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The Creation of the Ocean Floor

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Submitted By KDecubas
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The Creation Of The Floor

Karina Decubas

SCI/209

Nov 2,2015
Shannon Shoemaker

The Creation Of The Ocean Floor

Oceanography is the branch of science that studies the ocean and vast amount of topics. I learned the importance of this branch among science. Science has answered many questions and created many theories that goes beyond this science in specific but help to answer more question in other branch of science. Two very important theories are the Continental Drift and the plate tectonics. These theories try to solve the question about the actual position of the continents and how they got there. There are so many terms and information to learn in order to understand these two theories for example plate boundaries, Fault, oceanic floor, volcanoes and more.
Plate Boundaries A Plate Boundaries is the location where two plates meet. There are three different plate boundaries. The Divergent plate boundaries are where new crust is generated as the plates pull away from each other. The Divergent plate boundaries occurs along spreading centers where plates are moving apart and the new crust is created by magma pushing up from mantle. A good example is the Mid-Atlantic ridge. The rate of spreading along the Mid-Atlantic ridge averages 2.5 centimeters per year. Convergent Boundaries is where the crust is destroyed as one plate dives under another. The Size of the earth has not change significantly during the past 600 millions years. The earth not changing size implies that the crust must be destroyed at about the same rate as is being created. The location where sinking of a plate occurs between an oceanic and a largely continental plate or between two largely oceanic plates or between two largely continental plates. Transform Boundaries Where the crust is neither produced nor destroyed as the plates slide horizontally past each other. The zone between two plates sliding horizontally past one another is called a transform-fault boundary or simply a transform boundary. Canadian Geophysics J. Tuzo Wilson propose that these large faults of fracture zone connect two Spreading centers (Divergent Plate Boundaries) or less common trenches (convert plate boundaries) Most transform fault are found on the ocean floor but only few had occur on land, For example the Sand Andres Fault Zone in California.

Natural Events Cause By Plate Tectonics Natural hazards as volcanoes and earthquakes do not strike randomly but on specific areas such as plate boundaries. Terrible earthquakes related to plate tectonics have caused terrible catastrophes for example the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that occurred in the Chinese providence of Hebei in 1971 and killed an estimate of 800,000 people. Many population centers are located near an active fault zones such as San Andreas is a strike slip fault, movement along which is dominantly horizontal. The San Andreas Fault zones separate the Pacific and North American plates. In 1906 a San Francisco earthquake with a magnitude of 8.3 ruptured along a segment of the San Andreas Fault extending from Came Men-docino to San Juan Bautista. In a major earthquake the energy released can cause damage to thousands of Kilometers away from the epicenter. Not all fault movement are as violent, in Hollister there are 20,000 earthquakes a year, but are too small to be felt by residents.

Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics Theories In 1912 Alfred Wegener Created the Continental drift theory that suggested that all continents were once joined together as one supercontinent called Pangaea. Other scientists suggested that Pangaea have first broken in two supercontinents called Gondwanaland and Laurasia. Gondwanaland included Africa, India, Australia, Madagascar, Antarctica and South America. Laurasia included North America, Europe and Asia. The ocean between these two continents called Tetys. Evidence for this theory is the geometrical fit of the continents; similar rock types and structures were found on different continents that seem to fit. The occurrence of identical fossils on widely separate landmasses or continents. The Plate tectonics may be considered a revival of the continental drift with a major modification. The earth outer layer consists of several lithospheric plates consisting of continental as well or oceanic crust and the upper part of the mantle. These plates slide on top of a weaker plastic layer moving away towards of past each other. This part differs from Wegener theory. There three types of plates boundaries: Divergent, Convergent and Transformation. The place where the boundaries meet is known as tripe junction. These boundaries may transform in to faults. According to the theory not only continents move but also the ocean floor, unlike the continental drift theory. Evidence to support this theory is the concentration of tectonic activity, Subduction or destruction of oceanic floor, Sea floor spreading and the activity along the plates such as earthquakes, volcanoes and island arcs.

Conclusion Both theories had evidence to prove how the continents got their actual location. I believe the plate tectonics theory has more evidence to prove it. Oceanography has helped science to prove theories and answer many questions. I strongly believe this is one of the most important sciences and the center of many other science branches.

References • www.pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic.understanding.html • www.science.marshall.edu/elshazly/intro/rect.doc • Essentials of Oceanography Book 11th Edition 2014 by Alan P. Trujillo and Harold V. Thurman…...

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