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Lecture 5 - PlateTectonics

Lecture 5 - PlateTectonics - Lecture 5 Plate Tectonics...

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Lecture 5 Plate Tectonics
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Seismic Wave Travel Times
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V p V s K = bulk modulus u = shear modulus Why do seismic waves follow curved paths?
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Continental Drift Alfred Wegener came up with the idea that continents had “drifted” apart in 1915 suggested there was once a “supercontinent” that he termed “Pangaea” (all lands) problem was that Wegener did not have a mechanism for “drift of the continents”
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Pangaea was a “supercontinent” that existed ~200 million years ago
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Evidence for Pangaea Wegener noted that the following features matched on continents now separated by the Atlantic ocean: fossils rock types/ages similar geologic structures glacial deposits
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Mesosaurus Fossils
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Wegener’s matching of mountain ranges on different  continents
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glacial deposits indicate ice flow away from a central location (south pole)
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Plate tectonics More encompassing than continental drift  Associated with the lithosphere  Lithosphere consists of several plates  Plates are moving slowly  Continents move with ocean floor  Movement ultimately driven by uneven deep Earth heat  distribution 
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Earth’s Plates Earth’s outer shell is made up of 13 major plates (and numerous smaller plates) M 7.0 (Haiti)
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Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes
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Convection and Plate Tectonics Heat Source
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3-3 Driving Mechanisms for Plate Motions Destructive Margins “Subduction Zones” Constructive Margins “Mid-ocean Ridges”
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the convection mechanisms in the asthenosphere are not as clear as in the plate tectonic cartoon cold and dense warm and buoyant
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