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Planet Earth Week 1 Fall 2016

by: Abi Sommers

Planet Earth Week 1 Fall 2016 Geol 105

Abi Sommers

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About this Document

Here are the notes covering plate tectonics from lectures 2 and 3 of the first week of classes. (apologies, I missed the first class as I hadn't added it yet.)
Planet Earth
John Platt
Class Notes
plate, tectonics
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Abi Sommers on Thursday August 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Geol 105 at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months taught by John Platt in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 218 views.


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Date Created: 08/25/16
8/24 Global Tectonics Lithosphere­­ includes upper part of mantle and crust that overrides the mantle ­ represents departure from normal mantle w/in earth’s body ­Upper part of mantle increase in temperature as goes downward, mantle rocks that do  melt and mantle rocks that do,  partial melting Plate Boundary: Boundary between asthenosphere and lithosphere Global Topography and Bathymetry(topography below sea level) ­Seismic belts separated by large areas of planet where there are not earthquakes. ­Earthquakes are release of energy when crust shifts along a fault ­ “Fault” means there must be some movement between stable areas, plates    *Not until 1968 marine geologists found plates , spatial areas of earths crust shaping  with respect to each other ­ Mid Atlantic Ridge is a  boundary between two stable areas Plates can move, together, beneath, and past  Divergence (together), Convergence (beneath), Transform Plate Motion (past) ● 1857 last movement of San Andreas fault Coastal California slips past North America @ 55 kms per 1 million years *Continents have changed shapes and positions throughout time, reconstructions of  Earth’s supercontinent; Pangea  *Pangea built up of convergence of plates on other sides of the world ­When continental crust extends, confining pressure reduced ­Reduction of pressure allows existing high temp at depth to partially melt mantle ­Large volume of mole rocks (magma) rise up along axis of plate rifting, eventually new  basaltic ocean crust *East Africa shows early stages of same continental extension that led to evolution of  rifted Red Sea in the north,  one day could be as wide as the atlantic ocean *Volcanic mid­ocean ridges and rises are direct expression of where hot mantle rises  near to earth’s surface.  ­Initial seafloor spreading happened between North Africa and North America ­Different parts of Atlantic Ocean opened before others Divergent boundaries­ Rifting and spreading along a narrow zone have created Mid Atlantic Ridge ; A mid­  ocean mountain chain where volcanoes and earthquakes are concentrated.  *Central Atlantic between Eastern U.S and North Africa began to form first ,nearly 180  million years ago ­Breakup of pangea created 3 ocean basins­  Atlantic, Arctic and Indian Ocean ­ Pacific  was already there Generation of oceanic lithosphere along ridge and rise system known as, sea­ floor  spreading, and process occurs at different rates 70% of earth’s crust formed in last 180 million years , only 4% of earth’s history 8/26 *Sea floor spreading hidden beneath oceans    Iceland ­ extensional plate boundary between Europe and N. American plates exposed  at earth’s surface ­ Iceland part of Mid Atlantic ridge ­ Mid Atlantic Ridge enters at Thingvallir, one of first settlement areas in Iceland ­ Island extending, divided by European plate and N. American plate ­ Basaltic magma has built island by rising along vertical fractures ­ Bardarbunga volcanic eruption 2014­2015 largest basalt eruption since 1700s.  Added 1.5 km of lava over 6 mo. ^ Plate divergence Plate convergence :  3 types:  Oceanic plate moves beneath oceanic plate Oceanic plate beneath continental plate ­Continental plate beneath continental plate Plate convergence and subduction ­ Most common;  oceanic plate goes below continental plate ● Juan de Fuca plate being subducted beneath U.S Pacific Northwest and  Southern British Columbia,   slow but fast enough to produce earthquakes.  Vancouver, Seattle Portland all at risk.  (last earthquake jan. 16 ,1700) ­  subducting plate carries water rich ocean crust to beneath coastal N. America.  Plate heats, dehydrates and water moves upward  Earthquake hypocentre is starting point of earthquake from seismic waves travel  outward Oceanic plate beneath Oceanic plate: Mariana Arc­ characterized by small islands Mountain systems w/in Alpine Mediterranean­iranian­himilayan orogenic belt.  ­ Belt created by collisions btwn eurasia and southern continental plates  Earths most spectacular example of crustal deformation­ Alpine Himilayans ­Boundary today continuing tectonic activity  *Parts of eastern medittereanean still have oceanic crust beneath them  Highest elevation in the world is Tibet ; 15,000 feet.   *Height of mass related to thickness ^ indian crust sitting beneath Asian crust  India once part of supercontinent, as broke loose, began to move northward because  attached to oceanic plate, being subducted to the North. Transform Plate Motion:  two plates moving past each other, sometimes left slip,  sometimes right slip *San Andreas transform fault


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