Week Two - Week Two(Jan 22 24 Plate Tectonics 10:56:00 AM...

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Week Two (Jan 22 & 24) 22/01/2008 12:56:00 January 22, 2008 Plate Tectonics Earth’s Interior heat is derived from early accretion and radioactive decay Accretion o Left over from Earth’s formation ~ 4.6 Ga o Collisions o Gravitational stratification --- Friction Radio Active Decay o Release of energy during decay of radio active isotopes  o Half-life: time required for half of the atoms to decay o Some heat left over from short-lived isotopes that decayed early in  Earth’s history o Ongoing addition of heat from long-lived (primordial) isotopes with half- lives of .07-14Ga & their daughters Heat Transfer o By conduction through solid portions (lithosphere, inner core): atomic  or molecular interactions o By convection through “fluid portions (mantle, outer core): transport of  molecules Slow Convection of the mantle ultimately drives plate tectonics Convection: a density-stratified fluid may experience vertical motion through  the addition of buoyancy near the base o Heated material will become buoyant and rise o Upon cooling (usually near surface) material will become negatively  buoyant and sink o Continuous flow organizes into convection cells
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Mantle convection o Heat gain from core & radioactivity: heat loss by conduction to  lithosphere o
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  • Spring '08
  • MARCHITTO
  • Plate Tectonics, Mantle convection, mantle rock, Solid mantle rock, mantle rock increases

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