Plate Tectonics but different

29 Nov 2017

At ... geophysicists discover evidence for an alternative style of plate tectonics - although it doesn't really sound much like plate movements. J Tuzo Wilson made his reputation in the 1960s by introducing the geology world to the concept of plate tectonics - which is not so long ago. Since then the theory has never been seriously challenged - although heretics still exist. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century researchers at the Istanbul Technical University and the University of Toronto have studied a series of ancient volcanoes and mountain plateau in central Turkey and say that the collision of tectonic plates does not account for the geology. Instead, they theorise that a massive detachment of the lower tectonic plate beneath the Earth's surface caused the Anatolian plateau to rise up, freed from its crustal roots. It rose by as much as a kilometre - simply because the crust and upper Mantle (or lithosphere) has thickened and dropped into the Mantle proper - but quite why this happened is another story. As the lithosphere sank into the Mantle it formed a basin at the surface which is said to have sprung up (over time) simply because the weight below had disappeared. This left behind a massive gap in the plate beneath central Anatolia - causing the land at the surface to bob up.