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Too weak to build mountains

3 May 2018

A fascinating article at www.newgeology.us/presentation21.html … plate tectonics is too weak to build mountains is the claim. In the 1970s it was accepted the kinematics of continental drift and sea floor spreading was successfully described by plate tectonics theory. However, very little is known about the driving mechanism of plate tectonics. In 1982 the assumption was that the generating of plate movement was understood but the driving mechanism, again, was elusive. This is precisely why Albert Wegener's original continental drift theory was never accepted – but the discovery of magnetic stripes on the sea floor was eagerly taken onboard as evidence of sea floor spreading that it overrode the lack of a driving mechanism – presumably because it was thought at the time as a problem that would be resolved. According to this web site it has not been resolved. Note how this contradicts the geology text books where one is assured the mechanism is fully understood and is a fact of life. Is this another case of consensus science driven by desire rather than fact.

By 1995 it was said that in spite of all the mysteries plate tectonics seems to have solved it has a central unsolved mystery of its own – what drives the plates in the first place. Read the full article for a better appreciation of what is being said.

When the concepts of convection and plate tectonics were first developed it was thought mantle convection as a process located from below was able to create traction at the base of relatively stagnant crust (or the lithosphere). In the 1970s a better understanding of convection  led to the opposite view when it was realised only a fraction of heat flow originates in the core, with radioactivity playing a role etc. It ends by saying, 'why convection in earth's mantle gives rise to plate tectonics is not obvious. The top thermal boundary layer is supposed to be very stiff because the viscosity of silicate rocks is strongly temperature dependent. This temperature dependency  is so strong that so called stagnant lid convection should be the most likely mode of mantle convection. The entire surface should be covered by just one single plate, not by a number of rigid plates. What is needed for the self consistent generation of place tectonics is … a mechanism to initiate subduction. Consider moderate age oceanic lithosphere, say 100 million years old. Even at a depth range of 10 to 45km  oceanic lithosphere of this age is too stiff to be deformed by any reasonable tectonic stress, resulting in a fatal bottleneck for the  operation of plate tectonics … and, in all previous attempts to simulate plate tectonics in a self consistent fashion, therefore mantle rhelogy is modified in one way or another to get a desired result.' Sounds a bit like climate science. Another consensus theory with a hole in the middle – propped up by computer models and simulations that are only viable for as long as the input is controlled. It is perhaps what is left out of the input that matters.

Over at https://phys.org/print431099162.html … geophysicists uncover new evidence for an alternative style of plate tectonics (after all, lest we forget, it is a theory). This piece concerns the formation of a mountain plateau in central Turkey and some neighbouring volcanoes. They say they were  formed not by a collision of plates, the usual explanation, but by a massive drip and the detachment of the lower tectonic plate beneath the earth's surface. The reason central Turkey has risen by 1km over the last 10 million years is because the planet's crust and upper mantle (the lithosphere) has thickened and dropped below. As ut sank into the lower mantle it formed a basin at the surface which subsequently sprang up when the weight below broke off.

At https://cosmosmagazine.com/geoscience/plate-tectonics-the-hidden-key-to-… … we have the mainstream view of plate tectonics theory – and on this occasion we are told the constant removal of the crust (by subduction) is as important as liquid water for the existence of life etc. Such wide reaching claims are more common in climate science than in geology – which says it all I suppose.


Note … it is worth pointing out that this is not the first time mainstream mountain building theories have been questioned – or the idea that the crust can be sucked up by forces other than plate movement. For example the late Donald W Patten (1966) suggested that the major mountain chains were pulled up by an astral visitor. See 'Orogenesis: The Cause of Global Mountain Uplifts' which is chapter 5 (page 65-100) in 'The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch: A Study in Scientific History' (online at www.creationism.org/patten/ ) which is not the sort of source normally viewed by geologists. There are of course plenty of alternative geologists out there – without any association with Creationism. You just have to know where to look. Go to www.ncgtjournal.com for a start.

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