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Plates and Dynamite

9 February 2015

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/nannofossils-from-e… … concerns the origin of the Canary Islands – which are, like the Hawaian islands, located in the middle of a plate rather than at the plate boundary. In 2011 and 2012 there was a lot of volcanic activity off the Canaries which led to the study. The research found sedimentary material which contained small fossils of the Cretaceous Period – which seems to rule out the idea it was dredged out of the mantle (where volcanic magma is thought to originate). The Cretaceous Period is thought to represent a period of shallow seas and a very warm climate – and only at the end of the period did the Atlantic become anything like a deep ocean.

Meanwhile, at http://phys.org/print342338386.html … New Zealand scientists have been using dynamite to try and establish what happens at the base of tectonic plates – how do they move across the surface of the Earth. The results are published in Nature, Feb 5th 2015. The dynamite created seismic waves which were designed to image the bottom of the Pacific plate (which is 100km below the surface). It is claimed the seismic waves show the plate is gliding over a layer of soft rock just 10km thick (or thin). The bottom layer also contains, it would seem, pockets of molten rock which it is said make the process of sliding somewhat easier. It is of course an interpretation of the evidence produced by seismic waves – and one may wonder why the interpretation fits the theory so perfectly – but there you are. Can it realistically be disproved.

Over at http://phys.org/print342368990.html …. we have magma from undersea eruptions that congeal into pillow basalts. Such eruptions s eem to wax and wane over time without a specific pattern. There are vast ranges of volcanoes under the oceans and the seas and not a lot is known about them. This is an interesting paper as the author, Maya Tolstoy, looks for a link outside the terrestrial boundaries. It is published this month in Geophysical Research Letters. There is actually a post on the paper over at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/07/tides-earthquakes-and-volcanoes/ … which is not too friendly to the paper. However, the blog author has a history of being opposed to non-terrestrial influences on the climate and the earth, so it is worth while to proceed to the comments.

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