Plate Tectonics Presentation by liuhongmei


									         Earth’s major plates

Note: Boundaries rarely correspond to the
 contact between oceans and continents!
Types of plate boundaries
Relation between igneous activity and plate boundaries
Starting point: Continents and oceans are the pieces of an eden
                  broken up by the great flood:
     Alfred Wegener proposes continental drift ca. 1912
1: The earth is divided into continents
             and oceans

                                          Alfred Wegener, ca. 1920,
                                                in a weird hat.
2: The continents look like pieces of a puzzle, and share elements
                          of their geology.
3: The distribution of fossil animals and plants re-enforces the
               tie-points between the continents
4: The edges of the continents are locations of faulting
                    and seismicity
  5: when continents rift
 apart, you find an ocean
      between them

Horst         Rift          Graben
     Put it all together, and see
      that the continents were
      once connected but have
    drifted apart by ‘sliding’ over
or ‘plowing’ through the ocean floor

    Driving force: mystery, or
     centrifugal force, or both
                   This is just stupid

Any force strong enough to ‘push’ a continent over a bed of
 ocean floor would internally deform the continent instead
Not all pieces of the continental puzzle really match
Many continental margins don’t even fit geometrically
Even if they fit, so what! Lots of ‘fits’ are possible just by chance
        Harry Hess and the exploration of the ocean floor

                                A ridge

• Led to discovery that the ocean floor is the active part of the plate
  system, not the passive medium through which continents move.
A ridge and its transforms seen in plan view
Ahh, trenches
                The real story with seismicity
  Wagener was only partially correct. The ring of fire is a locus
of faulting, but there are other loci not expected if continents drift
                      Benioff-Wadati zones
     And, the seismicity at the edges of the ring of fire don’t represent
continents sliding over oceans; they are places where ocean floor plunges
                        into the deep earth interior.
            Active Volcanism
Centered on most great belts of seismicity, and
             is rare elsewhere
Terrestrial Magnetism

(in mysterious units
      — 10,000 ’s)
  Preservation in rocks of the
orientation of the magnetic field
       Variation through time of the apparent location of the
north magnetic pole, based on records from North American rocks
 Phanerozoic records of magnetic polar wander from Europe and North
America disagree…unless they have moved relative to each other (or, the
            shape of the Earth’s magnetic field has varied)

        Interesting, but all it really does is support and ‘flesh out’
                   Wegener’s view of ‘continental drift’.
Much more important is an incredibly subtle detail to the fine
        structure of the modern magnetic field…
           A closer look…
                  (I.e., relative to long-wavelength field)
The anomalies represent positive and negative interference from
                 magnetic rocks in the crust
                A magnetic ‘reversal’ occurs between
                          these two times
How do we know? We’ve seen them appear after volcanic
             eruptions on the sea floor.
Some real examples
Calibrating the ocean floor’s ‘strip-chart recorder’
1: Collecting samples with the Glomar Challenger
                               K-Ar dating

                                           0.01167 % of natural K
e- emission;  = 4.982x10-10 yr-1            e- capture; e = 0.581x10-10 yr-11

                       40Ca                    40Ar
                        88.8 %                 11.2 %

                = e +  = 5.543x10-10 yr-1

               40Ar    = e/40K(et-1) + 40Ar0
Some ‘closure temperatures’ w/r to K/Ar dating:
             Amphibole: 500 to 700 ˚C
               Biotite: 300 to 400 ˚C
              K-feldspar: 200-250 ˚C
Use in dating magnetic reversals
Maps of magnetic ‘stripes’
Sometimes it’s fun to pretend that our record of the seafloor’s
                magnetic stripes is complete:
Implied rates of plate divergence, convergence and strike-slip motion

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