and HP metarodingite in the Gagnone peridotite show comparable values. The host metasediments and gneiss show higher B (6-16 ppm), 206Pb/204Pb (up to 18.98) and 87Sr/86Sr (0.7275). than peridotites and mafic rocks. All the Gagnone rocks have negative delta11B (ultramafic and mafic rocks = 0 to -10 per mil; country rocks = -3 to -12 per mil). The Gagnone peridotites reveal geochemical mixing between ultramafic and host crustal reservoirs. Considering that these peridotites derive from serpentinized protoliths, we expect that the initial high 11B of serpentinites was modified by two combined processes: (1) serpentine dehydration, releasing heavy B to fluids, and (2) exchange between ultramafic rocks and sediment-derived subduction fluids during burial and exhumation. The geochemical signature of the Voltri serpentinites is indicative of interaction with slab fluids enriched in heavy B-rich and in crust-derived components, such as in mantle rocks which evolved atop of the subducting slab. This implies that the slices of the downgoing slab are emplaced early during their burial history atop of the subducting plate. The geochemical signature of peridotites and host metasediments from Gagnone, points to significant exchange between ultramafic bodies and host rocks during prograde subduction prior to peak metamorphism. This again indicates accretion to the plate interface of slab and wedge materials during an early stage of subduction. Moreover, Voltri and Gagnone represent distinct reservoirs, showing positive versus negative delta11B. Serpentinite-dominated settings, like Voltri, produce high B and 11B fluids which can explain 11B-enrichment of much Pacific arcs. Differently, the sediment- and gneiss-dominated Gagnone mlange shows high B, negative ?11B, high radiogenic Pb and Sr: fluids released from such a mlange fit the composition of lavas from convergent margins affecte

Canna, Enrico; Scambelluri, Marco; Agostini, Samuele; Tonarini, Sonia

2014-05-01

379

Tectonic lineaments in the cenozoic volcanics of southern Guatemala: Evidence for a broad continental plate boundary zone  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The northern Caribbean plate boundary has been undergoing left lateral strike slip motion since middle Tertiary time. The western part of the boundary occurs in a complex tectonic zone in the continental crust of Guatemala and southernmost Mexico, along the Chixoy-Polochic, Motogua and possibly Jocotan-Chamelecon faults. Prominent lineaments visible in radar imagery in the Neogene volcanic belt of southern Guatemala and western El Salvador were mapped and interpreted to suggest southwest extensions of this already broad plate boundary zone. Because these extensions can be traced beneath Quaternary volcanic cover, it is thought that this newly mapped fault zone is active and is accommodating some of the strain related to motion between the North American and Caribbean plates. Onshore exposures of the Motoqua-Polochic fault systems are characterized by abundant, tectonically emplaced ultramafic rocks. A similar mode of emplacement for these off shore ultramafics, is suggested.

Baltuck, M.; Dixon, T. H.

1984-01-01

380

Cenozoic East Asia plate tectonic reconstructions using constraints of mapped and unfolded slabs from mantle seismic tomography  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Subducted slabs were mapped in the mantle under East Asia using MITP08 global seismic tomography (Li et al., 2008), Benioff zone seismicities and published local tomography. 3D gridded slab surfaces were constructed by manually picking and correlating the midpoint of fast seismic anomalies along variable cross-section orientations. The mapped slabs were structurally 'unfolded' and restored to the spherical Earth surface to assess their pre-subduction geometries. Gplates software was used to constrain plate tectonic reconstructions using the unfolded slabs. The unfolded SE Asia upper mantle slabs reveal a 'picture puzzle' fit along their edges that suggests a larger NE Indo-Australian ocean once existed that included the Philippine Sea, Molucca Sea and Celebes Sea. Deeper lower mantle detached slabs indicate an early to mid-Cenozoic 'East Asia Sea' between east Sundaland and the Pacific that stretched from the Ryukyu Islands north of present-day Taiwan southward to Sulawesi. The unfolded slab constraints produced gap and overlap incompatibilities when used in published plate tectonic reconstructions. Here a plate tectonic reconstruction incorporating the unfolded slab constraints is proposed that has the Philippine Sea, Molucca Sea and Celebes Sea clustered at the northern margin of Australia during the early Cenozoic. At the mid-Cenozoic these plates moved NNE with 'Australia-like' plate motions and overrode the 'East Asia Sea'. Plate motions were accommodated by N-S transforms at the eastern margin of Sundaland. Between 25 to 15 Ma the Philippine Sea, Molucca Sea and Celebes Sea plates were fragmented from the greater Indo-Australian ocean. The Philippine Sea was captured by the Pacific plate and now has Pacific-like westward motions.

Wu, J. E.; Suppe, J.; Kanda, R. V.

2012-12-01

381

The interpretation of crustal dynamics data in terms of plate interactions and active tectonics of the Anatolian plate and surrounding regions in the Middle East  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

A detailed study was made of the consequences of the Arabian plate convergence against Eurasia and its effects on the tectonics of Anatolia and surrounding regions of the eastern Mediterranean. A primary source of information is time rates of change of baseline lengths and relative heights determined by repeated SLR measurements. These SLR observations are augmented by a network of GPS stations in Anatolia, Aegea, and Greece, established and twice surveyed since 1988. The existing SLR and GPS networks provide the spatial resolution necessary to reveal the details of ongoing tectonic processes in this area of continental collision. The effort has involved examining the state of stress in the lithosphere and relative plate motions as revealed by these space based geodetic measurements, seismicity, and earthquake mechanisms as well as the aseismic deformations of the plates from conventional geodetic data and geological evidence. These observations are used to constrain theoretical calculations of the relative effects of: (1) the push of the Arabian plate; (2) high topography of Eastern Anatolia; (3) the geometry and properties of African-Eurasian plate boundary; (4) subduction under the Hellenic Arc and southwestern Turkey; and (5) internal deformation and rotation of the Anatolian plate.

Toksoz, M. Nafi; Reilinger, Robert

1992-01-01

382

Plate tectonic controls on atmospheric CO2 levels since the Triassic  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Climate trends on time-scales of 10's to 100's of millions of years are controlled by changes in solar luminosity, continent distribution and atmosphere composition. Plate tectonics affect geography, but also atmosphere composition through volcanic degassing of CO2 at subduction zones and mid-ocean ridges. So far, such degassing estimates were based on reconstructions of ocean floor production for the last 150 Million years (Myr) and indirectly, through sea level inversion before 150 Myr. Here we quantitatively estimate CO2 degassing by reconstructing lithosphere subduction evolution, using recent advances in combining global plate reconstructions and present-day structure of the mantle. First, we estimate that since the Triassic (250-200 Myr) until Present, the total paleo-subduction zone length reached up to ~200% of the present-day value. Comparing our subduction zone lengths with previously reconstructed ocean-crust production rates over the past 140 Myr suggests average global subduction rates have been constant, ~6 cm/year: Higher ocean-crust production is associated with longer total subduction length. We compute a Strontium isotope record based on subduction zone length, which agrees well with geological records supporting the validity of our approach: The total subduction zone length is proportional to the summed arc- and ridge volcanic CO2 production and thereby to global volcanic degassing at plate boundaries. We therefore use our degassing curve as input for the GEOCARBSULF model to estimate atmospheric CO2 levels since the Triassic. Our calculated CO2 levels for the mid-Mesozoic differ from previous modeling results and are more consistent with available proxy data.

van der Meer, Douwe; Zeebe, Richard; van Hinsbergen, Douwe; Sluijs, Appy; Spakman, Wim; Torsvik, Trond

2014-05-01

383

Plate tectonic controls on atmospheric CO2 levels since the Triassic.  

PubMed

Climate trends on timescales of 10s to 100s of millions of years are controlled by changes in solar luminosity, continent distribution, and atmosphere composition. Plate tectonics affect geography, but also atmosphere composition through volcanic degassing of CO2 at subduction zones and midocean ridges. So far, such degassing estimates were based on reconstructions of ocean floor production for the last 150 My and indirectly, through sea level inversion before 150 My. Here we quantitatively estimate CO2 degassing by reconstructing lithosphere subduction evolution, using recent advances in combining global plate reconstructions and present-day structure of the mantle. First, we estimate that since the Triassic (250-200 My) until the present, the total paleosubduction-zone length reached up to ?200% of the present-day value. Comparing our subduction-zone lengths with previously reconstructed ocean-crust production rates over the past 140 My suggests average global subduction rates have been constant, ?6 cm/y: Higher ocean-crust production is associated with longer total subduction length. We compute a strontium isotope record based on subduction-zone length, which agrees well with geological records supporting the validity of our approach: The total subduction-zone length is proportional to the summed arc and ridge volcanic CO2 production and thereby to global volcanic degassing at plate boundaries. We therefore use our degassing curve as input for the GEOCARBSULF model to estimate atmospheric CO2 levels since the Triassic. Our calculated CO2 levels for the mid Mesozoic differ from previous modeling results and are more consistent with available proxy data. PMID:24616495

Van Der Meer, Douwe G; Zeebe, Richard E; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J J; Sluijs, Appy; Spakman, Wim; Torsvik, Trond H

2014-03-25

384

Plate tectonic controls on atmospheric CO2 levels since the Triassic  

PubMed Central

Climate trends on timescales of 10s to 100s of millions of years are controlled by changes in solar luminosity, continent distribution, and atmosphere composition. Plate tectonics affect geography, but also atmosphere composition through volcanic degassing of CO2 at subduction zones and midocean ridges. So far, such degassing estimates were based on reconstructions of ocean floor production for the last 150 My and indirectly, through sea level inversion before 150 My. Here we quantitatively estimate CO2 degassing by reconstructing lithosphere subduction evolution, using recent advances in combining global plate reconstructions and present-day structure of the mantle. First, we estimate that since the Triassic (250200 My) until the present, the total paleosubduction-zone length reached up to ?200% of the present-day value. Comparing our subduction-zone lengths with previously reconstructed ocean-crust production rates over the past 140 My suggests average global subduction rates have been constant, ?6 cm/y: Higher ocean-crust production is associated with longer total subduction length. We compute a strontium isotope record based on subduction-zone length, which agrees well with geological records supporting the validity of our approach: The total subduction-zone length is proportional to the summed arc and ridge volcanic CO2 production and thereby to global volcanic degassing at plate boundaries. We therefore use our degassing curve as input for the GEOCARBSULF model to estimate atmospheric CO2 levels since the Triassic. Our calculated CO2 levels for the mid Mesozoic differ from previous modeling results and are more consistent with available proxy data. PMID:24616495

Van Der Meer, Douwe G.; Zeebe, Richard E.; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Sluijs, Appy; Spakman, Wim; Torsvik, Trond H.

2014-01-01

385

Meso-Cenozoic intraplate contraction in Central and Western Europe: a unique tectonic event?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

From the British Isles to Poland, Europe experienced contractional deformation in Late Cretaceous and Paleogene time. The closest contemporaneous plate margins were the incipient Mid-Atlantic rift in the west and northwest, and the Mediterranean system of subduction zones in the south. Each of these plate margins was located more than 1000 km away from the site of deformation. This tectonic event thus represents an outstanding example of large-scale intraplate shortening and may serve as a template for comparison with modern examples. Its effects are seen in a ca. 500 km wide strip that stretches in NW-SE-direction along the Tornquist Line, a regional fault zone separating thick lithosphere of the Baltic Shield from much thinner lithosphere to the southwest. Most faults and folds also trend NW-SE, but some are linked by large N-S-striking transfer zones. In the southeast, the shortening structures are truncated by the Neogene Carpathian thrust front; their original extent is unknown. In the west, the fault zones fan out into more northerly trends in the Central North Sea and more easterly trends in the Channel area before dying out on the shelf. Late Cretaceous (ca. 90-70 Ma) shortening dominates from Poland to the North Sea, while the main shortening event in Southern Britain is of Paleogene age. Many Late Cretaceous to Paleogene structures have been conditioned by Permian or Triassic through Early Cretaceous extensional faulting, whereas some large basement uplifts and reverse faults have no demonstrable inheritance from earlier extension. The thick, mobile Zechstein salt has modified extensional and contractional structures, but both extend beyond its depositional borders. Even where thick evaporates underlie the Mesozoic sedimentary cover, the basement is typically involved in the deformation, except for localized thin-skinned imbricate thrusting and salt-cored anticlines. Different structural styles do not appear to correlate with the magnitude of shortening which is similar for transects across the inverted Lower Saxony Basin and areas of predominant basement thrusting. Bulk contraction of the entire deformed belt is unlikely to exceed a few tens of kilometers, corresponding to <<10% of horizontal shortening. Shortening rate estimates are around 1 mm/yr both for well-constrained local structures and for order-of-magnitude estimates of the entire belt, suggesting that a limited number of faults were active at any given time. Space geodetic data indicate similar modern shortening rates across Central Europe on a decade scale, but there is no geologic evidence for focused deformation comparable to the Mesozoic event. Fold orientations, fault slip data and stylolite teeth indicate relatively uniform, SSW-NNE-directed shortening. This direction is consistent with the convergence direction of Africa, Iberia and Eurasia that was established between ca. 120 Ma and 85 Ma in the course of global plate motion reorganization. The European short-lived pulse of intraplate deformation was apparently caused by a switch to near-orthogonal convergence across former transform boundaries, whereas modern examples of intraplate shortening seem to be bound to coeval orogens.

Kley, Jonas; Jhne, Fabian; Malz, Alexander

2014-05-01

386

Tectonic Events May Have Triggered the Cambrian Explosion  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Major geological changes causing sea level rise at the start of the Cambrian period (540-490 million years ago) could have kick-started the Cambrian Explosiona geological time period when most major phyla of life suddenly appeared in the fossil record. A paper published in the November issue of Geology (doi:10.1130/G35886.1) proposes a new geological mechanism for this event.

Wendel, JoAnna

2014-11-01

387

GIS-based Reconstruction of Pangaea with Recent Progresses in Plate Tectonics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

It is now widely accepted that the continents or land masses are constantly, slowly moving, or drifting over the asthenosphere as the sea floors spread in response to the mantle convection. These continents were joined together at one time, some 250 million years ago, in a single giant landmass called Pangaea. Alfred Wegener, who proposed originally the hypothesis of continental drift, succeeded in reconstructing the Pangaea in early 20th century, by gathering evidences such as land features, fossils, and climate change. The shape of Pangaea shown by Wegener is a huge landmass which is in rounded shape close to an oval. The Pangaea of Wegener was found to be in good agreement with the supercontinent which was reconstructed by modern scientists in late 1960s based on concrete and sophisticated sciences such as the plate tectonics. There are a couple of shapes describing the Pangaea by now, other than the Wegener's, that are recognized by the geological community. In spite of profound geological data and development of related-area sciences, uncertainties still remains on the precise shape of Pangaea before the stage of breaking up and drifting apart. In this study, the Pangaea is reconstructed taking the recent progresses of plate tectonics into full consideration with the use of an elaborate Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping technique. For a better visualization of the shape of the supercontinent the equidistant map projection is incorporated to display the Pangaea, where the central point of Pangaea is placed on the center of the map. The Pangaea reconstructed in this way appears in an almost circular shape, which has never been seen in previous studies (Fig. 1). The radius of the circle which circumscribes the Pangaea is about 9 000 km, giving the total area slightly above that of continents and lands of present day, because some of the continental margins were considered as a part of continents. This result suggests us that the Pangaea might have existed in an exact circular shape until it started to break into parts. Comparing the Pangaea to the present geography reveals that the Pangaea's geometric center falls on somewhere in Sinai Peninsula. One of notable features of the Pangaea reconstructed in this study is that there are two inland seas in circular shape: One is small and corresponds to Tethis sea, and the other corresponding to present Arctic ocean is several times larger than Tethis. From the geological viewpoint, these inland seas seem to be the oceanic crusts located inside the continental crusts, and it is likely that they were connected to the Panthalassa by sea. The main result of the present study that the Pangaea appears to be a circle may give us much more important implication than just being in a beautiful geometric configuration. Figure 1 Pangaea on a equidistant projection map, reconstructed with the use of GIS technique incorporating recent progresses in plate tectonics.

Kwon, O.-H.; Cheong, H.-B.; Lee, Y.-W.

2012-04-01

388

Strainmeter observations of the 2010 slow slip event in Cascadia: A critical look at noise, artifacts, and tectonic signals  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Periodic slow-slip events along the Cascadia subduction zone represent the transient release of accumulated strain along the plate interface. The location of these events helps to map the lower edge of the seismogenic zone and constrain the seismic hazard. The primary observations of these slow-slip events have come from a large array of GPS stations in the Pacific Northwest. However, newly installed borehole strainmeters provide greater temporal resolution and greater precision than GPS. Incorporating strainmeter data into current slip inversion models, which have previously depended upon GPS data, will help to further constrain models of the slip distribution at depth. Understanding the capabilities and limitations of strainmeter data, especially in regards to the quantification of noise sources and identification of non-tectonic artifacts, is necessary for the data to be used in formal inversions. The method of power density spectra is used to analyze noise as a function of frequency for several strainmeters in the PBO network. Preliminary work shows that the noise spectra obey a random walk model where the amplitude is proportional to f-2. The noise levels of these strainmeters are compared to each other and to closely located GPS stations in order to evaluate their ability to detect tectonic signals. We particularly focus our analysis of the time series for the August 2010 slow slip event in Washington State. Our initial analysis of the data suggests that the event originated under Puget Sound and propagated both to the north and south. A clear signal of approximately 0.10 microstrain can be seen in several strainmeters in the Olympic Peninsula area of the PBO network, including stations B003, B004, B005, B006, B007, B014 and B018. The temporal signal of the transient strain correlates with the timing and location of tremor activity associated with the slow-slip event. By calculating strain from the GPS displacement measurements, the magnitude and quality of the strainmeters signals are compared to the corresponding GPS signals for the event. This comparison can potentially offer a useful calibration check to compare with current tidal calibration models. A slip inversion model combining GPS and strainmeter data is performed using the Kalman-filter-based Extended Network Inversion Filter. Coupling the sensitivity of strainmeter data with the spatial resolution of the current GPS network provides better constraints on slow-slip events. The incorporation of strainmeter data into current GPS inversion models reveals strainmeters to be a valuable monitoring tool for slow-slip events.

Krogstad, R.; Schmidt, D. A.

2010-12-01

389

The Proto Southern Gulf of California represented by GIS Plate Tectonic Reconstructions  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We present GIS-based plate tectonic reconstruction maps for the southern Gulf of California oblique rift. The maps track plate boundary deformation back to 14 Ma. Tectonic blocks are defined by faults, geology, seismic data, and bathymetry/topography. Spreading center and fault-slip rates were acquired from geologic data, cross-Gulf tie points, and GPS studies. Baja California-North America GPS rates (47 mm/yr across the Gulf; 4 mm/yr in the borderland) agree remarkably with ~6 Ma geologic offsets across the Gulf and are used during reconstruction steps back to 6 Ma. The Alarcon and Guaymas spreading centers initiated at 2.4 Ma and 6 Ma (Lizarralde et al., 2007), respectively, while the Farallon, Pescadero, and Carmen spreading centers began between ~2-1 Ma (Lonsdale, 1989). Therefore, the 2, 4, and 6 Ma reconstruction steps include a long transtensional fault zone along much of the southern Gulf, connecting the Guaymas spreading center with either the Alarcon spreading center or East Pacific Rise. For reconstructions at 8, 10, and 12 Ma, a range of across-Gulf and borderland fault rates fit the current constraints, but all models suggest an increase in across-Gulf faulting rates at 8 - 6 Ma. We used 30 mm/yr across the Gulf and 20 mm/yr across the borderland. These models result in ~470 km northwestward offset across the Gulf (we also account for a minor E-W offset) and ~145 km offset across the borderland. The 12 - 14 Ma reconstructions suggest that the Gulf of California formed along a 100 x 1600 km volcanic arc and narrow extensional belt between the Cretaceous batholith and the Sierra Madre Occidental. The initial seaway at 8 - 6.5 Ma was only ~200-250 km wide by 1600 km long. We will also combine our 12 Ma map with the McQuarrie and Werrnicke (2005) reconstruction to present a new reconstruction for the whole Walker Lane to Gulf of California belt.

Skinner, L. A.; Umhoefer, P. J.; Kluesner, J. W.

2012-12-01

390

Tectonics of the Philippine Sea Plate as Seen From GPS Observations  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We analyzed the Global Positioning System (GPS) data in and around the Philippine Sea plate (PHS) to provide a velocity field for discussing tectonics of the plate and the mechanism of subduction process around PHS. In the present study, first, we revised the previously determined Euler vector of PHS relative to stable Eurasia using newly obtained data. Eastern part of Europe was assumed to be in a rigid block according to Nocquet et al. (2001) and we estimated the seven parameters of Helmert Transformation of this block relative to ITRF97. Then these parameters were used to estimate the Euler vector of PHS relative to stable Eurasia. For this purpose, we re-analyzed GPS data of up until 2001 at Chichi-jima, Okino-Tori Shima, Minami-Daito, Palau, Aogashima and Hachijo islands in ITRF97 reference together with surrounding IGS sites. Results suggest that the Euler vector of PHS relative to _gstable Eurasia_h is to be (61.4N, 163.7E, 1.003deg/my). Contrary to our previous estimate, the result suggests that Palau may be considered as in the rigid part of PHS. In contrast, the northern Izu islands are suggested to be affected by local volcanic disturbances. Then, we studied tectonic motions of Mariana arc and Palau-Yap arc. The Mariana Islands have been repeatedly observed since 1992. Kotake (2000) analyzed data at Anatahan, Guguan, Pagan and Agrigan as well as Saipan and Guam sites and showed that the velocities are much slower than what we expect from rigid motion of PHS. Residual velocities at these islands clearly show eastward motion of the Mariana Islands, suggesting that the Mariana Islands are subject to the spreading of the Mariana Trough. The rotation pole of the Mariana block was re-estimated as (20.6N, 145.2E) and angular velocity to be 4.17deg/ma, according to the re-estimated PHS motion. The position of the rotation pole is a few degrees south to the geographical hinge point of the Mariana arc and west Mariana ridge at about 24N. Estimated eastward velocities at these islands are consistent with those estimated from magnetic anomaly observations. Small arc parallel extension of about 1cm/yr between Agrigan and Guam suggest that the formation of the arc is not simple fan-shape expansion, as was indicated by Karig et al. (1978). Convergence at Yap trench has also been studied using GPS. Motions of Uliti and Fais suggest slight convergence at Yap trench with about 1cm/yr, but have some northward component relative to the trench.

Kato, T.; Kotake, Y.

2002-12-01

391

Dating upper plate normal fault slip events in Late Pleistocene and Holocene sediments of northern Chile  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In order to understand how subduction earthquakes along the Nazca-South America plate boundary affect upper plate faults in the coastal forearc of northern Chile, we are developing the first detailed paleoseismological study to characterize the Late Quaternary activity of the Mejillones and Salar del Carmen faults, located around 40 km north and 15 km east of Antofagasta, respectively. There is currently a lack of basic palaeo-seismological data on these and other upper plate faults, such as long term slip rates, amount of slip per event, palaeo-earthquake magnitude and recurrence intervals. This lack of knowledge impedes understanding of how large subduction earthquakes, occurring at depths of around 50 km in this region, relate to upper plate seismicity and deformation. We have used OSL dating of fault-related sediments, and cosmogenic-ray nuclide dating of terrace surfaces, to constrain slips rates over the last 45 ka. Several trenches were excavated across both faults in order to expose and log the most recent fault-related sediments. In the hanging wall of these normal faults, vertically stacked colluvial wedges and hillslope deposits are the product of discrete slip events and post-slip fault scarp degradation. Multiple trenches along each fault permit the spatial variability in slip amount and fault-related sedimentation to be investigated. Long-term slip rates have been measured using cosmogenic-ray nuclide exposure dating of the alluvial terraces offset by the Mejillones Fault. OSL dating of the fault-related sediments in the trenches has been used to compare the ages of individual slip events on both faults, and the age of events recorded along the trace of each fault. The application of both cosmogenic-ray nuclide and OSL methods in this type of setting (hyper-arid with low erosion rates, yet tectonically active) is non-trivial, due to cosmogenic inheritance accumulated in cobbles on the terrace surfaces, low sensitivity of the quartz for OSL dating, and the potential for partial bleaching in both quartz and feldspar. However, we have established that slip events occur about the same time (within uncertainty) on both faults, but that fault slip rate and the estimated earthquake magnitudes are greater on the Mejillones Fault than the Salar del Carmen Fault. Since 13 ka, there have been 3 - 4 slip events on both faults and the recurrence interval of the largest predicted palaeo-earthquake (Mw ~7) on the Mejillones Fault is about 4.8 ka.

Robinson, R. A.; Binnie, S.; Gonzalez, G.; Corts, J.

2011-12-01

392

How plate tectonics is recorded in chalk deposits along the eastern English Channel in Normandy (France) and Sussex (UK)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Intra-plate stresses that occurred in the Anglo-Paris Basin and English Channel during Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic times are a consequence of the convergence between Eurasia and Africa and the opening of the North Atlantic area. This geodynamic re-organisation is recorded on each side of the English Channel, with the emergence of regional structures such as the the Weald-Artois anticline and the reactivation of large-scale strike-slip faults. We analyse the Anglo-Paris Basin Chalk fracture system, on each side of the eastern English Channel, using a set of 1600 meso-scale fractures data collected on coastal chalk cliffs in Normandy (NW France) and Sussex (UK). Meso-scale fracture system is precisely dated using chalk lithostratigraphy correlations within the basin. Moreover, an inversion method is used on fault slip data to evidence a paleostress chronology in the Anglo-Paris Basin. Three main Upper Cretaceous extensive events, characterized by normal faults and jointing are recorded in Normandy and two Cenozoic compressive and extensive events with strike-slip and normal faults appear in Sussex. Paleostress records vary on each part of the eastern English Channel. The meso-scale fracture system is thus used to better define the type of relationship between meso-scale and large-scale brittle deformation in the Chalk during Meso-Cenozoic. A first NE-SW extension is recorded in Normandy in relation with local anticlines structures and related to the Lower Rhine graben opening. A second event is a WNW-ESE extension of local origin in relation with the subsidence axis of the Paris Basin. The third event is a NNE-SSW extension, well marked in Normandy and related to the activation of E-W normal faults in the western approaches of the English Channel. This event is also recorded in Sussex and reactivates locally older fractures in strike-slip. The Oligocene N-S compression/E-W extension related to the Pyrenean tectonics and the last E-W extension relative to the North Sea graben opening are well recorded in Sussex, but not in Normandy. Recent far-field stresses developed in the NW European platform are focused on deep crustal structures like the Artois hills and the Cotentin areas in France. These structures act as a stress barrier by protecting the Normandy Chalk from recent far-field stresses. On the contrary, recent far-field stresses are easily recorded by meso-scale brittle deformation on the folded Chalk in Sussex.

Duperret, Anne; Vandycke, Sara; Mortimore, Rory N.; Genter, Albert

2012-12-01

393

Plate Tectonic Consequences of competing models for the origin and history of the Banda Sea subducted oceanic lithosphere  

E-print Network

The Banda Arc, situated west of Irian Jaya and in the easternmost extension of the Sunda subduction zone system, reveals a characteristic bowl-shaped geometry in seismic tomographic images. This indicates that the oceanic lithosphere still remains attached to the surrounding continental margins of northern Australia and the Bird's Head microcontinent. Major controversies exist between authors proposing an allochthonous or autochthonous origin of the Bird's Head block. Either scenario has important implications for plate kinematic models aiming to reconstruct the tectonic evolution of the region and the late Jurassic seaoor spreading geometry of this now subducted Argo-Tanimbar-Seram (ATS) ocean basin. Wider implications affect the tectonic conguration of the Tethyan-Pacic realm, the distribution of plate boundaries as well as the shape and size of continental blocks which have been rifted off the northeastern Gondwana margin during the Late Jurassic and are now accreted to the SE Asia margin. We apply structu...

Heine, Christian; McKay, Hamish; Mller, R Dietmar

2012-01-01

394

Tectonic and depositional model of the Arabian and adjoining plates during the Silurian-Devonian  

SciTech Connect

During the Late Ordovician and Early Silurian, the western part of the Arabian Peninsula was covered by polar glaciers that advanced from the south pole in African Gondwana. During this period, nondeposition, erosion, or marginal marine conditions prevailed in eastern and northern Arabia. When the glaciers melted in the Early Silurian, sea level rose sharply and the paleo-Tethys Ocean transgressed the Arabian and adjoining plates depositing a thick, organic-rich shale directly over the glaciogenic and periglacial rocks and related unconformities. The post-glacial sequence coarsens upward reflecting the passage of a coastline prograding northward from African and Arabian Gondwana to northern Arabia. A sea level drop in the Late Silurian placed the study area in a terrestrial environment; however, as sea level recovered in the Early Devonian, a carbonate sequence blanketed most of the area. The transgression, however, was interrupted by regional uplift and local orogenic movements in the Middle and Late Devonian. These movements constitute the onset of Hercynian tectonism, which resulted in erosion of the older sequences, depositional hiatuses, and regional facies changes.

Husseini, M.I. (Aramco, Dhahran (Saudi Arabia))

1991-01-01

395

Origin and evolution of marginal basins of the NW Pacific: Diffuse-plate tectonic reconstructions  

E-print Network

Formation of the gigantic linked dextral pull-apart basin system in the NW Pacific is due to NNE- to ENE-ward motion of east Eurasia. This mainly was a response to the Indo-Asia collision which started about 50 Ma ago. The displacement of east Eurasia can be estimated using three aspects: (1) the magnitude of pull-apart of the dextral pull-apart basin system, (2) paleomagnetic data from eastern Eurasia and the region around the Arctic, and (3) the shortening deficits in the Large Tibetan Plateau. All the three aspects indicate that there was a large amount (about 1200 km) of northward motion of the South China block and compatible movements of other blocks in eastern Eurasia during the rifting period of the basin system. Such large motion of the eastern Eurasia region contradicts any traditional rigid plate tectonic reconstruction, but agrees with the more recent concepts of non-rigidity of both continental and oceanic lithosphere over geological times. Based on these estimates, the method developed for resto...

Xu, Junyuan; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Yu, Ho-Shing

2012-01-01

396

Tectonics changes in NW South American Plate and their effect on the movement pattern of the Bocon Fault System during the Mrida Andes evolution  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The NE-SW trending Mrida-Andes fold-and-thrust belt, in the southern boundary of the Maracaibo Block, formed by a collisional event in Late Miocene at the boundary of the Maracaibo Block and Guyana Shield in the northwestern South American plate. The 500 km long, NE-SW striking right-lateral strike-slip Bocon Fault System lies in the Mrida-Andes area. Mylonitic fault rocks along the Bocon Fault System developed during pre-Late Miocene-Early Pliocene. Microscopic and mesoscopic structures such as mica fish, asymmetrical porphyroclasts, S-C shear bands, and asymmetrical ductile folds in Bocon Fault mylonite indicate a sinistral movement along the fault. The movement is probably related to pre-collision extensional tectonics that began in the Late Triassic-Jurassic interval, and continued until the Late Cretaceous or Middle Eocene. Following the collision of the Panam Arc and the South American plate in the Late Miocene, and the change from extensional to contractional tectonic regime, the Bocon was reactivated as a dextral fault system.

Javadi, Hamid Reza; Foroutan, Mohammad; Ashtiani, Marzieh Esterabi; Urbina, Jose Angel; Saidi, Abdollah; Faridi, Mohammad

2011-07-01

397

Cenozoic tectonic history of the North America-Caribbean plate boundary zone in western Cuba  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Structural studies of well-dated Jurassic to lower Miocene rocks in western Cuba constrain the sequence of structural events affecting this oblique collisional zone between the late Cretaceous island arc and the Jurassic-Cretaceous North America passive margin in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and Straits of Florida. Results of detailed mapping and collection of fault slip data at 34 sites define a regionally consistent, five phase tectonic model for the period from the late Paleocene to the post-early Miocene. During the late Paleocene to the early Eocene, the Cuban island arc collided with the North American passive margin (Bahamas Platform). Northwest-ward overthrusting during the collision defines tectonic phase I. A NNE-SSW compression concurrent with early Eocene left-lateral strike-slip faulting along the Pinar fault zone defines phase II. This result is consistent with structural mapping showing sinistral shear within the 065 striking Pinar fault zone. An ENE-WSW to E-W compression defining phase III overprinted phase II faults in the lower Eocene and older rocks. Post-early Miocene normal faulting characterizes phase IV. Inversion of fault slip data indicates two contemporaneous directions of tension of 120 and 170. Strike-slip faults that overprint phase IV normal faults yield a 120 compression (phase V). The direction of compression associated with the arc/continent collision rotates clockwise from NW-SE in the late Paleocene/early Eocene (phase I), to NNE-SSW (phase II) and to ENE-WSW by the middle Eocene (phase III). The rotation in the compression direction occurred because the arc turned toward an oceanic area in the present-day area of central and eastern Cuba. Progressive collision led to complete subduction of the remnant oceanic crust by middle to late Eocene time.

Gordon, Mark B.; Mann, Paul; CCeres, DMaso; Flores, Ral

1997-05-01

398

The 2.0 Ga Usagaran eclogites, Tanzania: the onset of modern plate tectonics or a continuation of the norm?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Phanerozoic eclogites are widely interpreted to have formed in subduction zone environments where fragments of oceanic crust have been buried to depths greater than 50 km. The formation and preservation of Phanerozoic eclogites is demonstrably linked to plate convergence and their study of eclogite-facies rocks underpins our understanding of subduction zones and plate tectonic models. Our understanding of more ancient, Precambrian tectonics is based on a uniformitarian model, which assumes that modern day tectonic processes are good analogues of those in the past. This assumption is limited because numerical modelling has shown that the driving force of plate tectonics, the thermal structure of the Earth, has changed dramatically over geological time. For example, at the start of the Palaeoproterozoic (2.5 Ga) the Earth's heat production was twice as high as at present. If these models are true then it is difficult to reconcile the formation of low-med temperature eclogite facies rocks in the Early Earth. The Palaeoproterozoic Usagaran orogenic belt of Tanzania contains the Earths oldest reported examples (2.0 Ga) of low/med temperature eclogites. The eclogites are reported to have MORB-like geochemical characteristics, which coupled with P-T estimates for their formation, suggests that they are subduction related. In this study detailed structural analysis and U-Th-Pb SHRIMP zircon dating of gneisses exposed in the high-grade, eclogite bearing part of the orogen (the Isimani Suite), has demonstrated that detrital grains in paragneisses yield ages between 2.4 &2.9 Ga. These are intercalated with 2.7 Ga orthogneisses of a similar age to the Tanzanian craton. The extensive distribution of 2.7 Ga crust in both the footwall and hangingwall of the Usagaran Orogen suggests that the most likely tectonic setting for the protoliths of the mafic eclogites was as oceanic crust in a marginal basin. The identification of Palaeoproterozoic subduction related eclogites that formed during closure of a marginal basin, suggests that the plate tectonic processes active at this time were similar to those in modern settings. These results show that by 2.0 Ga, despite possibly elevated mantle temperatures, metamorphic conditions in subduction zones had evolved to produce and preserve low/med temperature eclogites.

Buchan, C.; Collins, A. S.; Reddy, S. M.; Mruma, A.

2003-04-01

399

Tectonic Storytelling with Open Source and Digital Object Identifiers - a case study about Plate Tectonics and the Geopark Bergstrae-Odenwald  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The communication of advances in research to the common public for both education and decision making is an important aspect of scientific work. An even more crucial task is to gain recognition within the scientific community, which is judged by impact factor and citation counts. Recently, the latter concepts have been extended from textual publications to include data and software publications. This paper presents a case study for science communication and data citation. For this, tectonic models, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), best practices for data citation and a multimedia online-portal for scientific content are combined. This approach creates mutual benefits for the stakeholders: Target audiences receive information on the latest research results, while the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) increases the recognition and citation of underlying scientific data. This creates favourable conditions for every researcher as DOI names ensure citeability and long term availability of scientific research. In the developed application, the FOSS tool for tectonic modelling GPlates is used to visualise and manipulate plate-tectonic reconstructions and associated data through geological time. These capabilities are augmented by the Science on a Halfsphere project (SoaH) with a robust and intuitive visualisation hardware environment. The tectonic models used for science communication are provided by the AGH University of Science and Technology. They focus on the Silurian to Early Carboniferous evolution of Central Europe (Bohemian Massif) and were interpreted for the area of the Geopark Bergstrae Odenwald based on the GPlates/SoaH hardware- and software stack. As scientific story-telling is volatile by nature, recordings are a natural means of preservation for further use, reference and analysis. For this, the upcoming portal for audiovisual media of the German National Library of Science and Technology TIB is expected to become a critical service infrastructure. It allows complex search queries, including metadata such as DOI and media fragment identifiers (MFI), thereby linking data citation and science communication.

Lwe, Peter; Barmuta, Jan; Klump, Jens; Neumann, Janna; Plank, Margret

2014-05-01

400

TOPSIDE TECTONICS Don L. Anderson  

E-print Network

Science #12;07/19/01 2 TABLE 1: Convection and Plate Tectonics Style of Convection Successful ? Problems-forming plates TBD Freely-evolving plates TBD #12;07/19/01 3 Abstract Plate tectonics is a far in and between the plates. Without plate tectonics and with simple boundary conditions the mantle would

Anderson, Don L.

401

Kinematic History and Tectonic Evolution of the Amerasian Basin: Investigating Palaeo-Plate Boundaries around the Chukchi Borderlands  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The multi-stage opening of the Arctic Ocean's Amerasian Basin is only partially understood due to the difficulty of utilizing traditional marine geologic and geophysical techniques in ice-covered waters. While the kinematic development of the Eurasian Basin is well-understood to be the northernmost extension of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the history of the morphologically complex Amerasian Basin may be due to multiple events, significantly complicating interpretation of its history. Any detailed model for the opening of the Amerasian Basin must both incorporate structures that accommodate spreading as well as explain the tectonic mechanisms that drove basin development. Cretaceous-age tholeiitic flood basalts and associated radiating dike swarms of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP), found along the basin margin, provide a tectonic mechanism and geometry to substantiate sound reconstruction. Detailed models need also consider pre-existing zones of weakness such as the deformation front of the Devonian Caledonides, which may underlie Barents Shelf sediments (Gee and Bogolepova, 2003). Reactivation of these ancient structural trends along this suture zone may explain the motion of Mendeleev Ridge as it rifted from Lomonosov Ridge and created the rectangular pull-apart basin between them. We propose a revised plate model for the development of the Amerasian Basin. A Cretaceous magmatic source localized under the Alpha Ridge accompanied the onset of rifting. This generated the HALIP radiating dike swarms and tholeiitic flood basalts found on the DeLong Islands, Svalbard, Franz Joseph Land, Greenland, Sverdrup Basin and, possibly, the Alpha and Mendeleev Ridges. New bathymetric and sub-bottom profiling data also suggests the existence of igneous dikes on Chukchi Cap. The subsequent development of a triple junction resulted in dilational opening of the Canada Basin. Spreading was accommodated by the migration of the southern edges of the northeastern Siberian shelf along large right lateral transform faults in the South Anyui Suture Zone allowing for crustal "escape" toward the Pacific subduction zone. Bathymetric, aeromagnetic and gravity data support the triple junction idea as well as a complimentary zone of left lateral transform motion along the northern Alaska margin and southern edge of the Chukchi Borderlands which also accommodated spreading.

Brumley, K.; Coakley, B.; Stone, D.; Wallace, W.

2007-12-01

402

A review of the timing of the major tectonic events in the New Guinea Orogen  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Three major tectonic events have shaped the gross structural and sedimentary architectural of the New Guinea Orogen in the western Pacific. The Mesozoic tectonic history of the orogen was extensional. Rifting during the Triassic and the Early Jurassic led to the formation of a passive margin along the northern edge of the Australian craton. A siliciclastic sag phase sequence was draped across this margin during the Jurassic and Cretaceous. A second phase of rifting in the Late Cretaceous dismembered the eastern part of the margin and led to the opening of the Coral Sea Basin and another contemporaneous ocean basin to the north during latest Cretaceous to Eocene time. The Early Tertiary sag phase sequence is dominantly carbonate. The third major tectonic phase in the development of the orogen was the initiation of mountain building. Analysis of the foreland basin history of the New Guinea Orogen shows that the flexing of the Australian craton, as a consequence of the emplacement of an allochthonous thrust mass, first occurred in Mid Oligocene time. In the basin this event is also marked by a switch in the direction of clastic sediment supply from the south to the north, a marked increase in sedimentation rates and the development of profoundly diachronous sequences.

Pigram, C. J.; Symonds, P. A.

403

Dynamic Digital Maps: On-line Publication of Representative "Local" Geology in a Plate Tectonic Setting  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The use of Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) offers the geologic community a combination of attributes which allow the on-line publication of spatially related, highly quantitative data, to be set in a local or regional environment which lets both professional and students make inquiry based observations, and makes these data easily available for analyses. The DDM does this by displaying analytical data, images and movies from links at sample site locations on maps or images in a friendly user interface. Macintosh-only prototypes of two of these DDMs [Springerville Volcanic Field (DDM-SVF) and Tatara-San Pedro volcanic complex (DDM-TSP)] have been used in university petrology classes; the latter program has been converted to a template from which other DDMs can be made. This DDM.Template is presently being ported to a cross-platform web-enabled programming environment (MetaCard - Revolution). An example of a map produced in the process of creating this port, the DDM of New England (DDM-NE) includes six geologic field trips and the State Geologic Map of Massachusetts, and can be obtained from the URL http://ddm.geo.umass.edu. The use of these three maps allows what is essentially access to representative "local" geology in three global plate tectonic settings: a subduction zone (the Andes, DDM-TSP), a continental interior monogenetic volcanic field (DDM-SVF) and a failed rift valley (the Deerfield Basin within the DDM.NE). Because the DDM.Template provides locations for text and captions to be inserted for use at several user levels (e.g. the professional geologist, the beginning geoscientist, and the layman or perhaps middle-school student) the use of DDMs also provides a much needed outreach mechanism for the geosciences.

Condit, C. D.

2002-12-01

404

Regional Tectonics emphasizes the  

E-print Network

. Generally the class utilizes aspects of structural geology and plate tectonic theory to provide a broad and interests. Other topics included a careful assessment of the plate tectonics model, Wilson cycle, firstRegional Tectonics emphasizes the tectonic development of major mountain ranges across the globe

405

The interpretation of crustal dynamics data in terms of plate interactions and active tectonics of the Anatolian Plate and surrounding regions in the Middle East  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The long-term objective of this project is to interpret NASA's Crustal Dynamics measurements (SLR) in the Eastern Mediterranean region in terms of relative plate movements and intraplate deformation. The approach is to combine realistic modeling studies with analysis of available geophysical and geological observations to provide a framework for interpreting NASA's measurements. This semi-annual report concentrates on recent results regarding the tectonics of Anatolia and surrounding regions from ground based observations. Also reported on briefly is progress in the use of the Global Positioning System to densify SLR observations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Reference is made to the previous annual report for a discussion of modeling results.

Toksoz, M. Nafi

1988-01-01

406

The interpretation of crustal dynamics data in terms of plate interactions and active tectonics of the Anatolian Plate and surrounding regions in the Middle East  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The long term objective of this project is to interpret NASA's Crustal Dynamics measurements (SLR) in the Eastern Mediterranean region in terms of relative plate motions and intraplate deformation. The approach is to combine realistic modeling studies with an analysis of available geophysical and geological observations to provide a framework for interpreting NASA's measurements. This semi-annual report concentrates on recent results regarding the tectonics of Anatolia and surrounding regions from ground based observations. Also briefly reported on is progress made in using GPS measurements to densify SLR observations in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Toksoz, M. Nafi

1987-01-01

407

Oregon offers something for everyone who loves the outdoors --especially geologists. Oregon is a land filled with wonder and intrigue. Over the state's long history, plate tectonic and volcanic activity  

E-print Network

. Oregon is a land filled with wonder and intrigue. Over the state's long history, plate tectonic tectonic plate under- neath the Pacific Ocean produced the Coast Range over millions of years. Hot fluids coming off the diving plate, beginning about 35 million years ago, resulted in the volcanic eruptions

Tullos, Desiree

408

Circum-Arctic mantle structure from global P-wave tomography - how consistent is it with plate-tectonic reconstructions?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

I present a preliminary, global-scale tomographic P-velocity model, and discuss it with a focus on the Arctic hemisphere. The model was obtained from waveform inversion of teleseismic P-waves, specifically using the method of multi-frequency inversion, an extension of finite-frequency tomography that systematically exploits the entire usable body-wave spectrum. The transition zone and mid-mantle are decently sampled, since the Arctic is surrounded by well-instrumented continents (Eurasia, North America, Japan). In addition, the past decade has seen the addition of a significant number of stations on Greenland and surrounding islands. I use a rigorously quality-controlled data set of broadband seismograms from IRIS, which is rather complete for the years 1999-2009, together with a smaller data set from the European data center ORFEUS. Global tomography models have rarely been discussed with a focus on the circum-Arctic region. Accordingly, this integrated investigation of tomography and plate tectonics is still in a reconnaissance stage. I compare my own model and a few other body-wave tomographies to a plate reconstruction model, in an attempt match up seismically fast anomalies (subducted slabs), with predicted paleo-trench locations. Shallow anomalies should correspond to recent subduction, deeper slabs to older subduction episodes. Slabs that are not overlain by a modeled trench at any time, or paleo-trenches without fast anomaly observed underneath, can point to gaps in our current understanding of the Arctic's plate-tectonic evolution.

Sigloch, K.

2012-04-01

409

Maximum horizontal stress orientations in the Cooper Basin, Australia: implications for plate-scale tectonics and local stress sources  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Borehole breakouts and drilling-induced tensile fractures (DITFs) were interpreted in 61 wells in the Cooper Basin indicating an average maximum horizontal stress orientation of 101N. A total of 890 borehole breakouts and 608 DITFs were interpreted in the Cooper Basin. The approximately east-west maximum horizontal stress orientation is consistent over much of the basin, except in the Patchawarra Trough where maximum horizontal stress rotates to a northwest-southeast orientation. This rotation in maximum horizontal stress orientation is consistent with in situ stress data to the northwest of the Cooper Basin. The stress field in the Cooper Basin appears to mark the apex of a major horseshoe-shaped rotation in maximum horizontal stress direction across central eastern Australia. Finite element modelling of the in situ stress field of the Indo-Australian Plate (IAP) using a range of plate-scale tectonic forces is able to match the regional maximum horizontal stress orientation over most of Australia reasonably well, including the mean east-west maximum horizontal stress orientation in the Cooper Basin. However, plate boundary-scale modelling does not adequately match the horseshoe-shaped stress rotation across central eastern Australia. The average east-west maximum horizontal stress orientation in the Cooper Basin indicates that stresses from tensional forces acting along the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone are not transmitted into the interior of the Australian plate. The majority of the tensional forces associated with the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone are most likely accommodated along the numerous spreading centres within the Lau-Havre backarc basin. A number of more localized stress anomalies have also been identified. These cannot be explained by plate-scale tectonic forces and are possibly a result of geological structure and/or density contrasts locally perturbing the stress field.

Reynolds, Scott D.; Mildren, Scott D.; Hillis, Richard R.; Meyer, Jeremy J.; Flottmann, Thomas

2005-01-01

410

Active Pacific North America Plate boundary tectonics as evidenced by seismicity in the oceanic lithosphere offshore Baja California, Mexico  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Pacific Ocean crust west of southwest North America was formed by Cenozoic seafloor spreading between the large Pacific Plate and smaller microplates. The eastern limit of this seafloor, the continent-ocean boundary, is the fossil trench along which the microplates subducted and were mostly destroyed in Miocene time. The Pacific-North America Plate boundary motion today is concentrated on continental fault systems well to the east, and this region of oceanic crust is generally thought to be within the rigid Pacific Plate. Yet, the 2012 December 14 Mw 6.3 earthquake that occurred about 275 km west of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, is evidence for continued tectonism in this oceanic part of the Pacific Plate. The preferred main shock centroid depth of 20 km was located close to the bottom of the seismogenic thickness of the young oceanic lithosphere. The focal mechanism, derived from both teleseismic P-wave inversion and W-phase analysis of the main shock waveforms, and the 12 aftershocks of M 3-4 are consistent with normal faulting on northeast striking nodal planes, which align with surface mapped extensional tectonic trends such as volcanic features in the region. Previous Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements on offshore islands in the California Continental Borderland had detected some distributed Pacific and North America relative plate motion strain that could extend into the epicentral region. The release of this lithospheric strain along existing zones of weakness is a more likely cause of this seismicity than current thermal contraction of the oceanic lithosphere or volcanism. The main shock caused weak to moderate ground shaking in the coastal zones of southern California, USA, and Baja California, Mexico, but the tsunami was negligible.

Hauksson, Egill; Kanamori, Hiroo; Stock, Joann; Cormier, Marie-Helene; Legg, Mark

2014-03-01

411

Self-Consistent Generation of Tectonic Plates in Time Dependent, Three-Dimensional Mantle Convection Simulations. Part 1: PseudoPlastic Yielding  

Microsoft Academic Search

Presented here are the first three-dimensional simulations of mantle convection to display self-consistently-generated plate tectonic-like behavior which is continuous in space and time. Plate behavior arises through a reasonable material description of silicate deformation, with a simple yield stress being sufficient to give first-order plate-like behavior. Toroidal:poloidal ratios are within geologically-observed limits. The sensitivity of the system to yield strength

Paul J. Tackley

412

Tectonic Structure of the Middle America Pacific Margin and Incoming Cocos Plate From Costa Rica to Guatemala  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A new multibeam bathymetry and magnetic survey with R/V SONNE in summer 2003 has mapped the continental margin and incoming plate of NW Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, extending existing coverage from offshore Costa Rica and part of Nicaragua to a full coverage map of about 1200 km long by 100 km wide area along the plate boundary. The incoming plate along Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala is of similar age and was formed at superfast spreading rates; however, its morphology changes drastically along strike. The seafloor-spreading inherited morphology is very smooth along Nicaragua, but with ridges up to 800 m high in Guatemala, with a transition across El Salvador. The development and dimensions of the dominant inherited fabric seems to be related to discontinuities at the paleospreading center. A series of troughs oblique to the main fabric may indicate the location of pseudofaults and correspond to areas where the seafloor fabric is most prominent. Bending of the oceanic plate into the trench reactivates the inherited fabric forming a well pervasive faulting system along the oceanic trench slope. The continental slope displays three morphotectonic units that roughly correspond to the upper, middle and lower slope, although the across slope width of each unit is fairly variable. Small canyons and gullies that form at the sudden dip change across the shelf break carve the upper slope. The canyons coalesce and become shallower as the dip decreases downslope. Locally some large canyons continue into the slope toe. The middle slope is a rough terrain variable in width and dip sculptured by pervasive normal faulting and locally by mass wasting processes. The lower slope is formed by en echelon terraces striking similar to the rough terrain of the incoming plate and mimicking the half graben morphology of the underthusting plate. The three morphotectonic slope domains represent differences in tectonic activity, with more stable upper slope, a middle slope dominated by tectonic extension and the thin, highly fractured upper plate of the lower slope riffling over the incoming plate topography. The trench axis is largely empty, with local turbidite ponds at the mouth of a few large canyons transecting the entire slope.

Ranero, C. R.; Weinrebe, W.; Grevemeyer, I.; Phipps Morgan, J.; Vannucchi, P.; von Huene, R.

2003-12-01

413

Present-day kinematics of the Rivera plate and implications for tectonics in southwestern Mexico  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

A model for the present-day motion of the Rivera plate relative to the North America, Cocos, and Pacific plates is derived using new data from the Pacific-Rivera rise and Rivera transform fault, together with new estimates of Pacific-Rivera motions. The results are combined with the closure-consistent NUVEL-1 global plate motion model of DeMets et al. (1990) to examine present-day deformation in southwestern Mexico. The analysis addresses several questions raised in previous studies of the Rivera plate. Namely, do plate motion data from the northern East Pacific rise require a distinct Rivera plate? Do plate kinematic data require the subduction of the Rivera plate along the seismically quiescent Acapulco trench? If so, what does the predicted subduction rate imply about the earthquake recurrence interval in the Jalisco region of southwestern Mexico?

Demets, Charles; Stein, Seth

1990-01-01

414

The influence of tectonic plates on mantle convection patterns, temperature and heat flow  

Microsoft Academic Search

SUMMARY The dynamic coupling between plate motion and mantle convection is investigated in a suite of Cartesian models by systematically varying aspect ratios and plate geometries. The aim of the study presented here is to determine to what extent plates affect mantle flow patterns, temperature and surface heat flux. To this end, we compare numerical convection models with free-slip boundary

Julian P. Lowman; Scott D. King; Carl W. Gable

2001-01-01

415

A source-sink model of the generation of plate tectonics from non-Newtonian mantle flow  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

A model of mantle convection which generates plate tectonics requires strain rate- or stress-dependent rheology in order to produce strong platelike flows with weak margins as well as strike-slip deformation and plate spin (i.e., toroidal motion). Here, we employ a simple model of source-sink driven surface flow to determine the form of such a rheology that is appropriate for Earth's present-day plate motions. In this model, lithospheric motion is treated as shallow layer flow driven by sources and sinks which correspond to spreading centers and subduction zones, respectively. Two plate motion models are used to derive the source sink field. As originally implied in the simpler Cartesian version of this model, the classical power law rheologies do not generate platelike flows as well as the hypothetical Whitehead-Gans stick-slip rheology (which incorporates a simple self-lubrication mechanism). None of the fluid rheologies examined, however, produce more than approximately 60% of the original maximum shear. For either plate model, the viscosity fields produced by the power law rheologies are diffuse, and the viscosity lows over strike-slip shear zones or pseudo-margins are not as small as over the prescribed convergent-divergent margins. In contrast, the stick-slip rheology generates very platelike viscosity fields, with sharp gradients at the plate boundaries, and margins with almost uniformly low viscosity. Power law rheologies with high viscosity contrasts, however, lead to almost equally favorable comparisons, though these also yield the least platelike viscosity fields. This implies that the magnitude of toroidal flow and platelike strength distributions are not necessarily related and thus may present independent constraints on the determination of a self-consistent plate-mantle rheology.

Bercovici, David

1995-01-01

416

A source-sink model of the generation of plate tectonics from non-Newtonian mantle flow  

SciTech Connect

A model of mantle convection which generates plate tectonics requires strain rate- or stress-dependent rheology in order to produce strong platelike flows with weak margins as well as strike-slip deformation and plate spin (i.e., toroidal motion). Here, we employ a simple model of source-sink driven surface flow to determine the form of such a rheology that is appropriate for Earth`s present-day plate motions. In this model, lithospheric motion is treated as shallow layer flow driven by sources and sinks which correspond to spreading centers and subduction zones, respectively. Two plate motion models are used to derive the source sink field. As originally implied in the simpler Cartesian version of this model, the classical power law rheologies do not generate platelike flows as well as the hypothetical Whitehead-Gans stick-slip rheology (which incorporates a simple self-lubrication mechanism). None of the fluid rheologies examined, however, produce more than approximately 60% of the original maximum shear. For either plate model, the viscosity fields produced by the power law rheologies are diffuse, and the viscosity lows over strike-slip shear zones or pseudo-margins are not as small as over the prescribed convergent-divergent margins. In contrast, the stick-slip rheology generates very platelike viscosity fields, with sharp gradients at the plate boundaries, and margins with almost uniformly low viscosity. Power law rheologies with high viscosity contrasts, however, lead to almost equally favorable comparisons, though these also yield the least platelike viscosity fields. This implies that the magnitude of toroidal flow and platelike strength distributions are not necessarily related and thus may present independent constraints on the determination of a self-consistent plate-mantle rheology.

Bercovici, D. [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States)] [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States)

1995-02-01

417

On the relationship between tectonic plates and thermal mantle plume morphology  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Models incorporating plate-like behavior, i.e., near uniform surface velocity and deformation concentrated at plate boundaries, into a convective system, heated by a mix of internal and basal heating and allowing for temperature dependent viscosity, were constructed and compared to similar models not possessing plate-like behavior. The simplified numerical models are used to explore how plate-like behavior in a convective system can effect the lower boundary layer from which thermal plumes form. A principal conclusion is that plate-like behavior can significantly increase the temperature drop across the lower thermal boundary layer. This temperature drop affects the morphology of plumes by determining the viscosity drop across the boundary layer. Model results suggest that plumes on planets possessing plate-like behavior, e.g., the Earth, may differ in morphologic type from plumes on planets not possessing plate-like behavior, e.g., Venus and Mars.

Lenardic, A.; Kaula, W. M.

1993-01-01

418

Pacific-North America Plate Tectonics of the Neogene Southwestern United States: An Update  

Microsoft Academic Search

We use updated rotations within the Pacific-Antarctica-Africa-North America plate circuit to calculate Pacific-North America plate reconstructions for times since chron 13 (33 Ma). The direction of motion of the Pacific plate relative to stable North America was fairly steady between chrons 13 and 4, and then changed and moved in a more northerly direction from chron 4 to the present

Tanya Atwater; Joann Stock

1998-01-01

419

Tectonically emplaced ultra-depleted lithospheric mantle records garnet, spinel and plagioclase facies events  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The poorly studied Anita Ultramafites in western New Zealand represent a several km wide slice of lithospheric mantle that was tectonically emplaced onto the Gondwana supercontinent margin. The peridotites are almost exclusively spinel facies dunite and harzburgite, although spinel-orthopyroxene symplectites indicate the former presence of Cr-garnet. Pyroxenite dikes are uncommon, and there is no sign of an ophiolitic type structure. Olivine (~Fo93) and chromite (~Cr# 70) attest to extreme degrees of melt depletion, likely under hydrous conditions. The rocks were decompressed and equilibrated at the spinel facies. The ultramafites were then refertilised by a fluid that was rich in Si, Ca, K, OH and LREE, and probably equates to a low-degree silicate melt. The occurrence of negative and positive Eu and Sr anomalies in amphibole points to the influence of plagioclase, and suggests that refertilisation occurred at a very shallow lithospheric level. An added complication is that the peridotite was metamorphosed to upper amphibolite facies in the Cretaceous after tectonic emplacement. This generated talc, tremolite and chlorite. P-T conditions from adjacent gneisses indicate that this event occurred at ~ 10-12 kbar in association with crustal thickening. Thus, the peridotite may have been pushed back out of plagioclase facies conditions, partially melted, and re-equilibrated back in the spinel facies. The Anita Ultramafics therefore record a sequence of attempts to equilibrate at garnet - spinel - plagioclase - spinel facies, before final exhumation.

Czertowicz, Thomas; Scott, James; Palin, Mike

2014-05-01

420

Application of Laser Ranging and VLBI Data to a Study of Plate Tectonic Driving Forces  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The conditions under which changes in plate driving or resistive forces associated with plate boundary earthquakes are measurable with laser ranging or very long base interferometry were investigated. Aspects of plate forces that can be characterized by such measurements were identified. Analytic solutions for two dimensional stress diffusion in a viscoelastic plate following earthquake faulting on a finite fault, finite element solutions for three dimensional stress diffusion in a viscoelastic Earth following earthquake faulting, and quantitative constraints from modeling of global intraplate stress on the magnitude of deviatoric stress in the lithosphere are among the topics discussed.

Solomon, S. C.

1980-01-01

421

The Tectonic Framework of the Sumatran Subduction Zone  

Microsoft Academic Search

The great Aceh-Andaman earthquake of December 26, 2004 and its tragic consequences brought the Sumatran region and its active tectonics into the world's focus. The plate tectonic setting of Sumatra has been as it is today for tens of millions of years, and catastrophic geologic events have likely been plentiful. The immaturity of our understanding of great earthquakes and other

Robert McCaffrey

2009-01-01

422

The need for geodetic observations to constrain the relative motion of the Indian tectonic plate  

Microsoft Academic Search

The prediction errors of recent geodynamic plate motion modelling and a study of the relative importance of data on boundaries devoid of plate motion data reveal that the India-Eurasia boundary is of utmost importance for better geodynamic modelling. Examination of the influence of some hypothetical very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) measurements involving an Indian station clearly demonstrates the improvement in

D. Guptasarma; N. Purnachandra Rao; M. Ravikumar; S. P. Satyabala

1991-01-01

423

Earthquake stress drops, ambient tectonic stresses and stresses that drive plate motions  

Microsoft Academic Search

A variety of geophysical observations suggests that the upper portion of the lithosphere, herein referred to as the elastic plate, has long-term material properties and frictional strength significantly greater than the lower lithosphere. If the average frictional stress along the non-ridge margin of the elastic plate is of the order of a kilobar, as suggested by the many observations of

Thomas C. Hanks

1977-01-01

424

Recent volcanism, tectonics and plate kinematics near the junction of the African, Arabian and Anatolian plates in the eastern Mediterranean  

Microsoft Academic Search

In the Eastern Mediterranean, plate convergence occurs between AfricaArabia and Anatolia. The Africa\\/Arabia motion is a strike-slip displacement along the Dead Sea fault. The Africa\\/Anatolia motion is taken up by subduction south of Cyprus. The convergence between Arabia and Anatolia is taken up along the East Anatolian fault. The analysis of the regional fault surfaces reveals the presence of two

M. Tekin Yrr; Jean Chorowicz

1998-01-01

425

Reinterpretation of Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonic events, Mountain Pass area, northeastern San Bernardino County, California  

SciTech Connect

Detailed mapping, stratigraphic structural analysis in the Mountain Pass area has resulted in a reinterpretation of Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonic events in the area. Mesozoic events are characterized by north vergent folds and thrust faults followed by east vergent thrusting. Folding created two synclines and an anticline which were than cut at different stratigraphic levels by subsequent thrust faults. Thrusting created composite tectono-stratigraphic sections containing autochthonous, para-autothonous, and allochthonous sections. Normal faults cutting these composite sections including North, Kokoweef, White Line, and Piute fault must be post-thrusting, not pre-thrusting as in previous interpretations. Detailed study of these faults results in differentiation of at least three orders of faults and suggest they represent Cenozoic extension correlated with regional extensional events between 11 and 19 my. Mesozoic stratigraphy reflects regional orogenic uplift, magmatic activity, and thrusting. Inclusion of Kaibab clasts in the Chinle, Kaibab and Chinle clasts in the Aztec, and Chinle, Aztec, and previously deposited Delfonte Volcanics clasts in the younger members of the Delfonte Volcanics suggest regional uplift prior to the thrusting of Cambrian Bonanza King over Delfonte Volcanics by the Mescal Thrust fault. The absence of clasts younger than Kaibab argues against pre-thrusting activity for the Kokoweef fault.

Nance, M.A. (Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States). Geology Dept.)

1993-04-01

426

Faunal breaks and species composition of Indo-Pacific corals: the role of plate tectonics, environment and habitat distribution.  

PubMed

Species richness gradients are ubiquitous in nature, but the mechanisms that generate and maintain these patterns at macroecological scales remain unresolved. We use a new approach that focuses on overlapping geographical ranges of species to reveal that Indo-Pacific corals are assembled within 11 distinct faunal provinces. Province limits are characterized by co-occurrence of multiple species range boundaries. Unexpectedly, these faunal breaks are poorly predicted by contemporary environmental conditions and the present-day distribution of habitat. Instead, faunal breaks show striking concordance with geological features (tectonic plates and mantle plume tracks). The depth range over which a species occurs, its larval development rate and genus age are important determinants of the likelihood that species will straddle faunal breaks. Our findings indicate that historical processes, habitat heterogeneity and species colonization ability account for more of the present-day biogeographical patterns of corals than explanations based on the contemporary distribution of reefs or environmental conditions. PMID:23698011

Keith, S A; Baird, A H; Hughes, T P; Madin, J S; Connolly, S R

2013-07-22

427

Global coupling at 660 km is proposed to explain plate tectonics and the generation of the earth's magnetic field  

E-print Network

The presence of low viscosity layers in the mantle is supported by line of geological and geophysical observations. Recent high pressure and temperature investigations indicated that partial carbonate melt should exist at the bottom of the lithosphere and at 660 km. The presence of few percent carbonate melt reduces the viscosity by several order of magnitude. The globally existing 660 km very low viscosity layer allows the development of differential rotation between the upper and lower mantle. This differential rotation between the 660 km outer shell and the rest of the earth offers a plausible explanation for plate tectonics and for the generation of the earth's magnetic field. Simple dynamo model is proposed, which able to reproduce all of the features of the contemporary and, within reasonable uncertainty, the paleomagnetic field. The model is also consistent with geological and geophysical observations.

Jozsef Garai

2007-09-10

428

Global coupling at 660 km is proposed to explain plate tectonics and the generation of the earth's magnetic field  

E-print Network

The presence of low viscosity layers in the mantle is supported by line of geological and geophysical observations. Recent high pressure and temperature investigations indicated that partial carbonate melt should exist at the bottom of the lithosphere and at 660 km. The presence of few percent carbonate melt reduces the viscosity by several order of magnitude. The globally existing 660 km very low viscosity layer allows the development of differential rotation between the upper and lower mantle. This differential rotation between the 660 km outer shell and the rest of the earth offers a plausible explanation for plate tectonics and for the generation of the earth's magnetic field. Simple dynamo model is proposed, which able to reproduce all of the features of the contemporary and, within reasonable uncertainty, the paleomagnetic field. The model is also consistent with geological and geophysical observations.

Garai, Jozsef

2007-01-01

429

Tectonic plate coupling and elastic thickness derived from the inversion of a steady state viscoelastic model using geodetic data: Application to southern North Island, New Zealand  

Microsoft Academic Search

A steady state viscoelastic model of deformation at an oblique convergence zone is used to analyze crustal velocities deduced from Global Positioning System (GPS) observations in southern North Island, New Zealand. The model is physically more reasonable than elastic dislocation theory because the tectonic plates have finite elastic thicknesses. In an inversion that makes use of Green's functions derived from

Steven C. Cohen; Desmond J. Darby

2003-01-01

430

Plate tectonic trigger of changes in pCO2 and climate in the Oxfordian (Late Jurassic): Carbon isotope and modeling evidence  

E-print Network

isotope stratigraphy is marked by a positive carbon isotope excursion of 3 which has been dated as MiddlePlate tectonic trigger of changes in pCO2 and climate in the Oxfordian (Late Jurassic): Carbon was characterized by significant changes in oceanography and climate and by changes in global carbon cycle as shown

Gilli, Adrian

431

Effects of Student-Generated Diagrams versus Student-Generated Summaries on Conceptual Understanding of Causal and Dynamic Knowledge in Plate Tectonics.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Grade five students' (n=58) conceptual understanding of plate tectonics was measured by analysis of student-generated summaries and diagrams, and by posttest assessment of both the spatial/static and causal/dynamic aspects of the domain. The diagram group outperformed the summary and text-only groups on the posttest measures. Discusses the