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Thread: Wegener's Idea Of Continental Drift Driven By Tidal-Related Mechanism

  1. #1 Wegener's Idea Of Continental Drift Driven By Tidal-Related Mechanism 
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    Let's name some of them: Abraham Ortelius (1596), Franklin Coxworthy (1890), Roberto Mantovani (1900), William Henry Pickering (1907), Frank Bursley Taylor (1908), Alfred Wegener (1912) who summed up the concept of Continental Drift, many other scientists...

    A century passed since Wegener published his work in 1912. Now Tectonic Plate Movement is the mainstream concept. But, how about Wegener's tidal-related mechanism to drive the movement? Is it mainstream? No. The mainstream is mantle gravity-related thermal convection mechanism. Why? I don't know, in my opinion, Wegener's tidal-related idea still holds quite well.

    I tried to generalize it in my
    Tectonics Of A Celestial Object Driven By Material Differentiation And Migration In Temperature Gradient Under Tidal Deformations.
    Sergey D. Sukhotinsky's Blog: Tectonics Of A Celestial Object Driven By Material Differentiation And Migration In Temperature Gradient Under Tidal Deformations.

    Regarding the Wegener's idea of Pangaea, I'd rather reshape the old continent, see my:
    Porphyry Copper. More On Reshaping Pangaea (Gondwana).
    Sergey D. Sukhotinsky's Blog: Porphyry Copper. More On Reshaping Pangaea (Gondwana).

    My strong opinion is that, Wegener should not only be considered as someone who proposed the idea of moving continents, but also the scientist should be considered as the pioneer of the idea of driving force behind it.


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    For Sergey S. I read your Thread and obviously you have subject here that holds your attention. It is more a presentation of Works coupled with your thoughts supporting this or that idea expressed. Just about said it all. However, when I read the content of the Thread I was struck with the idea... a man was walking along the footpath when the prevailing wind blew his hat off. His hat being the only part moved. Say your Tidal Movement. westwind.


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    How are tidal forces going to subduct the oceanic lithosphere?

    Much more likely that the lithosphere subducts because it is negatively buoyant. Read: convection.

    Note: Wegener didn't know about subduction.
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    Could the answer be: "D. All of the above"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergey S. View Post
    A century passed since Wegener published his work in 1912. Now Tectonic Plate Movement is the mainstream concept. But, how about Wegener's tidal-related mechanism to drive the movement? Is it mainstream? No. The mainstream is mantle gravity-related thermal convection mechanism. Why? I don't know, in my opinion, Wegener's tidal-related idea still holds quite well.
    Still in the air: Can Earth's rotation and tidal despinning drive plate tectonics?
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    Highly speculative. Relies on some rather hopeful interpretation of the data (e.g. seismic tomography is "wrong"), and the existence of some hypothetical features (e.g. the presence of an "Ultra low viscosity" layer). Also the model remains to be tested. But a nice idea.

    I think the important point though, that the authors rather tacitly acknowledge, is that tidal forcings are at most a "component" of plate tectonics. So the frank and honest answer is: no. Earth's rotation and tidal despinning don't drive plate tectonics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billiards View Post
    Highly speculative. Relies on some rather hopeful interpretation of the data (e.g. seismic tomography is "wrong"), and the existence of some hypothetical features (e.g. the presence of an "Ultra low viscosity" layer). Also the model remains to be tested. But a nice idea.

    I think the important point though, that the authors rather tacitly acknowledge, is that tidal forcings are at most a "component" of plate tectonics. So the frank and honest answer is: no. Earth's rotation and tidal despinning don't drive plate tectonics.
    Your link said your forum is currently suspended?
    "seismic tomography is wrong"? What do you imply, that all methods of obtaining sub-surface characteristics are completely false?Mmm?

    I would consider many different forces to drive plate tectonics [external and internal]. Once the pressure between faults has built to "critical mass",just as "the straw that broke the camels back" any extra pressure or vibration will produce fault-slip and an earthquake, moving the plates to another pressure-point...

    I would think that, after the forced slow-cooling of a planet born from heat, then the next strong force would be rotation and pressure from revolving around the sun and revolving satellites, also causing tectonic activity within the satellites, as well.

    It is my opinion that, our moon and Mercury were originally born in the cold of space, producing a solid hard core, and came in as comets. This would better explain such a lack of tectonic activity. Maybe? [just a thought]
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalopin View Post

    Your link said your forum is currently suspended?
    Yeah I stopped bothering with that a while back. Probably should remove that from my signature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalopin View Post

    "seismic tomography is wrong"? What do you imply, that all methods of obtaining sub-surface characteristics are completely false?Mmm?

    No that's not what I'm saying at all!

    Perhaps I phrased it badly, but read this part of the paper:

    Quote Originally Posted by Riguzzi et al. (2010)
    If the study of the slab dip is made based on mantle tomography images rather than on the space distribution of hypocenters a quite different picture can be drawn, e.g., the E-directed slabs appear longer and steeper. Thus this observation could be used to deny the asym- metry emerging from the analysis of the seismicity (the space dis- tribution of hypocenters), but it must be kept in mind that the accuracy of the location of hypocenters clusters in the slabs (several tens of km) is comparable, if not much better, than the mantle
    tomography resolution (few hundreds of km) (e.g. Vasco et al., 2003). This is due to the information content of the travel time data used in tomography experiments and to the dependence, on the initial reference velocity model, of the tomographic images that are rou- tinely obtained by means of linear inversion. Assuming that the high- velocity bodies inferred from tomography are real, an alternative interpretation of these faster velocities is given by Doglioni et al. (2009). Relative to the mantle, W-directed subduction zones provide larger volumes of lithosphere re-entering into the mantle than the opposite E- or NE-directed slabs, which have a low sinking angle and could have a net motion in a direction opposed to the one of the subduction.


    For the model to work they need to demonstrate that W directed subduction zones are steeper and bigger than E directed subduction zones. Unfortunately the tomography says the opposite thing, so they basically ignore the tomography data -- or more accurately they write it off as being of too low resolution. Essentially they claim the tomography data is misleading (which is why I wrote "wrong"). They rely solely on hypocenter data. Being forced to ignore the tomography data significantly weakens their hypothesis, as obviously, the best hypotheses explain all the data. They make a token effort to say that the tomography may be explained by a mechanism proposed in Doglioni (2009). I have tracked down the Doglioni 2009 paper and he speculates in a sentence that:


    Quote Originally Posted by Doglioni (2009)
    the high velocity body recorded by tomography along E-directed subduction zones (e.g., see the Andean “slab” of Fig. 4) could be interpreted not as subducted lithosphere (in fact it is mostly aseismic), but as deeper mantle upraised by the suction mechanism. The deeper, more viscous and rigid mantle has a more compacted crystallographic structure and higher seismic velocities.
    So this interpretation relies on a hypothetical suction mechanism, that draws in deep, dense rock. Hmmmm. I have my suspicions.




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