Plate Tectonics

4 Sep 2019

An interesting post at https://phys.org/news/2019-09-plate-tectonics.html .... where we are presented with a little history of the Plate Tectonics theory. It only goes back to the late 1960s and is therefore a relatively new idea to expalin certain geological features. It assumes the distribution and movement of plates, the uppermost layer of the Earth, is a fact of life - yet it doesn't seem to happen anywhere else in the solar system. Only on the Earth. Are we unique - our geology that is. Can we get our heads around it - truth or fiction ...

   ... Plate Tectonics are thought to control the distribution of earthquakes around the world, volcanoes, and the creation of many kinds of minerals within the crust. They also affect the oceans, even atmospheric circulation patterns. A sort of wrap around theory to explain what was previously unexplainable. It is a sort of fundamental unifying paradigm we are told for understanding the history of the earth. In spite of all that the earth scientists still do not understand the driving force behind plate movement - in spite of all the diagrams and verbage in text books. The subduction of oceanic slabs is a central tenet and it thought to be one of the major driving forces - which is reinforced by a new study that surprise surprise has come out in support of the idea. Fingers are usually pointed at the so called ring of fire - the circum Pacific subduction zone according to current thinking. Other ideas have previously been put forward - but these are poorly supported. In fact, plate tectonics is one of those things perfectly suited to computer simulation and modelling (hence its dominance).