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Thread: United Kingdom plates

  1. #1 United Kingdom plates 
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    Are there any major consuming, accreting or conservative plate boudaries in the United Kindgom that have the potential to cause significant future changes to the landscape (mountains, volcanoes etc.)?

    Thank you


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    All UK plate boundaries have been dead for quite a while. The most recent one is arguably the Central North Sea Graben which is a failed rift, dating from the creation of the Atlantic.


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  4. #3  
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    Does the United Kingdom have volcanoes (there are areas of volcanic orgin; but do they still have the potential to erupt)? Were there ever any major boundaries or has the UK always been situated away from them?
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    There are numerous ancient volcanoes. Along the western flank their are several volcanic centres that were active in the Tertiary as the Atlantic opened. These include Skye, Mull, Ardnamurhcan and Arran.

    In the early Cretaceous there is a single volcanic incident off of Land's End in the south west of the UK.

    There are extensive Carboniferous-Permian lavas in Scotland and others of Devonian age. These are likely associated with the rifting of the Scotlan's Midland Valley.

    There are very extensive volcanic deposits in the Lake District and Wales of Lower Palaeozoic age.

    The pre cambrian abounds with examples, but I shall single out the Uriconian of the Welsh Borderland simply because I mapped it many years ago.

    All of these are well and truly dead.

    There are several plate boundaries within the UK, which is one of the reasons it has such a varied geology in such a small area. A prominent one is the Iapetus suture which runs roughly along the current English/Scottish border. This is where the Iapetus ocean closed.
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  6. #5  
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    This is very interesting information indeed.
    Are these boundaries known as 'plate boundaries' of 'fault boundaries'? I often get confused about the difference. Is it that there are 'major plates' (eurasian plate, african plate etc.) and all breaks in the earth's crust within them are 'minor plates'? Or is it that the breaks in the crust within the major plates are simply known as faults? Or are minor plates and faults in fact completely separate things? Would the UK be described as being divided into plates or faults? I really do get confused.
    Thus, would these boundaries that previously caused the formation of mountains or rifts within the UK (or in the vicinity) be described as boundaries between plates or boundaries between faults?

    Thanks for your help
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  7. #6  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    you could call them defunct plate boundaries
    however, even defunct boundaries can be revived by tectonic event further afield, such as the collision between Africa and Europe - although at present, this has expressed itself more as folding and faulting than as a re-awakening of old boundaries
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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