Class Notes: Plate Tectonics

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1 Name: Date: Period: Tectonics The Physical Setting: Earth Science Class Notes: Tectonics I. Continental Drift Continental Drift -! Pangaea -! Alfred Wegener (1915) German and Proposed the theory of! Hypothesized a! Evidence of Continental Drift: Leigh-Manuell - "1

2 Class Notes: Tectonics II. Crustal Activity Tectonics -! -! Lithosphere -! Asthenosphere -! Earth s surface consists of a dozen major plates and some minor ones The plates are moving at rates close to cm/year Rift East African Arabian Mid-Indian Ridge Southwest Indian Ridge Eurasian Southeast Indian Ridge Philippine M a riana Trench Indian-Australian Tasman Aleutian Trench Fiji To nga Trenc h Juan de Fuca Hawaii Pacific San Andreas Fault Easter Island East Pacific Ridge North American Cocos Yellowstone Galapagos Nazca Caribbean Peru-Chile Trench Mid-Atlantic Ridge South American Scotia Canary Islands Mid-Atlantic Ridge Iceland Eurasian African St. Helena Antarctic Antarctic Sandwich Bouvet Leigh-Manuell - "2

3 Class Notes: Tectonics Convection Currents -! Magma heats up causing it to and Magma cools down causing it to and The plates are moving on top of the asthenosphere due to density differences The idea of continental drift had been around since the 1900 s, but lacked enough scientific evidence to support the theory New advancements after World War II help provide the evidences needed to validate the Theory of Tectonics Earthquake Evidence Scientists noticed that earthquakes do not occur at random locations, but throughout the world along When plotted on a map they outline the! (dots represent earthquake epicenter locations) Volcanic Evidence Occurs at plate boundaries where plates are interacting Ring of Fire -!! Leigh-Manuell - "3

4 Class Notes: Tectonics Rock Evidence Sedimentary deposits and igneous lava flows are usually placed down in horizontal layers Sometimes movement along boundaries causes these layers to! Mountain Evidence or As plates collide they sometimes are pushed!! Leigh-Manuell - "4

5 Class Notes: Tectonics III. Crustal Boundaries Tectonic plates are constantly moving and interacting As they move across the and form plate boundaries they interact in various ways Types of plate boundaries: Convergent Boundary -! Example: the India pushing upward into Eurasian and creating the Himalayan Mountains Subduction -! Example: the Nazca being consumed under the South American Three Types of Convergent Boundaries Leigh-Manuell - "5

6 Class Notes: Tectonics Divergent Boundary -! Example: part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge emerges from the ocean and splits Iceland in half Sea-Floor Spreading -! Mid-Ocean Ridge -! Mid-Atlantic Ridge -! Separates the N. and S. American s from the Eurasian and African s Rift Valley -! Divergent Boundary Evidence Scientists dragged a across the ocean floor and discovered a unique magnetic pattern where stripes of and polarity parallel the mid-ocean ridge flipping every 200,000 to 300,000 years (the last one was 781,000 years ago). Rock samples of the deep ocean floor show that basaltic oceanic crust becomes progressively as you approach the mid-ocean ridge Leigh-Manuell - "6

7 Class Notes: Tectonics Transform Boundary -! Example: the San Andreas Fault is 800 km long and runs throughout California Tectonic s Rift East African Arabian Mid-Indian Ridge Southwest Indian Ridge Eurasian Southeast Indian Ridge Philippine M a riana Trench Indian-Australian Tasman Aleutian Trench Fiji To nga Trenc h Juan de Fuca Hawaii Pacific San Andreas Fault Easter Island East Pacific Ridge North American Cocos Yellowstone Galapagos Nazca Caribbean Peru-Chile Trench Mid-Atlantic Ridge South American Scotia Canary Islands Mid-Atlantic Ridge Iceland Eurasian African St. Helena Antarctic Antarctic Sandwich Bouvet Key overriding plate Relative motion at plate boundary Transform plate boundary (transform fault) Divergent plate boundary (usually broken by transform faults along mid-ocean ridges) subducting plate Convergent plate boundary (subduction zone) Complex or uncertain plate boundary Mantle hot spot Leigh-Manuell - "7

8 Class Notes: Tectonics IV. Earth s Interior Earth s interior structures are known through the study of! Seismic waves refract,, and are absorbed depending on the material they are transmitted through Lithosphere -! Continental Crust -!! Oceanic Crust -!! MOHO - thin interface separating the lithosphere from the asthenosphere Asthenosphere -! Discovery: a decrease in velocity from earthquake waves Mantle -! Outer Core -! Discovery: absorption and refraction of earthquake waves Inner Core -! Discovery: an increase in velocity from earthquake waves Leigh-Manuell - "8

9 Class Notes: Tectonics PACIFIC OCEAN NORTH AMERICA CASCADES TRENCH CRUST RIGID MANTLE } LITHOSPHERE ATLANTIC OCEAN ASTHENOSPHERE (PLASTIC MANTLE) STIFFER MANTLE MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE OUTER CORE (IRON & NICKEL) INNER CORE (IRON & NICKEL) DENSITY (g/cm 3 ) 2.7 granitic continental crust 3.0 basaltic oceanic crust MOHO V. Earthquakes Earthquake -! Most earthquakes are caused by a movement along a fault where! energy is given off as a seismic wave Epicenter -! Focus -! Seismometer -! Seismogram -! Leigh-Manuell - "9

10 Class Notes: Tectonics Mercalli Scale - scale that measures the of an earthquake based on the effects to Earth s surface, humans, objects in nature, and other man-made structures The values will differ based on the distance from the epicenter!! Intensity I II III Type of Damage Instrumental Feeble Slight IV V Rather Strong VI VII Very Strong VIII IX X XI Ruinous Disastrous Very Disastrous XII Richter Scale - logarithmic scale that measures the released during an earthquake Magnitude - a number to quantify the amount of released from an earthquake The Richter Scale s magnitude is determined from the following measurements:!!! Leigh-Manuell - "10

11 Class Notes: Tectonics Primary Wave (P-wave) Travel through,, and Compressional -! Compressional Wave (P-wave) Secondary Wave (S-wave) Travel through only Shear -! Shear Wave (S-wave) Seismic waves radiate away from the focus Leigh-Manuell - "11

12 Class Notes: Tectonics Shadow Zone -! P-waves are when they reach the liquid outer core S-waves are when they reach the outer core and are not transmitted through to the other side P-wave Shadow Zone S-wave Shadow Zone Epicenters are located using the velocity differences between the p-wave and s-wave Since the p-waves travel then s-waves, as your distance from the earthquake's epicenter the arrival time between the two waves will be Leigh-Manuell - "12

13 Class Notes: Tectonics Distance to the epicenter is determined by comparing the arrival times and the E.S.R.T. TRAVEL TIME (min) S P EPICENTER DISTANCE ( 10 3 km) 9 10 To find the epicenter location you need to triangulate a position using different seismometer stations Leigh-Manuell - "13

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