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Geosci lesson 2 .docx - UNIT 2 Textbook 2.1 Plate Tectonics...

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UNIT 2 Textbook 2.1: Plate Tectonics 1, Death Valley Death Valley o Death Valley National Park of California and adjacent Nevada sits as deep as 282 feet below sea level near Badwater, the lowest land in the western hemisphere. o Death Valley created by pull apart faults dropping down along faults as the region is pulled apart o lava also leaks into Death Valley along its faults, with eruptions within the last 200 to 300 years. Mid oceanic Ridge o The ridge runs right up through the middle of the Atlantic (coming to the surface in Iceland). o Because the ridge is in the middle of the Atlantic, and the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, and the middles of some other ocean basins, it is often called a mid- oceanic ridge o It is made of rocks that are young—they hardened as lava cooled recently—near the ridge, with older rocks—they hardened as lava cooled a long time ago—as you move away in either direction. o It is a baseball-seam volcano through all the world’s oceans that is making seafloor and splitting and spreading continents and ocean basins. Heat inside the earth o All rocks contain radioactive elements (mostly uranium, thorium, and radioactive potassium, but with some others). o Radioactive decay of these makes heat in the Earth, much as radioactivity produces heat in nuclear power plants. Most of the Earth’s heat comes from this radioactive decay, although some heat is left over from when the Earth formed, or is being released as the core freezes, or the core, mantle, and crust continue to separate and things sink and give up heat from friction.
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