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Plate Tectonics Chapter 17 Great Idea:

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1 Plate Tectonics Chapter 17 Great Idea:
The entire earth is still changing, due to the slow convection of soft, hot rocks deep within the planet.

2 Chapter Outline The Dynamic Earth
Plate Tectonics: A Unifying View of Earth Another Look at Volcanoes and Earthquakes

3 The Dynamic Earth Small-scale changes Large-scale changes
Construction site Erosion by rain Large-scale changes Volcanoes Earthquakes Erosion

4 The Case of the Disappearing Mountains
Erosion Few hundred million years Mountains continually forming Earth’s surface is not static

5 Map of continents A map of the world’s continents reveals the similar shapes of coastlines on the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

6 The Movement of the Continents
F. Bacon Continents like a puzzle Wegener Continental Drift Continents in motion Current Evidence Ocean Floors Magnetic Reversals Rock Ages

7 The German scientist A. Wegener ( ) postulated that a supercontinent once existed — and later broke apart — called Pangea.

8 Plate Reconstructions
Once the motion of continents was determined, scientists could predict how the Earth’s surface might have looked in the past. More than 200 million years ago, the present-day continents were joined together as the ancient continent Pangaea.

9 Ocean Floors Mapping Ocean floor dynamic Canyons, mountains
Mid-Atlantic Ridge Earthquakes, volcanoes, lava flows

10 Magnetic Reversals Earth’s magnetic field Magnetite Paleomagnetism
Changes periodically Magnetite Crystals in lava align to magnetic field Paleomagnetism Seafloor Spreading New rock comes to surface

11 Measures of tectonic rates: magnetic:

12 Spreading Ridge magmatism (Iceland)
Magnetic stripes that parallel ocean ridges must form as new magma wells up from the fissure and pushes out to the sides. In this cross-sectional view, older rocks lie farther from the ridge. (The “lithosphere” includes the uppermost mantle and all of the crust.)

13 Magnetism of the sea floor
Measurements in the late 1950s and early 1960s revealed magnetic stripes running nearly parallel to the Vancouver province and Washington state coastlines.

14 Rock Ages Radioactive Isotopes Rocks near Mid-Atlantic Ridge younger
Rocks farther away older

15 New Support for the Theory
Measuring motion of continents Radio Astronomy Measured arrival of radio waves Repeated over several years North America and Europe Separating at 5 cm per year

16 Plate Tectonics: A Unifying View of Earth

17 Plate Tectonics Plate Tectonics Tectonic plates Earth’s surface
Large-scale surface features Related phenomena Tectonic plates Rigid, moving sheet of rock Crust and upper mantle Continental 100 km thick Lower density (granite) Oceanic 8-10 km thick Dense rock (basalt) Earth’s surface ¼ continent, ¾ water

18 Plate motions The major plates of the Earth with their directions of motion shown by arrows.

19 The Convecting Mantle Mantle convection Sources of energy Movement
Motion driven by Earth’s interior heat energy Sources of energy Gravitational potential energy Decay of radioactive elements Movement Heat moves to cooler regions Convection cells in mantle Very slow 200 million years for one cycle

20 Seafloor Spreading: In the 1960’s,
Harry Hess, Robert Deitz and other geologists and oceanographers, put forward the hypothesis of ‘seafloor spreading.’ The key data for this hypothesis were the topographic maps of the ocean floors….

21 The ‘Ring of Fire’

22 Earth’s lithosphere is a mosaic of 13 major plates:
Plate boundaries may be convergent, divergent, and transform….

23 Earth’s lithosphere is a mosaic of 13 major plates:

24 Plate boundaries may be convergent, divergent, and transform….

25 Divergent, oceanic boundaries:

26 Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland

27 Divergent, continental boundaries:

28 The ‘Afar triangle’ A satellite photograph of a portion of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. The narrow body of water defines a divergent plate boundary where new plate material is being created and plates are moving out to either side.

29 Gulfs formed between rifted continental fragments:

30 Convergent Oceanic boundary:

31 Convergent Ocean-Continent boundary:

32 Continent-Continent collision boundary:

33 Transform Plate Boundary
Two plates move past each other NOT smooth Earthquakes as a result of movement

34 Transform, or ‘Strike Slip’ boundaries:

35 The layers of Earth The principal layers, which differ in chemical composition and physical properties, are the core, the mantle, the crust, and the atmosphere (not shown). When looked at in detail, each of these layers is itself composed of smaller layers.

36 Volcanoes and Earthquakes- Evidence of Earth’s Inner Forces
Magma breaks through surface Earthquake Rocks breaks along fault Energy transmitted as wave Richter scale

37 Volcanic settings A cross-section of a volcano reveals a magma chamber, which stores molten rock, and a system of pipes, cracks, and vents that lead to the surface. The terms in the orange area refer to the kinds of rock formations resulting from cooled magma. Xenoliths are the original rocks encased in this cooled magma.

38 Divergent Plate Boundaries
A divergent plate boundary defines a line along which new plate material is formed from volcanic rock.

39 Subduction magmatism

40 Hawaiian example of plate motion
Kauai, currently the oldest, is between 3 and 5.5 million years old, while Hawaii, the youngest, is less than 0.8 million years old.

41 Another Look at Volcanoes and Earthquakes
Plates and Volcanism Divergent Plate Boundaries Convergent Plate Boundaries Subduction zones Hotspots Source stationary, plates move Chain of volcanoes Earthquakes At plate boundaries or elsewhere

42 Seismology: Exploring Earth’s Interior with Earthquakes
Study of sound vibrations within earth Used to determine earth’s inner structure Seismic waves Compressional or longitudinal Transverse or shear waves

43 Seismology: Exploring Earth’s Interior with Earthquakes

44 A Clicker Question. How do we know that the Earth’s tectonic plates move (continental drift)? Observation of the Earth’s rivers Direct measurements, observation of the rifts in the ocean floors, magnetic reversals Calculations by Einstein Erosion of mountains

45 The Geological History of North America
Northeastern Canada and Greenland Several billion years old Western US Terranes Added to continent over time Appalachian Mountains Formed million years ago Continental-continental convergence zone Rocky Mountains 60 million years ago Warping, folding and fracturing of continent The Colorado Plateau Gentle uplift The Sierra Nevada Molten rock pushed up sediments

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