The tectonic plate that some geologists have argued for as a “resurrection” was never real

The tectonic plate that some geologists have argued for as a "resurrection" was never real

. Plates in the Pacific Ocean looked like those of the early Cenozoic period. Attribution: University of Houston

Long debated plate located in northern Canada using 3D mapping technology.

The existence of the tectonic plate of the resurrection has long been the subject of debate among geologists, and for some it has never been a reality. Somewhere in the Pacific margin 40 to 60 million years ago, it conquered the Earth’s crust – moving sideways and downward – others say.

A team of geologists at the University of Houston’s Natural Sciences and Mathematics believes that a lost plate was found in northern Canada using current mantle tomography images – similar to a CT scan of the Earth’s interior. Findings, published Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Will help geologists better predict volcanic hazards and mineral and hydrocarbon deposits.

3D block diagram of tectonic plates

A 3D block diagram across North America showing a mantle tomography image reveals the slab unfolding method used to flatten the furlone tectonic plate. In doing so, Faston and Wu were able to locate the lost resurrection plate. Attribution: Spencer Faston, Johnny Woo, University of Houston, College of Natural Sciences, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

“Volcanoes form on the plate boundary, you have more plates, you have more volcanoes,” said Johnny Wu, assistant professor of geology at the Department of Earth and Meteorology. Volcanoes also affect climate change. So, as you try to model the earth and understand how the weather has changed over time, you want to know how many volcanoes there have been on Earth. ”

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Wu, a third-year doctoral student in geology, applied a technology developed by Spencer Faston U.H. The Center for Tectonics and Tomography has unveiled a slab to reconstruct what tectonic plates looked like in the Pacific Ocean during the early Cenozoic period. The Earth’s hardest shell, or lithosphere, is divided into tectonic plates, and geologists know that there were two plates in the Pacific Ocean at that time, known as the Kula and the Farlon. But there has been talk in Alaska and Washington State of a possible third plate of resurrection formed by a particular type of volcanic belt.

Plate tectonic reconstruction

A 3D block diagram across North America showing a mantle tomography image reveals the slab unfolding method used to flatten the furlone tectonic plate. In doing so, Faston and Wu were able to locate the lost resurrection plate. Attribution: Spencer Faston, Johnny Woo, University of Houston, College of Natural Sciences, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

“We believe we have direct evidence that the resurrection plate existed. We’re trying to resolve a discussion and argue which side our data supports, ”Faston said.

Using 3D mapping technology, the slab unfolding technique was applied to tomography images in the Foston mantle.

“When reconstructed‘ elevated ’to the Earth’s surface, the boundaries of this ancient resurrection tectonic plate are well matched with the ancient volcanic belts of Washington State and Alaska, which are closely linked to the ancient Pacific Ocean and North American geography. Record, ”Wu explained.

Reference: “Raising the Resurrection Plate from the Tectonic Reconstruction of Northwest North America from the Cenozoic Age” Spencer First and Johnny Wu, 19 October 2020, GSA Bulletin.
DOI: 10.1130 / B35677.1

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The study is being funded by the 5 568,309 National Science Foundation Foundation Career Award for five years under Wu.

Note: The animation below shows that the Kula, Farrell, and Renaissance tectonic plates of western North America were submitted over 60 million years ago.

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