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Plate

Tectonics

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-Provides the mechanisms for the next segment of class


- Earthquakes
- Volcanoes
- Earth is a dynamic system not only as climate, but in
solids as well
- Rock solids move and interact
- Source of energy is from within the Earth
- Residual heat from Earths formation
- Very term and concept heavy. Get these things down

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Components of Earth
Crust (two types)Oceanic Crust- Thin,
dense crust formed
at mid-ocean ridges
(basaltic).
Continental CrustThick, less dense
continental material (silicic).
Mantle- Solid but acts plastic (moves over geologic time)
Outer Core- Liquid iron and nickel
Inner Core- Solid iron and nickel

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Components of Earth
LithosphereConsists of crust
and upper part of
upper mantle
AsthenosphereConsists of highly
viscous portion of
the upper mantle

These terms are described by their mechanical qualities,


not chemical/mineral!

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- Crust is broken into pieces


- Called Tectonic Plates
- These plates move atop the mantle due to
underlying forces (and others).
We call this processPlate Tectonics- The big picture that describes
movement of crustal plates.

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Driving forces

Convection drives plate tectonics. Tectonic


plates in turn move on atop the currents and
interact with each other
- Smashing into each
other
- Pulling away from each
other
- Rubbing against each
other

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Boundaries

3 types
Divergent- Where plates pull apart

Convergent- Where plates smash together

Transform- Where plates pass one another

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Boundaries

Divergent Boundary- Rising magma creates pull


apart conditions and crust rips apart. New crust
forms at boundary.

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Boundaries

Divergence of rock (think of this as stretching)


can occur on a continent. Leads to a thinning of
the continent and Basin and Range (Nevada)

Nevada is Americas
stretch mark

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Boundaries

Convergent
Boundary- Two
plates smash
into each other.
These are
subduction
zones and
collision zones
(mountain
building areas).

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Boundaries

Hand sample rock densities- Oceanic Crust


(basalt) is dense
(heavy)
- Continental crust
(silica) is less dense
(light)
When the two encounter one another, the
dense material subducts under the lighter
material.

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Boundaries

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Boundaries

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Boundaries

Transform Boundary- Plates moving in opposite


direction slide past one another.

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Boundaries

The San Andreas fault


is a transform boundary
between the Pacific and
North American plates

Cal Poly Pomona is


moving North in
reference to
Victorville

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Evidence

- Many theories have been presented to explain


the concept of the continents moving.
- 1912- Alex Wegener proposed that all
continents were once part of a supercontinent
he called Pangaea. Hypothesized the
continents moved and called it Continental
Drift.

- Not widely accepted until the 1960s

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Evidence

Many lines of evidence, from the obvious to


quite technical. We will focus on three.
1) Continental fit

2) Regional similarities
3) Sea floor age

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-Next timeExercise #1 (from the manual)


&
Tectonic Regions