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chemistry current events

chemistry current events - Mark Behn from Carnegie...

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Dhaval Rana Chemistry January 7, 2008 Plate Tectonics May Grind To A Halt, Then Start Again What are Plate Tectonics? Plate tectonics, the geologic process responsible for creating the Earth's continents, mountain ranges, and ocean basins, may be an on-again, off-again affair. Recent study at the Carnegie Institution suggests that plate tectonics may have ground to a halt at least once in our planet's history, and may do so again. A key aspect of plate tectonic theory is that on geologic time scales ocean basins are transient features, opening and closing as plates shift. A process called subduction, where oceanic plates descend into the Earth’s mantle, consumes basins. Subduction zones are the sites of oceanic trenches, high earthquake activity, and most of the world's major volcanoes.
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Unformatted text preview: Mark Behn from Carnegie Institution pointed out that most of today's subduction zones are located in the Pacific Ocean basin. If the Pacific basin were to close, as it is predicted to do about in 350 million years when the westward-moving Americas collide with Eurasia, then most of the planet's subduction zones would disappear with it. This would effectively stop plate tectonics unless new subduction zones start up, but subduction initiation is poorly understood. "If plate tectonics indeed starts and stops, then continental evolution must be viewed in an entirely new light, since it dramatically broadens the range of possible evolutionary scenarios," said Behn. HOW THIS AFFECTS OUR LIFE? http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080103144448.htm...
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