# Thread: "Terra-pandere" and Plate Tectonics

1. Great Thinkers & Open Minds,

I would like to introduce a new theory for the explanation of plate tectonics and continental drift. As we know, continental drift is a phenomenon caused by individual "plates" of the Earth's crust that appear to glide over the lower layers, carrying the continents with them as they go. I call this theory the Expansion-Based Model, or EBM. To understand EBM, we need to look at the ideas of centrifugal force, volume to surface area ratio, and crust breaking. This post will show how these theories combined support EBM.

Centrifugal Force

We know the Earth spins on its axis. The theory of centrifugal force tells us that spinning things spread out from the centre. You can observe this by spinning in a room with your arms hanging freely; you notice them pull outward. When we apply this idea to the Earth, we can understand that as it spins it is pulled outward from every point on its spherical plane; in other words, it expands. I've named this effect the "terra-pandere" effect.

Volume to Surface Area Ratio

The next idea that we need to introduce to understand this theory is the relation of volume to surface area in an expanding form. When a 3-dimensional form expands, the volume to surface area ratio increases. What this means is that the volume will increase at a rate faster than the surface area can accommodate. We see this in the realm of biological cells, where the volume increases so much quicker than the surface area that the cell cannot absorb enough nutrients to supply its increasing volume. This same effect would be present on an expanding Earth.

Crust Breaking

Because the rate of expansion at the surface is deficient when compared to the expansion of the volume, the surface, or shell, begins to spread apart at its fault lines. These fault lines exist from the days of the early formation of the Earth when cracks formed at the surface, and because of the clumpy nature of its early formative period. Each plate then is a remnant of an ancient separate part that collided to form the Earth. The appearance is that the plates are moving farther apart, but in reality the space beneath them is expanding to move them apart relative to each other.

Discussion

The first objection I encountered regarding this theory was the relative spreading of the plates. It was argued that in an expansion-based model, the spreading should be equal between all plates. We know, however, that this is not the case, as some plates are moving apart, while others are moving closer together. The Expansion-Based Model, however has a simple explanation for this observation. Rates of spread can vary in certain areas while still being the same on a whole. Instead of having an even spreading of .1 between each plate, we can have .3 between some, .1 between others, and perhaps .05 between others. As long as it adds up to the same spread, it doesn't matter.

The image below should explain the idea even better. In the image we have two different cases. In the upper-left is pre-expansion Earth. To the right is the Earth if each plate spread at an equal amount. We do not see this on the Earth, so EBM proposes the scenario in the lower-left image, where each part spreads at a different rate. It's still the same overall spread/expansion, but it is distributed in a way that explains the different spreads we currently see on Earth.

I would be happy to answer any other questions that anyone might have regarding EBM; just post them here.

Regards,
Rv. Jon
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Edited: (23 Sep. 2010) Fixed UTF-8 formatting inconsistencies.

2.

3. Is the Earth expanding? If so why?

How do you account for collision zones? you never quite explained that one.

4. Originally Posted by billiards
Is the Earth expanding? If so why?
That was explained with the idea of centrifugal force. I do hope you read that part of the post.

How do you account for collision zones? you never quite explained that one.
Some areas spread at different rates. If in the early formation of the Earth there were areas of different rock masses that formed and overlapped, then as they spread they would simply be going through a continuation of that overlapping.

Regards,
Rv. Jon

5. Originally Posted by Jon
Originally Posted by billiards
Is the Earth expanding? If so why?
That was explained with the idea of centrifugal force. I do hope you read that part of the post.
*Scoff*

No offense but you haven't thought this through have you, despite the fact that grasp of basic physics is shakey at best. Things spread out at the equator due to the centrifugal force, in order to accomodate this the poles must flatten. If you were to actually *look* at the Earth from space you would see that it is round and not really much of a disk at all.
How do you account for collision zones? you never quite explained that one.
Some areas spread at different rates. If in the early formation of the Earth there were areas of different rock masses that formed and overlapped, then as they spread they would simply be going through a continuation of that overlapping.

Regards,
Rv. Jon
How would you account for the different rock masses to have got there in the first place?

6. the expanding earth theory has been around for some time, but never was mainstream + most geologists now consider the notion refuted

see Plate Tectonics and The Expanding Earth - A Discounted Theory

7. Jon the only problem with your hypothesis (I'll call it that out of respect, though it is really no more thna a vague specualtion) is that it completely ignores all the evidence to the contrary.
I shall take a single item. We know that ancient oceans have been closed through collisions of continental masses. We find the oceanic rock sequences 'welded' to the continental ones. Why are those collisions occuring if the Earth is expanding?
[By the way, these rock suites are called Ophiolites, so do you think there is an outside chance I might know what I am talking about. Regards. Ophiolite.]

8. Not only from a geological standpoint (as ophiolite pointed out) but also from a physiscists standpoint this is .....I'd say highly speculative.
Just 3 words: conservation of mass

This is just the old Expanding Earth Theory with a less outlandish explanation of the expansion. And BTW....it "explains" some points other theories do not have a full explanation for but ignores plain and simple data like the opiloitic scales during orogenesis

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