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Chapter 9 Plate Tectonics.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9 Plate Tectonics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9 Plate Tectonics

2 Testing Plate Tectonics & Mechanisms of Plate Motion
Section 9.4 & 9.5 Testing Plate Tectonics & Mechanisms of Plate Motion

3 Testing Plate tectonics
Evidence supporting plate tectonics: Paleomagnetism: The natural remnant magnetism in rock bodies; the permanent magnetization acquired by rock that can be used to determine the location of the magnetic poles at the time it became magnetized. When certain rocks containing iron-rich minerals (magnetite) are heated above a certain temperature, they lose their magnetic properties (convergent boundary). When they are again cooled, they become magnetized in the direction parallel to the existing magnetic field (divergent boundary). Rocks formed millions of years ago show the location of the magnetic poles at the time of their formation.

4 Testing Plate tectonics
Geophysicists have learned that Earth’s magnetic field periodically reverses polarity. The north magnetic pole becomes the south and vice-versa. When rocks show the same magnetism as the present magnetic field, they are described as having normal polarity. Rocks that show the opposite magnetism are said to have reverse polarity. A relationship was discovered between the magnetic reversals and the seafloor spreading hypothesis. Ships towed instrument called magnetometers across segments of the ocean floor and discovered alternating strips of high and low-intensity magnetism that ran parallel to the ridges. The strips of high-intensity magnetism are regions where paleomagnetism is of the normal type. The low-intensity strips represent regions where the ocean crust is polarized in the reverse direction, and therefore weaken the magnetic field. The discovery of strips of alternating polarity, which lie as mirror images across the ocean ridges, is amongst the strongest evidence of seafloor evidence.

5 Testing Plate tectonics

6 Testing Plate tectonics

7 According to the property of paleomagnetism,
Iron-rich rocks show the location of the magnetic poles at the time of their formation. All rocks, regardless of when they are formed, have the same polarity. All rocks have a reversed polarity. Rocks do not possess magnetic properties.

8 Magnetic reversals, Cause the movements of tectonic plates.
Confirmed the existence of subduction zones. Provide strong evidence for seafloor spreading. Have never occurred during geologic time.

9 Strips of alternating magnetic polarities found in rocks in the ocean basins
Conflict with the theory of plate tectonics. Provide evidence that Earth’s magnetic field has never reversed polarity. Indicate changes in Earth’s gravitation field. Provide evidence for seafloor spreading.

10 What do the strips of low-intensity magnetism represent on the ocean floor?
Areas where there is no magnetism. Areas where the rocks have a normal polarity. Areas where the rocks have a reversed polarity. Areas of different types of rock.

11 Testing Plate tectonics
2. Earthquake Patterns: Scientists found a close link between deep-focus earthquakes and ocean trenches. Also, the absence of deep-focus earthquakes along the oceanic ridge system was shown to be consistent with the new theory. When the depth of earthquake foci and their locations within the trench system are plotted, a pattern emerges.

12 Testing Plate tectonics

13 Testing Plate tectonics
In the plate tectonics model, deep-ocean trenches are produced where cool, dense slabs of oceanic lithosphere plunge into the mantle. Shallow-focus earthquakes are produced as the descending plate interacts with the lithosphere above. As the slab descends farther, deeper-focus earthquakes are produced. No earthquakes have been recorded below 700-kilometers. At this depth, the slab is heated enough to soften.

14 Testing Plate tectonics

15 Testing Plate tectonics
3. Ocean Drilling: The Deep Sea Drilling Project from 1968 to 1983 used the drilling ship Glomar Challenger to drill hundreds of meters into the sediments and underlying crust. When the oldest sediment from each drill site was plotted against its distance from the ridge crest, its was revealed that the age of the sediment increased with increasing distance from the ridge. The data on the ages of seafloor sediment confirmed what the seafloor-spreading hypothesis predicted. The youngest oceanic crust is at the ridge crest and the oldest oceanic crust is at the continental margins. No sediment older than 180 million years old was found. Which means that the oceanic crust is relatively young as compared to some continental crust which has been dated at 4.0 billion years old.

16 The age of the rocks in the ocaen basins was determined by
Ocean drilling. The fit of continents across ocean basins. The depth of earthquake foci. The amount of magnetism in the rocks.

17 How does the age of seafloor sediments change with increasing distance from the ocean ridge?
Age decreases. Age stays the same. Age increases. Age varies without a pattern.

18 Testing Plate tectonics
4. Hot Spots: Mapping of the Pacific seafloor revealed a chain of volcanic structures that extended from the Hawaiian Islands to Midway Island, and then north to the Aleutian Trench. Dates of volcanoes in this chain showed that the volcanoes increase in age with increasing distance from Hawaii. Suiko Seamount is 65 million years old, Midway Island is 27 million years old, and the island of Hawaii formed less than a million years ago and is still forming.

19 Testing Plate tectonics
A rising plume of mantle material is located below the island of Hawaii. Melting of this hot rock as it nears the surface creates a volcanic area, or hot spot. As the Pacific plate moves over the hot spot, successive volcanic mountains have been created. The age of each volcano indicates the time when it was situated over the hot spot. Kauai is the oldest of the large islands in the Hawaiian chain. Hot spot evidence supports the idea that the plates move over Earth’s surface.

20 Testing Plate tectonics

21 The Hawaiian Islands were formed when the Pacific Plate moved over
A subduction zone. An ocean ridge. The Aleutain Plate. A hot spot.

22 The formation of the Hawaiin Islands is associated with
A divergent plate boundary. A convergent plate boundary. A transform fault boundary. No plate boundary of any kind.

23 Mechanisms of Plate Motion
Scientists generally agree that convection occurring in the mantle is the basic driving force for plate movement. Warm, less dense material rises, and cooler, denser material sinks. This motion is called convective flow. These movements are driven by the unequal heat distribution of Earth’s heat. The heat is generated by the radioactive decay of elements in the Earth’s mantle and crust. Example: Uranium

24 Mechanisms of Plate Motion
One mechanism of plate motion is called the slab-pull. This occurs because old oceanic crust sinks into the asthenosphere and “pulls” the trailing lithosphere along. Slab-pull is thought to be the primary downward arm of convective flow into the mantle.

25 Mechanisms of Plate Motion
Another mechanism of plate movement is ridge-push which results from the elevated position of the oceanic ridge system. Ridge-push causes oceanic lithosphere to slide down the sides of the oceanic ridges. The downward slide is the result of gravity acting on the oceanic lithosphere. Ridge-push, although active in some spreading centers, is probably less important that slab-pull.

26 Mechanisms of Plate Motion

27 The main source of downward convection flow in the mantle is called
Ridge-pull. Slab-pull. Slab-push. Ridge-push.

28 The downward sliding characteristic of ridge-push is the result of
Gravity. Uneven heat distribution. Paleomagnetism. Continental rifting.

29 The thermal convection that drives plate motion if caused by
Seafloor spreading. An unequal distribution of heat. Gravity. Subduction.

30 Mechanisms of Plate Motion
Another mechanism for plate movement is mantle convection. Most models suggest that hot plumes of rock are the upward flowing arms in mantle convection. These rising mantle plumes sometimes show themselves on Earth’s surface as hot spots and volcanoes. There are two types of mantle convection: Whole-Mantle Convection Deep-Layer Model

31 Mechanisms of Plate Motion
Whole-Mantle Convection: In this model, slabs of cold oceanic lithosphere descend into the lower mantle. This process provides the downward arm of convective flow. At the same time, hot mantle plumes originating near the mantle-core boundary move heat toward the surface.

32 Mechanisms of Plate Motion

33 Mechanisms of Plate Motion
Deep-Layer Model: In this model, heat from Earth’s interior causes the two layers (upper mantle and lower mantle) to slowly swell and shrink in complex patterns without much mixing. A small amount of material from the lower layer flows upward as mantle plumes, creating hot-spot volcanism at the surface.

34 Mechanisms of Plate Motion

35 Which one of the following has not been proposed as a mechanism of plate motion?
Slab-pull. Ridge-push. Mantle convection. Crust-core convection.

36 According to whole-mantle convection,
Small amounts of material from the lower mantle move upward to the surface. Slabs of cold oceanic lithosphere move down and into the lower mantle. Large chunks of continental crust are pulled down into the lower mantle. Material from the inner core rises into the mantle to form super hot plumes.

37 Mechanisms of Plate Motion

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