The birth of the oceans

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“The birth of the oceans is a matter of conjecture, the subsequent history is obscure, and the present structure is just beginning to be understood. Fascinating speculation on these subjects has been plentiful, but not much of it predating the last decade holds water.”) Certain major plates are about half covered with ocean-the South American Plate, the African Plate, the North American Plate. Australia and India are parts of the same plate. It is shaped like a boomerang, with the landmasses at either end. It may be in the early stages of separating itself into two plates. The northern section has a slightly different motion but there is no sharp boundary. In Africa, the flexplek huren amsterdam terrane east of the Great Rift Valley is far enough along in the act of separation to be called the Somalian Plate, but the boundary is not yet continuous. Continents in themselves are not drifting, are not cruise ships travelling the sea. Continents are high parts of plates. East-west, the North American Plate starts in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and ends in San Francisco. West-east, the Eurasian Plate begins in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and ends in the sea of Okhotsk. It is the plates that move. They all move. They move in varying directions and at different speeds. The Adriatic Plate is moving north. The African Plate came up behind it and drove it into Europe-drove Italy like a nail into Europe-and thus created the Alps. The South American Plate is moving west. The Nazca Plate is moving east. The Antarctic Plate is spinning, like pan ice in a river. As has happened only twice before in geology-with Abraham Werner’s neptunist system and James Hutton’s Theory of the Earth -the theory of plate tectonics has assembled numerous disparate phenomena into a single narrative. Where plates separate, they produce oceans. Where they collide, they make mountains. As oceans grow, and flexplek huren rotterdam the two sides move apart, new seafloor comes into the middle. New seafloor is continuously forming at the trailing edge of the plate. Old seafloor, at the leading edge of a plate, dives into deep ocean trenches-the Kuril Trench, the Aleutian Trench, the Marianas Trench, the Java Trench, the Japan Trench, the Philippine Trench, the Peru-Chile Trench.

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