Presentation on theme: "Figure 1-8a Tectonic Plates Evidence for Continental Drift: Puzzle According to Wegner, the continents are sections of a past super continent called Pangea,"— Presentation transcript:
Figure 1-8a Tectonic Plates Evidence for Continental Drift: Puzzle According to Wegner, the continents are sections of a past super continent called Pangea, which broke apart and drifted to their present locations.
Now-Extinct Life Forms Preserved in the Geologic Record tell a story Source: J. C. Carton/Carto/Bruce Coleman, Inc. New York Evidence for Continental Drift: Fossils
Source: William E. Ferguson Evidence for Continental Drift: Rock Record
Pangaea 200 to 300 Millions of Years Before the Present
Axis of the oceanic ridge is offset by transform (strike-slip) faults which produce lateral displacement. Ridges and rifts indicate movement. 3-2 Sea-Floor Spreading: Movement at ridges Segmented Ocean Ridge
Earth’s geomagnetic field is recorded as new crust cools. 3-3Global Plate Tectonics Driving Mechanisms for Plate Motions New crust. Parallel bands of crust with the same magnetism form along the ridge.
Geomagnetic Polarity Reversals When new crust materials crystallizes, some minerals align themselves with Earth’s magnetic field, as it exists at that time, imparting a permanent magnetic field, called paleomagnetism, to the rock. Periodically Earth’s magnetic field polarity (direction) reverses poles.
1_14 Modern humans Extinction of dinosaurs Flowering plants and grasses First mammals Earliest dinosaurs Early reptiles Primitive fish Geologic Time
Rocks forming at the ridge crest record the magnetism existing at the time they solidify. Sea floor increases in age and is more deeply buried by sediment away from the ridge because sediments have had a longer time to collect. Rates of sea-floor spreading vary from 1 to 10 cm per year for each side of the ridge and can be determined by dating magnetic anomaly stripes of the sea floor and measuring their distance from the ridge crest. Continents are moved by the expanding sea floor. 3-2Sea-Floor Spreading
Because Earth’s size has not changed, expansion of the crust in one area requires destruction of the crust elsewhere. Currently, the Pacific Ocean basin is shrinking as other ocean basins expand. Seismicity is the frequency, magnitude and distribution of earthquakes. Earthquakes are concentrated along oceanic ridges, transform faults, trenches and island arcs. Tectonism refers to the deformation of Earth’s crust. 3-3Global Plate Tectonics
Destruction of sea floor occurs in subduction zones. Subduction is the process at a trench whereby one part of the sea floor plunges below another and down into the asthenosphere. 3-3Global Plate Tectonics
Benioff Zone is an area of increasingly deeper seismic activity, inclined from the trench downward in the direction of the island arc. 3-3Global Plate Tectonics South Figi Basin and Cross Section Showing Benioff Zone
Earth’s surface is composed of a series of lithospheric plates. Plate edges extend through the lithosphere and are defined by seismicity. Plate edges are trenches, oceanic ridges and transform faults. Seismicity and volcanism are concentrated along plate boundaries. 3-3Global Plate Tectonics
Movement of plates is caused by thermal convection of the “plastic” rocks of the asthenosphere which drag along the overlying lithospheric plates. 3-3Global Plate Tectonics Driving Mechanisms for Plate Motions
Mantle plumes originate deep within the asthenosphere as molten rock which rises and melts through the lithospheric plate forming a large volcanic mass at a “hot spot”. 3-3Global Plate Tectonics Mantle Plume
Wilson Cycle refers to the sequence of events leading to the formation, expansion, contracting and eventual elimination of ocean basins. Stages in basin history are: –Embryonic - rift valley forms as continent begins to split. –Juvenile - sea floor basalts begin forming as continental fragments diverge. –Mature - broad ocean basin widens, trenches eventually develop and subduction begins. –Declining - subduction eliminates much of sea floor and oceanic ridge. –Terminal - last of the sea floor is eliminated and continents collide forming a continental mountain chain. 3-3Global Plate Tectonics
3-4Transform Faults If these plate motions continue, Baja will splinter off California. The San Andreas fault in southern California is a transform fault that connects the sea-floor spreading ridge of the Gulf of California with the spreading ridge off Oregon and Washington.
Because the San Andreas fault has an irregular trace, strike-slip motion can cause local compression or tension. 3-4Transform Faults Fault Geometry
The Red Sea is a juvenile ocean basin that is forming as the African plate diverges from the Arabian plate. New basaltic ocean crust is just beginning to form in the center of the Red Sea. 3-4Juvenile Ocean Basin
Hot, salty groundwater is dissolving metals from the rocks and depositing them as metal sulfides in dense brine pools like the Atlantis II Deep. 3-4Juvenile Ocean Basin Atlantis II Deep