Presentation on theme: "EARTH… What lies beneath. WHAT LIES BENEATH… CRUST: Top layer of Earth’s internal structure that has two parts… 1.Basalt-rich oceanic crust 2.Granite-rich."— Presentation transcript:
EARTH… What lies beneath
WHAT LIES BENEATH… CRUST: Top layer of Earth’s internal structure that has two parts… 1.Basalt-rich oceanic crust 2.Granite-rich continental crust (much thicker than oceanic) Relatively cold in temperature Rocky and brittle so it can fracture during earthquakes
WHAT LIES BENEATH… MANTLE: Most of Earth’s mass comes from the mantle Comprised of iron, magnesium, aluminum, and silicon- oxygen compounds Upper 1/3 is known as the ASTHENOSPHERE Asthenosphere is more plastic in nature than rest of the mantle
WHAT LIES BENEATH… CORE: Center of Earth that has two parts… 1. Inner Core 2. Outer Core -Comprised of mostly iron Inner Core – Under EXTREMELY high pressure so it remains solid Outer Core – Temperature is so hot that it remains molten
What is Plate Tectonics?
If you look at a map of the world, you may notice that some of the continents could fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
Plate Tectonic Theory Scientific theory which describes the large scale motions of Earth’s lithosphere Arose out of two separate observations: Continental Drift Seafloor Spreading
Continental Drift Plate Tectonics
The Continental Drift Hypothesis Proposed by Alfred Wegener in Supercontinent Pangaea started to break up about 200 million years ago. Continents "drifted" to their present positions. Continents "plowed" through the ocean crust.
Continental Drift: Evidence Geographic fit of South America and Africa Fossils match across oceans Rock types and structures match across oceans Ancient glacial features
Tight fit of the continents, especially using continental shelves. Continenta l Drift: Evidence
Continental Drift: Evidence Fossil critters and plants
Continental Drift: Evidence Correlation of mountains with nearly identical rocks and structures
Continenta l Drift: Evidence Glacial features of the same age restore to a tight polar distribution.
Seafloor Spreading U.S. Navy mapped seafloor with echo sounding (sonar) to find and hide submarines. Generalized maps showed: oceanic ridges—submerged mountain ranges fracture zones—cracks perpendicular to ridges trenches—narrow, deep gashes abyssal plains—vast flat areas seamounts—drowned undersea islands
How magnetic reversals form at a spreading center
Bands of seismicity—chiefly at trenches and oceanic ridges
Plate Tectonics The Earth’s crust is divided into 12 major plates which are moved in various directions. This plate motion causes them to collide, pull apart, or scrape against each other. Each type of interaction causes a characteristic set of Earth structures or “tectonic” features. The word, tectonic, refers to the deformation of the crust as a consequence of plate interaction.
Tectonic Plates on Modern Earth
What are tectonic plates made of? Plates are made of rigid lithosphere. The lithosphere is made up of the crust and the upper part of the mantle.
What lies beneath the tectonic plates? Below the lithosphere (which makes up the tectonic plates) is the asthenosphere.
Plate Movement “Plates” of lithosphere are moved around by the underlying hot mantle convection cells
What happens at tectonic plate boundaries?
The Theory of Plate Tectonics Earth’s outer shell is broken into thin, curved plates that move laterally atop the asthenosphere Most earthquakes and volcanic eruptions happen at plate boundaries. Three types of relative motions between plates: “group authorship” in divergent convergent transform
Divergent Convergent Transform Three types of plate boundary
Spreading ridges As plates move apart new material is erupted to fill the gap Divergent Boundaries
Divergent boundaries: Chiefly at oceanic ridges (aka spreading centers)
Age of Oceanic Crust Courtesy of
Divergent boundaries also can rip apart (“rift”) continents
How rifting of a continent could lead to formation of oceanic lithosphere. e.g., Red Sea e.g., Atlantic Ocean e.g., East Africa Rift
Iceland has a divergent plate boundary running through its middle Iceland: An example of continental rifting
Presumably, Pangea was ripped apart by such continental rifting & drifting.
There are three styles of convergent plate boundaries Continent-continent collision Continent-oceanic crust collision Ocean-ocean collision Convergent Boundaries
Forms mountains, e.g. European Alps, Himalayas Continent-Continent Collision
Called SUBDUCTION Continent-Oceanic Crust Collision
Oceanic lithosphere subducts underneath the continental lithosphere Oceanic lithosphere heats and dehydrates as it subsides The melt rises forming volcanism E.g. The Andes Subduction
When two oceanic plates collide, one runs over the other which causes it to sink into the mantle forming a subduction zone. The subducting plate is bent downward to form a very deep depression in the ocean floor called a trench. The worlds deepest parts of the ocean are found along trenches. E.g. The Mariana Trench is 11 km deep! Ocean-Ocean Plate Collision
Where plates slide past each other Transform Boundaries Above: View of the San Andreas transform fault
Most transform boundaries are in the oceans. Some, like the one in California, cut continents. The PAC-NA plate boundary is MUCH more complex than this diagram shows.