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Thread: Wilson cycles in plate-tectonics

  1. #1 Wilson cycles in plate-tectonics 
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Tectonic plates are allways on the move. At the moment Africa is slowly being torn in two, part of it is pushing into Europe, the America's are moving to Asia, closing the pacific ocean, etc.

    Research has shown that millions of years ago there's even been a time that all continents formed one unit, Pangea. That's about what we know, but there are theories about the time before Pangea. One of the nicest is that of 'Wilson cycles'. The idea is that continents are pushed together into a pangea, then torn apart again, then form a new pangea etc. Funny idea isn't it? Hard to imagine what kind of forces could be behind this process.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Sophomore buffstuff's Avatar
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    So your saying that the continents move? And are forming another Pangea? I don't know if that could actually happen. It would take a lot to move a continent.


    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    It's hard to imagine, but it's actually happening. For example, Europe and North-America are measurably drifting apart. Something like a meter a year or so.

    Here's a little animation that shows what these movements would look like:
    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/kis/schools/hums/geog/tectonic.gif
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    HE SPEAKS THE TRUTH

    only by the time it makes a difference.. we will all of either :

    a) died and gone to a better place
    b) killed our selfs by taking to many antiboitic so the bacteria can over power us
    c) been klled by aliens
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    You're right there. Studying the far future is like studying the past: we'll never be part of it, but it's very interesting anyway :wink:
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    true, the past is gone and gone again
    the future is... well .." not there yet... but were getting there"
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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