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Week 3 Notes

by: Katelynn Hine

Week 3 Notes MSCI B210 001

Katelynn Hine


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Plate Tectonics, take extra time covering this. It is very important material.
Oceans and Man
Dr. Ember
Class Notes
Science, Marine
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katelynn Hine on Thursday October 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MSCI B210 001 at University of South Carolina - Beaufort taught by Dr. Ember in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views.


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Date Created: 10/06/16
“Oceans and Man” ­ Plate Tectonics ­ Lecture Notes Questions: Ancient coral reefs found near England? Marine fossils  (seashells) found high  up in Alps and Himalayas? Coal deposits in Siberia? Why does a series of volcanoes mark the coastlines of the Pacific, & why are deep trenches next to island arcs? The Interior of the Earth Core ­ Iron & Nickel ­ Inner ­ solid, Outer ­ liquid Mantle – rocky, less dense ­ silicates ­ thick layer Crust – rocky, least dense ­ very thin outer layer Theory of Plate Tectonics – development of the theory: Shape of Continents ­ “fit” ­ South America & Africa Eduard Suess ­ 1885­1909 ­ S. America + Africa = Gondwanaland Middle sank to form Atlantic Ocean Alfred Wegener ­ 1912 ­ continents slowly move ­ Theory of Continental Drift ­  based on geographic “fit”, glacial scouring, fossils Pangaea ­ supercontinent Laurasia ­ northern landmass Gondwanaland ­ southern landmass Harry Hess ­ 1960’s ­ had detailed seafloor maps Theory of Seafloor Spreading (lateral movement of crust), Spreading  Centers (new crust being formed), Subduction Zones (older crust  descending) seen on ocean floor ­ conveyor belt model Convection Cells ­ rising and falling currents of molten rock material heated  by radioactive decay.  Magma breaks through ocean floor, undersea  mountain chains & ridges form at cracks in the crust ­ magma cools  and forms new ocean floor.  Trenches ­ deep ­ older,  colder, denser  lithosphere sinks back into Earth’s interior. Lithosphere ­ outer layer ­ rigid ­ outer mantle fused to crust Granite ­ continental landmasses ­ less dense ­ Si, Al, K, Mg Basalt ­ oceanic crust ­ more dense ­ Fe, Mg, Ca Moho ­ boundary between crust & upper mantle ­ density change Asthenosphere ­ partly melted upper mantle ­ lithosphere “floats” on  asthenosphere due to density difference Plate Tectonics Sea floor spreading + continental drift ­ “plates” Lithosphere is composed of several rigid plates outlined by the major earthquake  belts.  Each plate may contain oceanic or continental crust, or both Evidence supporting the Theory of Plate Tectonics Earthquakes ­ coincide with locations of ridges and trenches ­ shallow at ridges,  deep at trenches Heat Flow from interior of earth ­ higher at mid­ocean ridge axis (crust is thinner),  decreases on flanks moving away from axis (crust is thicker) ­ hot mantle  material “Oceans and Man” ­ Plate Tectonics ­ Lecture Notes Sediments ­ ocean bottom ­ age and thickness increase with distance from the  ocean ridge system Magnetic Evidence ­ lines of force & Earth’s magnetic field Polarity Reversals ­ recorded in ocean ridge basalt ­ Seafloor spreading provides “tape recording” Polar Wandering ­ actually the continents have moved Plate Boundaries ­ indicated by: Ridges ­ plates moving apart Rift valley ­ at the crest of the ridge systems Trenches ­ plates moving together ­ subduction occurs Faults ­ slide past each other Transform Faults ­ where rift valleys are displaced Fracture Zones ­ motion in the same direction San Andreas Fault ­ large transform fault ­ California is slowly sliding out to sea ­ frequent earthquakes Rift Zones ­ spreading zones ­ new crustal material added Mid­Ocean Ridge systems ­ ocean basin formation Great Rift Valley ­ Africa ­ rifting can occur on land ­ magma  weakens  overlying crust ­ creates faults ­ land drops Passive Continental Margin ­ midplate ­ trailing edge Subduction Zones ­ plates converge Active Continental Margin ­ leading edge of plate Trench ­ subducting of sinking plate depresses seafloor ­ convergence of plates     leads to gradual elevation & compression of upper plate ­ coastal mountains form Volcanoes ­ melting subducted rock moves up through faults  Island Arc Chains ­ volcanic ­ oceanic leading edges Continental Collisions ­ high mountains ­ less dense cont. crust resists sinking Terranes ­ adjoining crustal fragments ­ history of N. A. Plate Motion ­ Spreading Rates ­ differ from ridge to ridge: Mid­Atlantic Ridge ­ steep profile ­ 1.25 cm/yr East Pacific Rise ­ less steep ­ 5 cm/yr Hot Spots ­ isolated volcanic activity ­ hot magma from deep within  the mantle  channeled to surface Seamounts ­ formed by hot spots on ocean floor ­ line of seamounts seen  where crust passes over hot spot  Island Chains ­ seamounts break surface of ocean ­ Hawaii Subsidence ­ eroded, inactive seamount moves below surface Pangaea ­ History of continent formation ­ broke up 200 MYA “Oceans and Man” ­ Plate Tectonics ­ Lecture Notes Laurasia moved away from Gondwanaland ­ Indian Ocean India broke from Antarctica ­ collided with Asia Africa separated from S. America ­ South Atlantic opened Australia split from Antarctica, Madagascar split from Africa North Atlantic Ocean opened last Recently, Arabia split from Africa ­ Red Sea getting wider Cyclic pattern of assembling & disassembling of landmasses


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