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Thread: Question on plate tectonics

  1. #1 Question on plate tectonics 
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    Hypothetically lets say Earths core were larger covering say 70% of earths radius and the mantle thinner. Would this effect plate tectonics possibly making them slower or more rapid?


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    Quote Originally Posted by KTevolved View Post
    Hypothetically lets say Earths core were larger covering say 70% of earths radius and the mantle thinner. Would this effect plate tectonics possibly making them slower or more rapid?
    My instinct would be that plate tectonics would be more vigorous for a short amount of time, the planet would cool rapidly, and then there wouldn't be enough heat to keep it going so it would grind to a halt. There would probably still be some convection in the mantle, but not enough to power plate tectonics. Just my thought, a geodynamicist would know better than me (I'm a seismologist).


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    The convecting cells in earth mantle should be smaller than, this should cause smaller continents. How much power the system has would be another question depending on the question, how big would be your outter and inner core?
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    The outer core would be 70% earths radius while the inner would be 30%
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTevolved View Post
    The outer core would be 70% earths radius while the inner would be 30%
    that means the whole earth would be much hotter, you should get an archaean world faster convection maybe without deep subduction
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    So basically much more earthquakes and volcanic activity?
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTevolved View Post
    So basically much more earthquakes and volcanic activity?
    At the beginning yes. But the mantle is an insulating layer, if it were thinner, the heat would escape quicker, so the planet would become geologically dead sooner.
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    One point to consider is that with an enlarged core the surface gravity would be greater. This is bound to have implications relating to slab pull and probably some other aspects of tectonics, but quite how these would pan out I have no idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    This is bound to have implications relating to slab pull and probably some other aspects of tectonics, but quite how these would pan out I have no idea.
    in a hotter mantle slab pull is not very likely
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    This is bound to have implications relating to slab pull and probably some other aspects of tectonics, but quite how these would pan out I have no idea.
    Indeed. It is bound to have a major implication on the entire thermo-chemical evolution of the planet, the consequences of which might well surprise us. Whether the emergent features of such a planet even resemble plate tectonics is an open question.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Geographer View Post
    in a hotter mantle slab pull is not very likely
    But in a colder mantle slab pull would also not be very likely. Are we at some kind of "goldilocks" situation?
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    Quote Originally Posted by billiards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Geographer View Post
    in a hotter mantle slab pull is not very likely
    But in a colder mantle slab pull would also not be very likely. Are we at some kind of "goldilocks" situation?
    today we have a colder mantle and slab pull
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Geographer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billiards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Geographer View Post
    in a hotter mantle slab pull is not very likely
    But in a colder mantle slab pull would also not be very likely. Are we at some kind of "goldilocks" situation?
    today we have a colder mantle and slab pull
    I think we'll have to put this one down to language differences. Let the reference point be TODAY's mantle. Let "colder" mean a substantial drop in temperature.

    Now I repeat: in a colder mantle slab pull would also not be very likely.
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