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Geology 112 - Earthquakes 1 Outline 2

Activity #8 - Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes Plate Tectonics

Objective: Learning Outcome #1

• Evidence for plate tectonic theory

• Plates - Lithosphere and asthenosphere
• Plate boundaries

Dynamic or Static? 3
Internal Structure of the Earth
5 Tectonics Links Together 6

Some History Fit of the Coastlines? 7 Evidence Rocks, Fossils, and Sediments 8
Continental Drift Hypothesis 9 10
Continental Drift Hypothesis Breakup of Pangaea

"Scientists still do not appear to understand sufficiently that all earth sciences must contribute evidence toward unveiling the state of
our planet in earlier times, and that the truth of the matter can only be reached by combing all this evidence. . . It is only by combing
the information furnished by all the earth sciences that we can hope to determine 'truth' here, that is to say, to find the picture that sets
out all the known facts in the best arrangement and that therefore has the highest degree of probability. Further, we have to be
prepared always for the possibility that each new discovery, no matter what science furnishes it, may modify the conclusions we
Alfred Wegener. The Origins of Continents and Oceans (4th edition)

Continents, Like a Ship, Sailing through Ocean Crust? 11
The Seafloor
13 Seismic Velocities 14
Physical - Interior of Earth

Low Velocity Zone 15 Physical Layering 16

0 Lithosphere and Asthenosphere

Increasing Seismic Velocity

• Decrease in rate of increase in seismic velocity

(especially S wave)
• Less Rigid “Squishy”
• 1% Molten
17 Plate Boundaries 18
Oceanic vs. Continental Lithosphere Science Channel - Bill Nye and Neil Driscoll

• Lithosphere = Crust and uppermost mantle

• Strong lithosphere vs. weak asthenosphere
• Rigid lithosphere vs. “squishy” asthenosphere
• Elastic lithosphere vs. viscous asthenosphere
• Lithosphere is thin under oceans (5-100 km-thick)
• Thicker under continents (100-200 km-thick)
• Lithosphere is more rigid under oceans

Evidence - Mid-Ocean Ridge 19 Evidence 20

Rock Samples from Mid-Ocean Ridge

• Volcanic rocks - Basalt

• Pillow-shaped - Underwater eruptions
Seafloor Spreading 21 22
Evidence - Oceanic Crust Magnetism

Educational Multimedia Visualization Center of the Department of Earth Science, U.C.S.B

23 24
Magnetic Reversals and Seafloor Spreading

Educational Multimedia Visualization Center of the Department of Earth Science, U.C.S.B
25 Testing the Hypothesis by Deep Sea Drilling 26
Vine-Matthews Hypothesis

Harry Hess

Vine & Matthews

Educational Multimedia Visualization Center of the Department of Earth Science, U.C.S.B

Age of Oceanic Lithosphere 27 Activity 8 Summary 28

• Seismic Wave Propagation - Internal Structure of Earth

• Pangea and continental drift
• Evidence of plate tectonics
• Low Velocity Zone - Asthenosphere beneath lithosphere
• Difference between ocean and continental lithosphere
• Seafloor spreading and testing of Vine-Matthews