Geologic history

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You can see its geologic history on an ordinary map if the map shows even the rudiments of what lies below the sea. The Pacific Plate is moving northwest. It dives into the Japan Trench, the Aleutian Trench, and regurgitates the volcanic islands that lie on the far side. The plate used to move in a direction closer to true north, but forty-three million years ago it shifted course. Any hot spot now active under the Pacific Plate will produce islands or other crustal effects that appear to be moving in the opposite direction-southeast. Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa-the shield volcanoes that from seafloor to summit are the highest mountains on earth-stand close to the zakelijke energie southeasterly tip of the Hawaiian Islands. The extremely eruptive Kilauea is making the tip. The islands become lower, quieter, older-the farther they lie northwest. Islands older still-defeated by erosion-now stand below the waves. These engulfed ancestors of Hawaii form a clear track in the Pacific crust for more than five thousand miles. When their age reaches forty-three million years, their direction bends about sixty degrees to the north. Above the bend, they are known as the Emperor Seamounts. Ever older, they continue to the juncture of the Kuril and Aleutian Trenches, into which they disappear. The oldest of the Emperor Seamounts is Cretaceous in age. Mauna Loa, of course, is modern. Under the ocean forty miles southeast of Mauna Loa is Loihi, a mountain of new basalt, which has already iisen about twelve thousand feet and should make it to the surface in Holocene time.
The ages of the Emperor Seamounts and the familial Hawaiian islands create the illusion that Hawaii is propagating southeast at a rate of nine centimetres a year, while the message from plate tectonics is, of course, that the Pacific Plate is what is moving. The speeds and directions of the plates have been established by a number of corroborant observations. Offsets in faults like the San Andreas have been measured as expressions of time. Places in California that were once side by zakelijke energie vergelijken side and are now six hundred kilometres apart are also separated by eleven million years. A great deal of ocean-crustal rock has been dredged up and radioactively dated. The ages have been divided by distance from the spreading center to determine the rate at which the rock has moved. More recently, methods have been refined for making annual measurements of plate motions by satellite triangulation. Hot spots provide one more way of calculating plate velocities, for hot spots are to the drift of plates as stars to navigation.

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