3 Plate tectonics I

3 Plate tectonics I - Plate Tectonics I Lecture by...

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Plate Tectonics I Lecture by Professor John Platt Material Material covered in this lecture: covered in this lecture: Understanding Earth, Ch 2, pp. 18-29 Reading assignment for next lecture: Chapter 2, pp. 30-37
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Topics covered in this lecture 1. The Earth as a heat engine 2. Lithosphere and lithospheric plates 3. Plates in motion 4. Continental drift 5. The evidence for plate tectonics
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The Earth as a Heat Engine • The Earth’s internal heat is – Partly inherited from the Earth’s formation – Partly generated by radioactive decay of elements such as: • Uranium • Thorium • Potassium
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The Earth as a Heat Engine • Rocks are poor conductors of heat Convection is more efFcient Flow in the Earth’s mantle allows convection Mantle convection is the Earth’s heat engine, driving plate tectonics
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Computer model of mantle convection
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Temperature in the mantle Lithosphere Asthenosphere
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Lithosphere and asthenosphere • The outer 100 km of the Earth is too cool
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3 Plate tectonics I - Plate Tectonics I Lecture by...

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