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Today’s Tunes  Fathoms Below / Under the Sea  From soundtrack of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

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Presentation on theme: "Today’s Tunes  Fathoms Below / Under the Sea  From soundtrack of Disney’s The Little Mermaid."— Presentation transcript:

1 Today’s Tunes  Fathoms Below / Under the Sea  From soundtrack of Disney’s The Little Mermaid

2 Continental shelf Submarine canyons (cut into the c. slope) Abyssal plain Continental rise Continental slope Seafloor Features: Continental Margins Abyssal plain

3 SeamountsAbyssal Hills (linear hills) Seafloor spreading center (e.g., East Pacific RISE or Mid-Atlantic RIDGE) Deep Ocean

4 Seafloor Features: Deep Ocean  Plate Tectonic Boundaries Ridges or Rises Trenches Transform Faults, Fracture Zones

5 The Shifting Crust

6 Continental Drift  Alfred Wegener -1912 –large “supercontinent” (Pangea) existed and then split into pieces –fossil & glacial deposit evidence  Wegener not able to provide MECHANISM for his theory  Major mechanism later found in the OCEANS

7 Seafloor Spreading & Plate Tectonics  Harry Hess - 1960s –new ocean basins form from volcanism –ocean floor forms IN BETWEEN pieces that have split –SEAFLOOR SPREADING

8 Seafloor Spreading & Plate Tectonics  Theoretical breakthrough –PLATE TECTONICS –surface of earth composed of “plates” (LITHOSPHERE) that move on a “conveyor belt” (ASTHENOSPHERE)


10 Evidence for Continental Drift  Fit of the continents  Correlation of mountain belts  Diversity of species –correlation of dinosaur species (Pangea) –isolation of mammal species (after breakup)  Glaciers

11 Important Quote  “Relationships known since early in the century yet the validity of continental drift was not generally recognized until the late 1960’s”  It took ocean floor data to solidify ideas and convince scientific community!  The oceans rule!


13 One Mechanism  seafloor-spreading  lithosphere  asthenosphere


15 Another Mechanism  subduction  world’s most explosive volcanos are formed over subduction zones  Oregon’s Cascades Mtns. over Cascadia Subduction Zone –Juan de Fuca plate under N. American plate

16 “Munch and Crunch”  “MUNCH” - subduction of oceanic plate under continent or ocean –oceanic crust is thin and dense –dives  “CRUNCH” - collision of continental plates –India into Tibet and China –continental crust is thick and light


18 Sliding By  Transform faults –plates neither created nor destroyed  Transform faults are active  Fracture zones are inactive extensions of transforms –“fossil transforms”



21 Young & Old  Oldest seafloor - 200 million years  Oldest land - billions of years  With seafloor spreading, is the earth expanding?  Why is seafloor so young relative to continents?  SUBDUCTION  “law of conservation of ocean floor”

22 Convergent  Convergent - subduction –trenches –Tonga Trench, Cascadia Subduction Zone

23 Divergent Plate Boundaries  Divergent - seafloor spreading –mid-ocean ridges or rises –Mid-Atlantic RIDGE, East Pacific RISE

24 Translational  Translational - strike-slip faulting –transform faults (active) - San Andreas Fault –fracture zones (inactive) - Mendocino FZ

25 Plate Boundaries  How do we know where these boundaries are?  bathymetry  earthquakes  deepest earthquakes at CONVERGENT boundaries (subduction zones/trenches)  downgoing plate breakage causes earthquake  like potato chip breaking off in bean dip



28 Extra Slides not covered in lecture, but cover valuable info that can help in lab too

29 Proof for Seafloor Spreading  What made people believe in seafloor spreading? (poor Wegener!)  changes in inclinations of magnetic field  Earth’s magnetic field a mystery  currents in liquid core one hypothesis


31 SF Spreading Proof - 2  Earth’s magnetic field flips back & forth  magma freezes magnetic minerals  minerals lines themselves up w/ prevailing field of earth  anomaly in field is the key - normal (positive) or reversed (negative)  Vine and Matthews noted this in the ‘60s and flagged this as PROOF for seafloor spreading


33 Grocery bar code Calibrated by age- dating of rocks Last reversal 200 Ka




37 Driving Forces  “Slab pull” versus “ridge push”  Ridge Push - rising, hot rock pushes plates apart at spreading center  Slab Pull - gravity pulls cooled, dense plates back down into mantle at subduction zone

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