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Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics

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Plate Tectonics

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  1. Plate Tectonics Continental Drift

  2. Historical Landmass Locations

  3. Fossil Evidence Supporting Plate Tectonics

  4. Developing the Theory • (1) demonstration of the ruggedness and youth of the ocean floor; • (2) confirmation of repeated reversals of the Earth magnetic field in the geologic past; • (3) emergence of the seafloor-spreading hypothesis and associated recycling of oceanic crust; and • (4) precise documentation that the world's earthquake and volcanic activity is concentrated along oceanic trenches and submarine mountain ranges.

  5. Developing the Theory (continued) • (1) demonstration of the ruggedness and youth of the ocean floor. • (See next slide)

  6. Computer-generated topographic map of Mid-Oceanic Ridge.

  7. Mid-Ocean Ridge

  8. Magnetic striping and polar reversals

  9. Concentration of Earthquakes

  10. Plate Motions • There are four types of plate boundaries: • Divergent boundaries -- where new crust is generated as the plates pull away from each other. • Convergent boundaries -- where crust is destroyed as one plate dives under another. • Transform boundaries -- where crust is neither produced nor destroyed as the plates slide horizontally past each other. • Plate boundary zones -- broad belts in which boundaries are not well defined and the effects of plate interaction are unclear.

  11. Types of Plate Boundaries

  12. Divergent Boundaries

  13. Mid-Atlantic Ridge Example Red triangles denote active volcanoes

  14. Aerial view of the area around Thingvellir, Iceland, showing a fissure zone (in shadow) that is the on-land exposure of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

  15. Divergent Boundary – East Africa Map of East Africa showing some of the historically active volcanoes(red triangles) and the Afar Triangle (shaded, center) -- a so-called triple junction (or triple point), where three plates are pulling away from one another

  16. Summit Crater of 'Erta 'Ale (Ethiopia)

  17. Oldoinyo Lengai, erupts in 1966

  18. Convergent BoundariesOceanic-continental convergence

  19. Convergent Boundaries (example)

  20. Oceanic-oceanic convergence

  21. Continental-continental convergence

  22. Continental-continental convergence The collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates has pushed up the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau

  23. Continental-continental convergenceIndian – Eurasian Plates

  24. The Himalayas: Two Continents CollideThe 6,000-km-plus journey of the India landmass (Indian Plate) before its collision with Asia (Eurasian Plate) about 40 to 50 million years ago. India was once situated well south of the Equator, near the continent of Australia.

  25. Transform Boundaries The Blanco, Mendocino, Murray, and Molokai fracture zones are some of the many fracture zones (transform faults) that scar the ocean floor and offset ridges (see text). The San Andreas is one of the few transform faults exposed on land.

  26. San Andreas fault Aerial view of the San Andreas fault slicing through the Carrizo Plain in the Temblor Range east of the city of San Luis Obispo.

  27. Plate-boundary Zones

  28. Rates of Motion • The Arctic Ridge has the slowest rate (less than 2.5 cm/yr) • The East Pacific Rise near Easter Island, in the South Pacific about 3,400 km west of Chile, has the fastest rate (more than 15 cm/yr).

  29. Hotspots: Mantle Thermal Plumes

  30. Prominent Thermal Hotspots

  31. The Long Trail of the Hawaiian Hotspot Map of part of the Pacific basin showing the volcanic trail of the Hawaiian hotspot-- 6,000-km-long Hawaiian Ridge-Emperor Seamounts chain.

  32. Plate Tectonics & People • Natural hazards • Earthquakes • Volcanic eruptions • Tsunamis • Natural resources • Fertile soils • Ore deposits • Fossil fuels • Geothermal energy

  33. Earthquakes Aerial view, looking north toward San Francisco, of Crystal Springs Reservoir, which follows the San Andreas fault zone.

  34. Earthquakes (continued) Map of the San Andreas and a few of the other faults in California, segments of which display different behavior: locked or creeping

  35. Fault Creeping Left:Creeping along the Calaveras fault has bent the retaining wall and offset the sidewalk along 5th Street in Hollister, California (about 75 km south-southeast of San Jose). Right:Close-up of the offset of the curb.

  36. Earthquakes & Volcanoes • Christopherson TextChapter 12 pp 375-end-of-chapter

  37. What Causes Earthquakes?

  38. Epicenter and Focus • Focus  • Location within the earth where fault rupture actually occurs  • Epicenter  • Location on the surface above the focus

  39. Types of Faults Faults are classified on the basis of the kind of motion that occurs on them • Joints - no movement • Strike-slip - horizontal motion (wrench faults)

  40. Types of Faults • Joints - No Movement • Strike-Slip - Horizontal Motion (Wrench Faults)

  41. Joints - No Movement

  42. Left Lateral Strike Slip

  43. Right Lateral Strike Slip San Andreas 21 feet in 1906

  44. Dip-Slip - Vertical MotionNormal Fault (Extension) Alaska, 1964 - up to 150 Ft

  45. Reverse or Thrust Fault (compression)

  46. Eastern North America Earthquakes 1534-1994

  47. U.S. Earthquakes, 1973-2002

  48. Seismic Risk Level Maps for the U.S.Probable ground acceleration in 50 years. Blue = small, red = large

  49. Seismic Risk Level Maps for the U.S.Probability of Damage in 100 Years. Blue = Negligible, Green = Low, Red = High.

  50. M 7.9 Earthquake on November 3, 2002 • The largest earthquake known to occur in the world this year struck central Alaska on Sunday, November 3. The epicenter of the Nov. 3 temblor was located approximately 75 miles south of Fairbanks and 176 miles north of Anchorage. It struck at 1:12 PM local time, causing countless landslides and road closures, but minimal structural damage and amazingly few injuries and no deaths.