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movement of lithospheric plates called

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December 8, 2014

movement of lithospheric plates called

In the 1990s, it was proposed that Martian Crustal Dichotomy was created by plate tectonic processes. [81][82] The Earth's crust is soaked with water, and water plays an important role in the development of shear zones. The hypothesis of a time cycle of supercontinents now holds its place as the basic theme of the geologic evolution of our planet. In contrast to the technical definition of lithosphere used by geologists, many geographers use the term lithosphere to denote landmass. When newly formed rock cools, such magnetic materials recorded the Earth's magnetic field at the time. The Earth’s mantle is made of solid rock. Plate movement is possible because the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary is a zone of detachment. In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Only four years after the maps with the "zebra pattern" of magnetic stripes were published, the link between sea floor spreading and these patterns was correctly placed, independently by Lawrence Morley, and by Fred Vine and Drummond Matthews, in 1963,[61] now called the Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis. Confirmation of their previous contiguous nature also came from the fossil plants Glossopteris and Gangamopteris, and the therapsid or mammal-like reptile Lystrosaurus, all widely distributed over South America, Africa, Antarctica, India, and Australia. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. gravimetric) and geological observations, showed how the oceanic crust could disappear into the mantle, providing the mechanism to balance the extension of the ocean basins with shortening along its margins. But in the 1960s, his theory was revived. Each lithospheric plate is composed of a layer of oceanic crust or continental crust superficial to an outer layer of the mantle. This is based on the fact that rocks of different ages show a variable magnetic field direction, evidenced by studies since the mid–nineteenth century. The magma tends to rise because it is less dense than the surrounding material. The distinction between oceanic crust and continental crust is based on their modes of formation. A cross section of Earth's outer layers, from the crust through the lower mantle. For a deeper discussion of plate-driving mechanisms, see Plate-driving mechanisms and the role of the mantle. Oceanic lithosphere is thinner and denser (about 50 km, or 30 mi thick), whereas continental lithosphere is thicker and lighter (about 150 km, or 95 mi thick). The outer surface of the Earth is colder compared to its hot interiors. Hence, the rate at which solids will move will be extremely slow. Earthquakes are common along these faults and the San Andreas fault causes some of the strong earthquakes in California. At the time, continental drift was not accepted. The new crust formed at the ridges cools down and starts moving towards another plate. German meteorologist Alfred Wegener is often credited as the first to develop a theory of plate tectonics, in the form of continental drift. The same is true for the enormous Eurasian Plate. Accompanying the folding is a form of faulting in which slices of rock move over the underlying rock on fault surfaces with gentle inclination angles (Figure 11.22). The Earth's lithosphere is composed of seven or eight major plates (depending on how they are defined) and many minor plates. These zones later became known as Wadati–Benioff zones, or simply Benioff zones, in honor of the seismologists who first recognized them, Kiyoo Wadati of Japan and Hugo Benioff of the United States. These ideas find their roots in the early 1930s in the works of Beloussov and van Bemmelen, which were initially opposed to plate tectonics and placed the mechanism in a fixistic frame of verticalistic movements. Two- and three-dimensional imaging of Earth's interior (seismic tomography) shows a varying lateral density distribution throughout the mantle. The line begins with the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and runs, with a few gaps, to the great Himalayan Range, where it is still active. Wegener expanded his theory in his 1915 book The Origin of Continents and Oceans[41]. During the late 20th and early 21st centuries, it became apparent that plate-tectonic processes profoundly influence the composition of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, serve as a prime cause of long-term climate change, and make significant contributions to the chemical and physical environment in which life evolves. The greater density of old lithosphere relative to the underlying asthenosphere allows it to sink into the deep mantle at subduction zones, providing most of the driving force for plate movement. First propos…, https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lithospheric-plates, Earth Science: Plate Tectonics: The Unifying Theory of Geology. [6] The driving mechanism behind this movement is described below. The key principle of plate tectonics is that the lithosphere exists as separate and distinct tectonic plates, which ride on the fluid-like (visco-elastic solid) asthenosphere. This can act on various scales, from the small scale of one island arc up to the larger scale of an entire ocean basin.[29]. Incorporating the much older idea of continental drift, as well as the concept of seafloor spreading, the theory of plate tectonics has provided an overarching framework in which to describe the past geography of continents and oceans, the processes controlling creation and destruction of landforms, and the evolution of Earth’s crust, atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and climates.

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