Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Transform fault - La baliverne incroyable

(.. "The new class of faults" .. )
( Blog for website at http://users.indigo.net.au/don )

Fig.1 .  Plate Map showing the important 'third boundaries' of plates in the Atlantic, between the North and South American Plates to the west, and the Eurasian and Africa Plates to the east (red lines).

An important point about the oceanic crust is that it *is* crust, and being crust, behaves (or should behave under the influence of global tectonic forces) the same as the continents.

So why is the structural configuration of *mantle* crust so *much* different from that of continental crust?  Two-thirds of the Earth's surface is made of it after all.  What's so different? If the continental crust got cracked up into so many pieces (and grew into "plates") (by the 'plate' mechanism), why doesn't the mantle crust get cracked up likewise?  I mean, .and move around (as 'plates'), .. collide with each other and make mountain belts and so on (on the ocean floor)?  Or put it another way, .. why isn't the continental crust looking like the mantle crust, with all those funny orthogonal fractures?  I mean, forget dykes and ocean floors, .. just fractures.

Sure, .. the ocean floors *are* cracked up into a number of different pieces - hundreds,  if we count them by the number of 'third boundaries', and tens of thousands (probably more like millions) if we count the breaks known as abyssal hills.  After all, other than the boundary defined by the circum-Pacific trenches the breaks that define so-called 'plates' are not unique by any means.  And that includes the spreading ridges, since each abyssal hill is a fossil ridge fault.  So why is the ocean floor - with its "new class of faults" - so unique?

For example, consider those short red lines in the Atlantic separating the plates there (Fig.1).  There's no intrinsic reason why those transforms (red lines) should represent plate boundaries before any others.  Under Plate Tectonics' definition any transform fault could be said to define a 'boundary'.  In fact all of them could justifiably be boundaries to mini-plates, differentiating transverse slices of the ocean floors from each other, but (also according to Plate Tectonics) only as far as the ridge, because its opposite element on the other side of the ridge belongs to another plate.  According to Plate Tectonics, opposite transform elements across the ridge are dynamically distinct, yet they are behaviourally symmetrical.

How come? ..  We might well ask.  It's one thing to say a rising magmatic column (intruding as a wafer thin dyke) could have a propensity to diverge symmetrically across a ridge (though it's hardly credible), but it is positively silly to maintain that the same such symmetry in the Atlantic (say) could be due to a subducting slab - in the Pacific (!).  ("Subduction drives Plate Tectonics.")

How?  "What's the mechanism?"  We might well ask.  How does pull on one side of the ridge generate a symmetrical  pull on the other?  "Ah (escape), .. that's because it's not pulling at the ridge - it's pushing at the ridge - 'ridge-push'."   ..Or subduction is pulling the ridge as well - dragging the top off the uprising column (/magma chamber).

 What right Lulus.

In Plate Tectonics, fracturing of the continents and their offsetting occurred before the ocean floors began to open.  It doesn't faze Plate Tectonics one bit that this is a brittle behaviour occurring in a high temperature regime of partial melting, no doubt some escape-hypothesis could be invented there too, .. to account for it, thereby satisfying the requirements of 'science'.   While it's true that in subduction zones brittle behaviour (earthquakes) occurs to a depth of almost a thousand kilometres, there is no subduction in the Atlantic, nor any evidence of old collisional  margins. 

Then, despite the massive pole-to-pole rupture necessary to initiate Atlantic dilation, separation progresses by a mere 0.3mm a day of basaltic 'paint', dog-legging it round all the corners of the (pre-existing) offsets (but only on the 'dogs' - not the legs).

I mean, .. have you ever heard anything so incredibly nutty?  (But that's what they say, .. Plate Tectonicists, .. the world over, .. including the most prestigious institutions - and publishing houses.)  You might care to think about that when we include schools as well.   Talk about institutionalisation!  (Grooming.)

And all doing it on your money (mostly).

Anyway, .. where is the African Plate supposed to be moving to?  North? .. to 'subduct' beneath the Eurasian Plate?  Then why, are the transforms in the Atlantic configured east-west, and those in the Indian Ocean configured northeast?  This is some pie-eyed navigator in the driving seat, whoever's proposing this one.  But stick with it and you'll pass your exam, and thereby perpetrate on the paying public another generation commited to the Big Story.   The Big Lie.  The bigglie.

What does it take to change this rubbish?

There *is* no intrinsic reason why the "third boundary" (the transform faults) on each side of the  ridge should be the ones indicated by red in the figure.  Why not the ones immediately on either side of the ridge? Because that would spoil the story of "independent plates".  Well, ..why not two-up / two-down across the ridge?  Or two-up seven-down?   Or why not go the whole hog and partition the whole lot into hundreds of micro-plates across the ridge according to the "third boundary", .. all described by "the shiny new class of faults".

Surely the most logical place to put a break in the ocean floor (plate) is where there is maximum offset.  But then 'science' these days doesn't deal with logic.  It deals with 'hypothesis', and 'support'.  (Is that why it's failing, as they say?)  (Google it: "science is failing"- about 21,300 results.)

Fig.2  Where there is maximum offset - the white lines.  And the red ones chosen by Plate Tectonics as plate boundaries.

Which actually raises an interesting point.

Fig.3.  The interesting point.  Coincidence of the plate boundary with the zone of dilation of the Atlantic linked to spreading in the Caribbean, identified by Earth expansion.  See

In the figure, the red line east of the Caribbean effectively matches the northern edge of Atlantic dilation due to along-ridge spreading and thereby too matches the group of white lines marking the southern edge of dilation.  Which is also the northeastern coastline of Brazil.  Which is also the southern edge of the Hump of Africa.   Which is all good, except when it comes to plate boundaries and the motions of "independent plates" Plate Tectonics does not allow transform faults to have *plate*-significance (/continuity) across the ridges; east and west elements of the same transform fault belong to different plates.

That's just plain loony from a dynamic point of view.

(Earth expansion does of course (allow) (in fact it's mandatory /axiomatic), .. and considers the choice of transforms indicated by those thick red-line plate dividers as unjustified over any other transform faults.

See the difference?  Earth expansion links the eastern and western elements of the same transform fault on either side of the ridge as dynamically the same thing when it comes to breaking up the crust - and thereby sees the Earth expanding.  Plate Tectonics escapes the implication of this obvious continuity by saying that those eastern and western elements have no connected relevance when it comes to partitioning the crust into 'plates'.  Hence they have given us the thick red lines defining the boundaries between the plates of the northern and southern hemispheres.

I mean, .. are they nuts?  (Well, .. I suppose with Fig.3 we could say they got it half right - but only by pure serendipity.  Monkeys typing Shakespeare.  God knows there's enough of them ... )

You be the judge.  Open up Google earth and check out the transform faults of the world,  and see what you think.  Are they the same thing east and west of the ridge?  Or different?

From an expanding Earth point of view, those thick red lines have very clear dynamic correlation.  They mark equivalent *continental crustal* positions.  The dilation of the Texas Gulf - Caribbean region is the trans-Atlantic equivalent of the dilation of the Mediterranean Sea.

(Maybe, .. if it's a question of homework, and passing exams, you'd better ask 'la mother' ..)

[ See also Expanding Earth blog at
http://www.earthexpansion.blogspot.com/ ]

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The myth of plate movement

'Plates' don't move - they *grow*
( Blog for website at ( http://users.indigo.net.au /don )

Fig.1  A collection of continents, about to grow into the plates of the present day.  (Image courtesy of  http://www.scotese.com/satlanim.htm .)

 As noted before, the problem with snapshots such as Fig.1 is that the motion is lost.  In transmogrifying the snapshot of a collection of assembled continents into a hypothesised story of moving plates the reality of *growth* of the ocean floors is effectively lost.  Movement is not growth and growth is not movement. The two are different.  One does not imply the other.

  You wouldn't say:- "Oh, look, ..he's only five years old, and moving out of his clothes at such a rate," .. or, ..  "Look how the grass has moved since the rain."   Yet Plate Tectonics seems to think that when it comes to ocean floors it's quite ok to substitute movement for growth.

The ocean floors are not moving.  They're growing, and we should pay attention to the difference.

Consider the situation in Figure 1, .. a collection of plates as they were assembled on the Pangaean crust according to both Plate Tectonics and Earth expansion. According to both points of view the continents have to move apart to accommodate the symmetrical increase of mantle at the spreading ridges, which are the boundaries of crustal fragments. The ridges effectively stay where they are while this increase (to make the plates we see today) takes place.  So the **plates** can't be said to move if their boundaries are fixed.  Sure, the *continents* could be said to move, but that's not the same as saying the plates move.  Seems to me that in regard to configuration and architecture,  Plate Tectonics' position is more accurately represented by saying that the continents shrink!

Fig.2.  Shrinking continents.   For the continents in Fig.1 to get to where they are today, clearly they have to shrink!   (From Carey, 1976; the Expanding Earth).

"Plates move"?  How?  Like this? :-

Fig.3  A continent (grey), rivetted to a plate (coloured) is scrunched against a resisting continental buttress while the oceanic plate gets shunted down a subduction zone.  And anyway, .. where's the continental lithosphere underneath the continental bit?  Is the slab of oceanic lithosphere supposed to have continental lithosphere sitting on top of it?  Check with teacher..  ( Ah, .. the knots Plate Tectonics has to tie itself in, to make it work...  What a giggle.)

Crustal crumpling happens because there is resistance across the zone, .. while the subducting oceanic slab is "forced down" by the buttress on the left, which doesn't move.  If it did, crumpling would be less or none.  And if there wasn't a continent on top of the slab, the slab would sink anyway eventually, because it got cold.

But how cold does the slab have to be before it sinks?  And what do you have to assume if you were doing some 'science' to work it out?   And if it's a question of cooling (from above, .. because it can't cool from below), why doesn't it sink faster in high latitudes? And does it?  And why, if it's a question of cooling, does it sink just when it meets a continent?  Why doesn't it sink before that, .. some long way back?  And how is all that slab accommodated down there anyway, .. where space is much less? )  And why doesn't the whole contraption just get all get all gummed up?  Why has the 'plate tectonic machinery' been working so smoothly since the year dot?

And so on.

Eventually the rivets will pop as the buoyancy of the buckled crust resists the pull of the subducting slab and stays floating on top ( because it is buoyant and can't subduct - but unconsolidated sediments full of water - which are much less dense - apparently can)

(Ptero double-think.)

Movement can only be said to happen if the boundaries move.  But plate margins stay where they are and the area contained by them, if it moves at all, *cycles*, effected by growth at the spreading ridges and destruction at the subduction zone.  The **plate** moves nowhere. It grows (.. and in a direction *towards* the ridge, not away from it).

Moreover, plates are made of lithosphere - deeply rooted continental lithosphere under continents, and much thinner (going by the regular depth of earthquakes) oceanic lithosphere under the oceans. Shallow oceanic lithosphere can't ferry chunks of deeply rooted continental lithosphere around, .. so by virtue of that depth difference alone it is virtually a contradiction in terms anyway to say that "plates move".  Ones with continents on them at any rate.

Plate Tectonics tries to circumvent this problem by abandoning the continental drift, conveyor-belt model of circulating mantle as a driver for this 'movement-scenario', and substituting for it a circulating mantle *crust*, which pulls the ocean floors down subduction zones ("slab-pull") at the 'going-down' end, and pushes it along at the other 'coming-up' end ("ridge-push") - with sub-crustal traction added for good measure. But by invoking traction this model is actually reverting to the conveyor belt of mantle flow as a driver.

(More Ptero double-think.)

So, just to repeat the point:- while a slow-flowing ductile mantle (conveyor belt model) could conceivably be imagined as carrying a continent along on top of it , that doesn't apply in the plate model, because continents are deeply fixed "islands in the stream", so to speak.   Indeed, moving plates with continents on top are a contradiction in Plate Tectonics' own terms.  But continents on top of oceanic lithosphere (/"slabs") (= plates) are needed if mountains are to "arise"  Crustal crumpling can only happen (in the plate model) if there *is* traction transmitted from the so-called moving plate.  And if the continent is deeply rooted when the plate is not, then clearly the question is, "How?".  Continents are 'rivetted' (/fixed) much more deeply into the body of the Earth, so Plate Tectonics' concept of 'Plate-Buckling' (or more exactly continent-buckling) is untenable.  Traction is attributable in the final analysis to the chilly night air (cooling), which is hardly going to overcome the resistive forces of the full thickness of continental lithosphere to buckle it to Kingdom Come, any more than a film of toothpaste flowing across a solid surface would rumple and tear holes in it.

Now would it?

In any case, that's a return to the old view that mountains are built because the Earth's crust buckles because it is "cooling".  (Goes with the shrinking continents for nuttiness.)

It's a question of scale of approach.  The village gets buried by an avalanche.  It does not up-stilts and rush under the mountain. And you can easily tell when you stand back and get the context right.

No 'science' needed.  Context is what understanding tries to arrive at, and in geology it's there for the looking.  The principles of stratigraphic and structural superposition are the tools used to put all the 'stills' (as in Fig.1) in sensible order, which when done right shows plate movement and mountain building by plate collision to be myths, both of them being fundamental too, to the further essential myth /assumption that the ocean floors 'subduct'.

(Bullshit from Go to Woh.)

[ See also Expanding Earth blog at
http://www.earthexpansion.blogspot.com/ ]

Plate Tectonics gets the two fingers

.. And why not?  It's just so much bullshit.
( Blog for website at http://users.indigo.net.au/don/ )

Fig.1  This is the Atlantic floor, viewed in an unusual (sideways) orientation, .. 'cos I'm an unusual (laid back /prostrate /sideways, roll-me-over) kind of a guy  ('cos I'm an  Aussie).

It's meant to show two things (and you'll need two fingers to follow this bit of mind-blowing esotery - because it's about my own limitation with numbers), which is that the spreading ridge (No1) of which there is only one, is cut by the transform faults (No 2) of which there are heaps.  And I'm putting it out there, up on the web, along with my own numberological limitation, to draw attention to a simple point, .. which is that a worldful of PlateZillas, wantonly inflexible and destructively indifferent towards the hopeful enterpise of science, and zealous in their support for the consensus machine, are turning their blindest eye to the simple and obvious point that the structure depicted by Number 1, (the spreading ridge) ( of which there is only one) is cut by, and therefore earlier than, the structure depicted by Number 2 (the transform faults) ( of which there are heaps).

Got it?  No1 predates No2, .. the distinction being particularly obvious to the right in the figure.

For readers prepared to go one step further, we should also emphasise in a 'how-come' sort of way, that there *is* only one (ridge) but lots of cross-faults, and also make the still further observation that some of these cross-faults (transform faults) are more prominent than others and reasonably straight, where other ones are not, .. almost verging on the wonky and knobbly.  We'll deal with the whyfors of that later, but in the meantime we just want to focus on those  two simple numbers and what they mean because they are the foundation for the parting of the ways of Plate Tectonics and Earth expansion.


The parting of the ways:-
(Because except for the bit about the ridges getting longer as well as wider, and the ridges moving away from the continents instead of vice versa, both Plate Tectonics and Earth expansion agree on the broad aspect of sea-floor spreading: the ocean floors have indeed made the Earth bigger; it's the subduction zone that makes it smaller (!) (in Plate Tectonics).

The Nub:-
(.. is the factual bit we are faced with in the picture; all the rest is theory about how to explain what it means.)
In Plate Tectonics  all the Number 2s  existed before Number 1, i.e., "before the ocean floors began to open."  (Yes, that's what they say.. )
In Earth expansion Number 1 existed before Number 2 (most of them at any rate).

... And the difference (when we think about it) is whether there is convection or not, because that's what the first (Plate Tectonics) option was designed to do - justify sea-floor spreading in a convection sort of way, whereas the second shows how sea-floor spreading works in an Earth expansion sort of way.

Teasing it out a bit - or as new ('going forward') vernacular says - "unpacking it" (a bit).  (The full box is a complicated can-of-worms when we lift the lid.

All No 2s present "before the ocean floors began to open" (then scroll down to the animation that says "Transform Fault Motion and Formation of Fracture Zones")  means that once the ocean floors *did* begin to open, the spreading ridge, which is comprised almost all of straight segments, was already cracked up into more dog-legs than you could poke a stick at to give the configuration we see at the present day in Fig.1.  More than that, .. all the dyke intrusions that Plate Tectonics says go towards making up the ocean floors had to dogleg their way round this rubix cube of pre-existing faults without breaking through any of them.  And even more than that, only had to intrude the dogs, .. the legs remain unannointed (in the plate model). (Which is not true anyway, because in their way (in their way) the transform faults get spread too.)

Fig.2  Ridge offsets and along-ridge growth.  Correct-weight,  Earth-expansion arrows depict the sense of principal offets; also the ridge really *is* longer than its original breakthrough 'continental' extents (on the African side).  It's not a theory.   (The American side got a mention here.)

In Earth expansion what we see is what we get; the order of structural superposition being as is shown in the figure, ie.., opposite to that required for Plate Tectonics to work.  The offsets (2 in Fig.1) postdate the spreading ridge, and are related to the growth of the ocean floors that make the spreading ridges longer as well as wider, i.e., the dynamics of the ocean floor are a reflection of ridge lengthening, as much as ridge widening (=expansion).

However by reversing this order of structural superposition and claiming "a new class of faults" (see last link) Plate Tectonics was also able to claim 'proof' for convection, where convection was needed so that growth at the ridges could be compensated by its destruction elsewhere, so that the spectre of expansion that this ridge-lengthening raised needn't be addressed.  Though not everyone involved in developing Plate Tectonics was happy about that (Menard quoting Vine in this post).

And *that* is the significance of the numbers in the figure - whether or not there was justification for mantle flow in the structure of the ocean floors to vindicate spreading.  That's the bit where there was the parting of the ways, and all because the *real Earth science* got swamped by the massive budgets and institutional kudos consequent on the politics of fear generated mainly in America by the Cold War and later 'Star Wars' that saw factual geo -('PSSS't)- logic subsumed by geophysical theorising that has led the Earth sciences up the garden path with this Plate Tectonic bullshit. 

Seems factually (not conceptually) obvious to me, just by looking, that the spreading ridges are *indeed* longer than their original breakthrough continental extents, which reflects a first-order crustal dynamic the reason for which is not addressed in Plate Tectonics.  It is precisely the point that Plate Tectonicists are resolutely turning their blindest eye to in order to maintain the myth of convection.  And subduction.  And everything else of Plate Tectonics that hinges on those two numbers.

 (/ Two fingers).. Because Plate Tectonics deserves it.


[ See also Expanding Earth blog at
http://www.earthexpansion.blogspot.com/ ]

Friday, August 3, 2012

What's happening at the spreading ridges?

(.. Besides the "New Class of Faults"..)
(Blog for website at http://users.indigo.net.au/don)

Fig.1 The theory: cross-sectional conceptual view of what's happening at spreading ridges according to Plate Tectonics.  For a bigger figure and an animation of what's happening, see here.

A magma chamber underlying the ridge is fed from below and tapped by the ridge fracture.  Basalt leaks up the fracture, spilling into the ridge valley and building up a series of extrusive pillow basalts.  Once a certain build-up  is reached, the fault walls forming the ridge collapse sideways, diverging from the top down to the level of mush.  Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes a new fracture develops from the root of the old one, .. splitting from the top down to the level of mush and diverging equally (to maintain the symmetry of the ridge). The faulted slices of ocean floor are migrated away from the ridge by ..  ..  ..  (??)   What, exactly?

Well, .. this is where we indulge ourselves in some real science by invoking 'hypotheses', by thinking rather than looking, ..making up a story according to the Principle of Multiple Working Hypotheses to explain what we think we see.  It could be gravitational collapse down an unstable slope ("ridge-push"). Or it could be the pull of the subducting slab (half a world away) (= "slab-pull").  Or it could be the frictional drag of the underlying mantle current pulling it along.  Or it could be (hey!!) all three!  Now (being scientific) we need to measure something, to prove our hypothesis.  What'll we measure?  Something at the ridge? The subduction zone?  In between maybe?  Maybe the thermal condition of the Earth itself, .. or the material properties of all the bits we can find.   (Wonder who would put up the money for some real research here, based on that real good idea .. )

But .. what *has* been measured is the topography of the ocean floors, and its magnetism, and a certain pattern established which says that there is a ridge (a 'rise') going right the whole way round the world, .. with a split in it along its entire length (a strange thing in itself, really) - that is riddled with earthquakes down to a depth of about 10km, ..and there are (reportedly) quite glassy basalts making up some of it.  And nothing whatsoever of that lot was funded on a 'good idea'.  It was funded on the acronymic fear of RUBs (Reds under Beds) (but that's another story) and was a whole lot of observation in need of no explanation or theory, based on nothing more than trying to find out what the ocean floor looked like.  ('Fact' - though it could probably do with a bit of fine tuning.)  What's more, .. Nasa's 'sideshow' satellite measurements of receiving stations showing crustal movements are also (so far as they go) a fact.  But to connect the two (with a good idea) and say that this proves, or even supports Plate Tectonics (and the crumpling of crust) (and the building of mountains) (and the extrusion of dykes to make up the ocean floors), is asinine beyond belief.  Making an observation is one thing, but hypothesising a connection between satellite measurements and a fissure eruption extruding daily basalt of fractional millimetre width (as required by 'the measurements') right the whole way round the world, dog-legging it (fractionally) round all the cross-cutting faults of the spreading ridges to form the ocean floors is just silly.  It offends that sense common to the other five - the one of proportion, .. rationality, .. logic, .. to an unacceptable degree.

It also offends the facts as we see them.   Sure, .. there are volcanoes sitting on the ocean floor - heaps of them, and to the extent that they are fed by dykes or pipes, contribute to their making, but these are not what constitute the rodded structure of the abyssal hills - "the most widespread landform on the planet". There are no volcanic or fissure eruptions on the spreading ridges of a scale that could be said to be commensurate with the hypothesis (let's not call it 'theory') of millimetre-scale dyke intrusion.  A casual glance shows that volcanoes and fissure eruptions have a provenance more associated with transform faults, than any association with ridges (Fig.2).  What's more, the lines of volcanoes parallel to transform faults die out as they approach the ridge.

Fig.2.  Seamount chains and the spreading ridge of the Pacific.  Note they don't actually cut the ridge here (and mostly don't anywhere else either), and the absence of any volcanoes on the spreading ridge (The Anakena Seamount Chain (top) and the Cloud Seamount Chain (bottom) are marked in red. The ridge is just right of centre. Click image for a larger figure.)

Typically too they are not even on transform faults, but off-line and parallel, and may not even displace ridges, .. but even so overwhelmingly help to define the pattern and spacing that describe transform faults in general, when viewed at the large scale.  Known as 'aseismic' ridges these lines of volcanoes and fissure eruptions are (as their name suggests),defined by a relative *absence* of seismicity (at the present day).  The ridges (and the transform faults that offset them) on the other hand are riddled with earthquakes. The scale of aseismic ridges, and their considerably greater height in relation to ridges, suggests that their depth association is substantially greater than the uniform ten kilometres indicated by earthquakes for spreading ridges - and are *a*-seismic *because* their dilation taps right down into the mantle.  All the seismic noise at the ridges is because the ridge fracture is in the brittle crust and doesn't reach down into the mantle (to nearly the same extent).

Fig.3.  Perspective view of the Anakena Seamount Chain in Fig.2, showing the height differential between the chain and the spreading ridge. Note also the rolling rises of the spreading ridge into the figure, and the depression in the ridge marked by the red arrow. The volcanoes (which are magmatic extrusions) sit *on* the ocean floors (crust) and have nothing to do with the rodded structure making them up.  The theory of millimetres of dyke thickness coming up the fractures every day (or on any day) making the abyssal hills is simply wrong.

Spreading ridges on the other hand are devoid of volcanoes or fissure eruptions because they don't actually tap the mantle at all.  The ridge is a fracture in crust that already *is* crust (so to speak), formed by *underplating*.  The ridge fracture is sealed before it can tap the mantle *because* the ridge is rising up, retaining its tight curvature (Fig.3 here)

So, .. we say here (and contrary to popular opinion) that the ocean floors are not formed by wafer-thin dykes intruding the spreading ridges and extruding basalts, but by underplating.  The existing crust is added to *underneath*, not up a chimney. It's the only logical way that abyssal hills ("the most prolific landform on the planet") and the combined attendant structures can be explained.

How else?  By keep painting the walls of a big fracture (but not the dog-legs) with little more thickness than a coat of emulsion?  Even if the arithmetic for spreading works out over zillions of years, it is much more logical to say the paint's being added underneath, than (symmetrically) on both sides of the ridge fracture.  And that *that* is the reason that the ocean floors have all those volcanoes and aseismic ridges poking through on the transform fault direction - which reflects much deeper lines of dilation than the abyssal hills.  And *that* is why the fractured crust of abyssal hills is being covered up by such massive amounts of magmatic extrusion.

Of course, we can't paint the dog-legs (= transform faults = cross-faults) anyway, because that would mean the ridges would be getting longer as well as wider.  And that would mean the Earth was getting bigger.  And that wouldn't do. 

(Ask your mother). 

(See Fig.3 here for the ridges getting a thick undercoat of emulsion, and Fig. "Famous" (with Yipes and Stripes) here for the dog-legs getting one as well. ...)  (Making the Earth bigger).

[ See also Expanding Earth blog at
http://www.earthexpansion.blogspot.com/ ]

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nasa, the ocean floors, .. and the dog-legging dyke.

(.. or, Only fifteen decimal places away from Earth expansion.)

( Blog for website at hhtp://users.indigo.net.au/don )

Of course, .. it's not a dyke coming up through the mantle and extruding the ridges that's making the ocean floors, .. not in any regular sense of the word ('dyke') at least, .. but a very active fracture splitting down through the uprising mantle as it transitions from mush to solid as the surface of the Earth moves out from the centre, .. with the fracture commensurately *growing* as it does so.  Only growth can sustain such straightness of fractures through the crust of the ocean floors over thousands of kilometres, and explain their lack of deformation.

But before Nasa scientists will move in this direction they have to be shown for the pied pipers that they are, .. leading everybody up the garden path.

And this is how they do it, .. aided and abetted by the emergent new technology - and the American Way of Doing Science - to fifteen decimal places, .. like Rabbits busily measuring everything, for no other reason than they can, .. becaue they've got a tape measure. .. with no thought to anything other than the numbers and divisions on it - in this case to fifteen decimal places.

Fig.1 ABO1:  First cab off the rank.  Plate Tectonics attributes the change in latitude and longitude of the stations to 'plate movement', i.e., the intrusion of a fingernail-thin wafer of a dog-legging dyke simultaneously navigating round all the corners between spreading ridges and transform faults - right the whole way round the world - by the day!  (Cut and Paste  52.209503690  -174.204757058  into Google Earth fly-to window for location of the spot.)  (Right click > new window for a bigger figure.)  [Image source]

What Plate Tectonics is saying here is that those little yellow slashes show the movement of receiver stations, accurate to fifteen decimal places  which in platespeak represents "plate movement, .. "at fingernail speed", .. moving by the *day*!

By the day!  Well, .. if readings show that plates are "moving by the day" then that's a pretty thin dyke every day that's helping them.  I mean it's not a single dyke once every millenium, averaged out to the day. It literally *is* by the day.

Movements in latitude and longitude, .. but not a lot vertically.  Well, .. not much. There is some. And a cursory look through the list certainly shows a lot more verticality about the data than was the case last time I looked, which was quite a while ago.  Either they've got better satellites or they've stopped 'helping' the vertical component quite so much, or, just maybe, the vertical component didn't exist that year.  And even if it did, what could we make of it, given that moving up down and sideways on faults is what the Earth, ..well, .. does, .. plates or no plates.  (But all of them now are apparently ascribed to 'plate movement', i.e., that wafer-thin dyke thing.)

Oh, .. Come OnnnhNnn!!

Sure,  the crust might be moving, but a window of twenty years - and whatever happens in it - against more than two hundred million in the geological record is not much to write home about.  Moving crust is what geology is all about, and certainly when we look at the global velocities of crustal movement there's quite a lot of it.

Fig.2.  Quite a lot of movement.  Highlighting the encroachment of the continents on the Fiery Ring of the Pacific.

Hey, .. anybody ever give it a thought?  ... that the Earth is rotating by the day too, ..ever day, hour, minute, second, nanosecond..

Certainly to say that those yellow slashes support Plate Tectonics seems to me to be drawing the long bow, because crust-mantle detachment is not the same thing as Plate Tectonics.  But neither does the pattern align with the historical dynamics outlined previously for Earth expansion [ 1 ].  However there is a connectedness and directional continuity of crustal vectors that makes substantially more sense in terms of crust-mantle detachment, i.e., the sort of whole-Earth  dynamics that refects a balance between Earth expansion and rotation (as outlined on the above-linked site) (Fig.3), than anything resembling the disparate "independent" (/'random')  movements driven by convection, consequent on "sinking slabs", such as are touted in the 'plates-and-microplates' model of scale-challenged Plate Tectonics.

Fig.3 Crustal movements with fifteen decimal points of accuracy according to nasa's 'sideshow' translated on to a sphere.  (Image couretesy of Google Earth.)

It just goes to show how mobile the crust, 'all-of-a-piece', is.

Plate Movement.  Plates moving at fingernail speed across the surface of the planet apparently have memic appeal (for some) but let's be clear exactly what's being said.  (Some of these points have been mentioned before, but they bear repeating to highlight the illogic.)  :-
  • The set of transform faults was initiated prior to the separation of the continents.  That is, they have no bearing on the development of the ocean floors beyond a role of passive exploitation. Certainly some big ones were early, like the pairing of northeastern Brazil with the south side of the hump of Africa; the one marking the east coast of Africa (/Great Rift valley /Owen Fracture Zone)  and its northeastern extension up through Asia - and a similar parallel one through China.  But Plate Tectonics means *all* of them, i.e., all the ones making up the ocean floors we see today occurred "*before* the ocean floors begin to open".  [Which means they must form (as brittle fractures) in the zone of melting at the crust-mantle interface, .. which is an obvious contradiction.]
  • Then they stop moving.
  • Next, the mantle begins to exploit this defunct fault assembly by intruding a wafer-thin dyke that dog-legs its way round all the transform faults - never cutting through them despite the ridge sector being active enough to let the dyke in in the first place.  And this happens all the way round the Earth (by the day) as the ocean floors open.  To fifteen decimal places.  Ten centimetres a year divided by three hundred and sixty five = 0.3mm a day which Nasa's list shows (The "moving by the day link" above).  The  only logical glitsch that's bigger than this is saying that the ocean floors are made up of volcanic extrusions at the ridges (as in that last post).
  • So, .. a wafer thin dyke is intruding at the ridge, and this is because (so the story goes) there is a mantle 'slab' about a couple of hundred kilometres thick, .. at "subduction zones"  half a world away, sinking, making the ocean floors move sideways at milimetre rates to make a millimetres-thick wafer thin come up at the spreading ridges - not to mention all the volcanism and earthquakes round the Pacific! 
  • The fifty percent rule (Dietz).   But this fraction of a millimetre, wafer-thin dyke exploiting this early global crack (with heaps of dog-leg displacements in it) is not thin enough. There is thinner still, .. because exactly fifty percent of it goes right, and the other fifty percent of it goes left.  And it has to be exactly fifty per cent otherwise over hundreds of millions of years the ridges would be highly asymmetrical .  Not that the fifty per cent matters much to plate tectonicists since the Big Slab Going Down accounts for the full hundred, no matter where in the world its various percentages happen to be.  Also, this pulling-slab is pulling an ocean floor full of defunct ridge fractures, but fails to dilate any of them.  This is like a chain of links, all of which having no strength whatsoever, being expected to pull what's attached to it.
  • This fingernail-thin wafer of a 'dyke' is also different from other dykes we see on the continents, which we only see because everything above them has been eroded off.  Of course there is no such situation on the ocean floors but plate tectonicists happily extrapolate this 'dyke'-scenario there as well, despite there being no sign of anything at the ridges getting covered up. Nothing is covered up (at the ridges) and nothing (much) is being extruded.  Virtually all the structure of the ocean floors ( = the abyssal hills - which don't get a mention in the encyclopedic index) are still in evidence.  Except where they do get covered up.  By volcanoes.  But the volcanoes are everywhere else *but* on the ridges and are sitting *on* the ocean floors contributing to their thickness, not their width.  And are particularly parallel to transform faults.  It's the *abyssal hills* that nobody seems to want to mention, that make up the ocean floors (i.e., the fossil ridge fractures), not any volcanoes extrusions (that cover them up). 
  • Transform faults show minimal displacement of the oceanic ridges compared to the *huge* offsets they make of the continental margins (c.f. first point above). 

Every point is, or points to, a contradiction in Plate Tectonics' own terms, .. a consequence of the discrepancy between the theory and the geological facts. They can talk all they like about science and quantification, but if it's a clear case of garbage in, then what comes out is garbage too, even if it is to fifteen decimal places.

 [For more about how Plate Tectonics contradicts the facts see also this post.]

The preponderance of Earthquakes on the continental side and the dearth of them on the oceanic side supports movement from the continental side (thus negating subduction).  The movement vectors in the Pacific can only have real expression if those stations are also moving up.  But Nasa shows no significant vertical movement for many of them (by the day).  Collapse (as the increasing surface area of the Earth is taken up) would reduce the outwards movement from the Earth's centre (a little), but the point stands: outwards movement from the centre results in 'apparent' sideways movement of crustal segments. [Shouldn't call them plates because of the baggage the word carries.]   But 'apparent' movement can be real too, as the crust detaches from the mantle - or it can be just apparent where the crustal segments remain rooted to the mantle.

So what's the horizontal (flat = latitudinal / longitudinal) movement all about?  Either it's just the crust slipping on the mantle (all of a piece - no disparate 'plate' movement), or they're fudging the vertical component. Given the illogic in the above list, and particularly the dog-legging dyke - the significance of the fifteen decimal places of computational accuracy might not need to be be questioned, but the ingredients making it up most certainly would.

I suspect they've been mixed with a wooden spoon - like Wilson's transform faults.

Have to be.

[ See also Expanding Earth blog at
http://www.earthexpansion.blogspot.com/ ]

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Transform faults, dyke intrusion, and the ocean floors.

(Blog for website at http://users.indigo.net.au/don/ )

It might be the first weekend field trip - or maybe the second, .. students get to contemplate the conundrum of dyke intrusion ;  "Did the intruding dyke force the rocks apart or did the rock split and move apart to let the dyke in?"  And how much moving of either would be needed to do the job, and where would the space be taken up?

Of course, the question is obviated if the crust just moves up and spreads to let the melt in as it (the crust) takes up a bit more surface area.  Movement is virtually nil - or minimal - and also means the curvature of the crust would relax to take up the increase in surface area, pivoting near-surface and opening in depth, which helps intrusion.  [And it is truly remarkable how extensive some dykes are, .. as is the straightness of the fractures that let them in.] 

The point of the trip is to consider (apart from chilled margins, onion weathering, cooling joints etc) the space problem when it comes to magmas stoping their way up through the crust.  Where did the equivalent amount of host rock go to, to allow intrusion of these magmatic bodies?  However the question of minimal vertical movement is usually not addressed, because it *is* minimal.  A little bit of uplift to allow a dyke to intrude is neither here nor there. The point that it could *keep* being minimal (i.e., keep moving up) (i.e., keep spreading) doesn't even arise, because it is just a dyke after all, visited on the weekend.

The question used to be particularly relevant in considering intrusions of granites stoping through the crust ("The Granite Controversy"), but became more pertinent when oceanic research revealed that the ocean floors were constituted of basalt and were everywhere young. If the occasional granite plug stoping through the continent posed a problem, then the ocean floors was a predicament of an altogether greater order of magnitude.  Quite apart from the question of relative volumes, the question of provenance was (and mostly still is) also perplexing, particularly in respect of the Archaean cratons which are dominated by intrusive granites.  If there always existed an ocean floor ('Panthalassa") feeding basic lavas through the crust, then where did all those Archaean granites come from?  .. particularly when it was considered that they formed the cores to the continental landmasses which, when fitted back together again, implied a provenance far more extensive than they appear today.  All that basalt down there?  And all that granite too?  Then how do we explain that it's (mostly) always dolerite dykes feeding basaltic extrusions coming up through the crust, but plutons are (mostly) granite?  [An exception occurs in the Archaean where there are a lot of pegmatite dykes as well as basaltic - or more exactly amphibolitic - dykes.]

*Knott*_a*e_*problem*.  Just sweep it under the carpet. There are bigger questions to address - like (if we're talking dyke intrusion) how to get rid of an ocean floor the size of Panthalassa, to make way for the one we have today.  Forget all about granites and continents (and dykes), this calls for the fine art of *serious* dancing! (not capering like clowns).

Segue to sea-floor spreading.  By late 1959, Carey had Hess jumping out of his seat with chiggers in his pants (Hollywood Cowboys post and scroll down to "late in 1959") and six years later Tuzo Wilson would crack the biggie - How to discover a new class of faults using 'The Method' -  the American Way of Doing Science - namely needs-must inventions, conjured to appease difficult questions, .. necessity being the mother of invention and all that.  [Actually, priority for the transform fault goes to Alan Coode, but Wilson got the credit because according to Menard he named it,  and "instinctively made right moves" to ensure copyright (scroll down to p.246-247).

Fig.1  The fine art of serious dancing.  A question of arrows for the lead mover, and where on the floor you put them (see also Fig.2 here) (a) Emphasising the fault  (b) Emphasising the spreading.  Wilson's success with 'the method' - with which he managed to convince people with by working off a sketch - not the reality - as in Fig.4 here. [Though we should remember that the reality, even as available to the original researchers, was not of comparable graphical quality to that of today.]

".. Conjured to to appease difficult questions"  ...the difficult question being, how to interpret the ocean floors. On the one hand their retrofittable symmetry and much larger extents than the continents implied expansion - which, amongst other reasons, was "philosopically unsatisfying" (Hess, 1962), and on the other hand, convection was needed to satisfy the requirement for a constant sized Earth. 
"Geologists were never going to solve these mysteries, no matter how much time they spent with magnetometers, microscopes and hammers. They needed a new science and a theory that would explain the Earth. "  < .... >  "Wilson’s second realization was a true Eureka! It came after he was experimenting with paper and a pair of scissors while on sabbatical in Cambridge. “I have discovered a new class of fault" he declared to his colleagues. "Rubbish" was the response. Wilson would just grin and show the skeptics a simple folded paper version of his new kind of fault by opening and closing his folded paper. “I was seeing something profoundly new and important," wrote John Dewey afterwards, “and that I was talking to a very clever and original man."  Wilson’s new kind of fault explained why the great ridges down the centre of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans were incised by dozens of deep gashes. He gave the name “transform fault" to the new phenomenon. He made a paper and crayon diagram, cut it out and kept it in his wallet ready to show to anyone. Anyone who saw the impromptu demonstration knew that he was right. (http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/featured/tuzo-wilson- proves-that-the-earth-moves )

[Oh, come on!  Talk about hyping it up?!  Surely we're just witnessing an example here of an older guy pulling rank.  A moment's consideration will show anyone that Plate tectonics explains nothing - *precisely_nothing* - about how transform faults form - or why they even exist. 

What Wilson *did* purport to explain is how, once they do exist, they might be interpreted to support convection - if you happened to be of a gullible disposition, and be bedazzled by the appeal of  paper and scissors, when the real issue lies in the sketch, and where the arrows are placed.  [ Why did it take six years to work out magmatic intrusion (/extrusion) on a pre-existing fault - (Fig.1b)? Not sure about the carrying it around in his wallet either...]

Building on Wilson's success with 'The Method' for transform faults, others followed suit as the way to go, .. to the extent that making up stories became such a popular way of addressing thorny questions in the Earth sciences that Naomi Oreskes (1999) wrote a whoopee book eulogising it ( "The rejection of continental drift- theory and method in American earth science.")

Given the six years interval between Hess writing his report on the origins of the ocean basins to the Admiralty, and Wilson inventing the transform fault to conjure convection out of transcurrent /normal growth faults ("The Great Cross Faults") in order to confirm it, one has to wonder what was going on in the intervening years.  Was it all that hard to philosophise dykes intruding a pre-existing fault?  Probably not.  What might have been difficult however was rationalising how precisely the intrusive /extrusive aspects were to be reconciled, when the most prominent extrusives were chains of volcanoes aligned east-west in the direction of the transforms,  *not* north-south in the direction of ridges.

Menard records a certain context of interest, in which he appears to imply that Wilson got the idea for transform faults from reading Holmes' book :-
(Menard) :- "This is a splendid place to work, isn't it?" wrote Tuzo Wilson to me in June 1965.  He had arrived at Churchill College, a short walk through the woods to Madingley Rise, in January.  Harry Hess had appeared not long after, and although he was associated with another college and resting, they met occasionally at Madingley.  Tuzo recalls that he got the idea for transform faults under highly unpromising circumstances for creative thought.  Writing textbooks is not doing what counts, which is one reason why the older scientists in the United States never thought to read Holmes's text of 1944.  Revising textbooks generally is an even drearier patching of new data on old ideas.  That, however, was what Tuzo was doing when he thought of transform faults." (Menard, 1986. The Ocean of Truth, p.243)

["One reason"?  I'd  certainly like to know what the others were. ]

Menard doesn't say exactly who the older scientists in the United States were, nor does he precisely say it was specifically Holmes' textbook that Wilson was 'doing', but the juxtaposition does seem to imply something of an apologia for both of them not reading Holmes' book earlier, whose last chapter dealt exclusively with convection as a mechanism for colliding continents and mountain building, and, by 1965 (the year Holmes died),  had run to at least sixteen reprints, and which could virtually have been lifted off the page as the foundation for Plate Tectonics.  Naomi Oreskes' "dismay"  [first quote here] seems also to mirror this neglect.  [See also Hollywood cowboys post again) and scroll down to "By skirting Holmes' exposition".] Was visiting Cambridge really Wilson's first exposure to Arthur Holmes (as Oreskes' was, when she visited England)?  Was 'American Earth Science' really *so* insular?

Getting back to the students on the outcrop, .. it is not so difficult to envisage dyke intrusion on pre-existing faults (Fig.1b).  After all there needs to be some discontinuity before magma can exploit it.   What *IS* difficult is to get people to believe that those brittle faults existed, with offsets, all round the world underneath the crust (in a hot mantle), *before* the continental crust began to open [and somehow got offset down there before *opening* occurred], whereupon wafer-thin intrusions of basalt could intrude the fault [but not extrude it - or everything would be covered up, .. like the volcanoes do], 'dog-legging it' as it were, all around the said faults, with 50% of the wafer going east and 50% going west (but no widening north or south on the dog-legs) (and yet all the volcanoes were aligned parallel to them) - to create the ocean floors we see today, particularly when the motive force for intrusion (but never extrusion) is created half-a-world away on subduction zones.   Inventiveness is one thing, but it shouldn't stand in the way of common sense.  [Hence the prophyllactic in the wallet I guess, a preventative measure against disbelief. Bet there were a few comments about 'immaculate conception' - too.]

Again, .. this is not a dyke coming up a crack and being continually fed along its axis - at least, not in the sense of extrusive volcanism.  There is, .. and can be, *no* intruding dyke filling a crack and doglegging its way round the world around faults that were there to begin with. Rather, this is underplating and the creation of abyssal hills as the crack in the ocean floor keeps getting bigger as it works its way down - against a mantle coming up.  

Big difference - the latter is not one (to my knowledge) that is part of any Plate Tectonic repertoire.  Yet.  But it is certainly is one that will be.  And when it is, it will mark the end of Plate Tectonics..

The idea of a growing, wafer-thin dog-legging dyke won't wash. And what might be extruded (as volcanoes - or lava flows) does nothing to increase the width of the ocean floors, only its thickness.  But if, (courtesy of Arthur Holmes reputation and sixteen reprints of his book), a worldful of geologists had already bought in to the notion of convection, .. and if as one of them *you* were proposing the transform fault, then with Hess's Origins of the Ocean Basins already published (1962) you might just get away with it, especially if you were carrying a fair bit of academic clout yourself, to an extent that the editor of Nature would phone you to inform you of acceptance, as soon as he got your manuscript.   

Transform faults were (and still are) the foundation on which convection was built. [Not subduction, we should note, .. because before the ocean floor is subducted, it has to get there, and the evidence for enlargement begins at the ridge and is manifest across the whole of the ocean floors..]

But as "The third boundary", they remain the fly in the ointment.

[ See also Expanding Earth blog at
http://www.earthexpansion.blogspot.com/ ]

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Wilson Cycle, lithosphere, and plate evolution.

[Right click >new window for a larger figure.]

Fig.1. The Wilson Cycle.  First, spreading is both ways (A to D), then one way (E to G).  But what's happening 'round the back' (H)?   (Adapted from Bird and Dewey, 1970, Lithosphere plate continental margin tectonics,' in  Seyfert, (1987) ed. the Encyclopedia of Structural Geology and Plate Tectonics, 876pp.). The figure is a nonsense, as described below.

Following his "escape" ( =  concept of moving ridges ) in reply to Carey's observation about Antarctica being ringed with spreading ridges (thereby implying that continent to be shrinking),  Wilson (1966) extrapolated this model to account for dissimilar fauna on either side of the Atlantic.  After all, if a single half-turn (rise) of a convecting cell could replace an earlier Panthalassa with today's ocean floors in about 200-300my (so that the Earth could remain a constant size), then the Earth, being 4.5 by old since "The Great Catastrophe" (..and scroll down to 3.  'The Big Pancake') clearly provided scope for many convectional cycles. Why not make use of this 'fact' to further explain the model of convective mantle overturn that Holmes (1944) and later Hess (1962) had proposed, thereby validating and extending that convection model?

Why not, indeed.  Those reputations provided an exemplary foundation to build on.  John Bird's entry in Seyfert's 1987 Encyclopedia of Structural Geology and Plate Tectonics tells it so:-
     "In 1966, Professor J. Tuzo Wilson of the University of Toronto published a now classic paper in which he argued that not only had Wegenerian continental drift occurred since the early Mesozoic breakup of Pangaea, but also that continental drift had occurred in pre-Pangaea times.  Wilson pointed out that for the Appalachian / Caledonian Orogenic System, some regions having similar Lower Palaeozoic faunas are separated by the present Atlantic Ocean whereas other regions within the separated segments have dissimilar faunas that are adjacent to one another.  He argued that Wegenerian continental drift could account fot the separation, between North America and Europe, of tracts having the similar faunas.  These fauna-bearing tracts can be refitted to a logical distribution by a simple reconstruction of the pre-Atlantic ocean continent assemblage (Bullard et al., 1965).  However, such a reconstruction does not account for the dissimilar fauna-bearing adjacent tracts that remain in the assembly.  Wilson argued from a geological relationship that this anomaly could be accounted for by invoking Palaeozoic drift.  He proposed that the Appalachian /Caledonian Orogenic Belt was the result of the opening-closing evolution of a Proto-Atlantic Ocean, during Paleozoic time.  Following several lines of evidence, he proposed that such a model of geologic history provided a unified explanation for the following. -
"Changes in rock types, fossils, mountain building episodes and paleoclimates represented by the rocks of the Atlantic region; ... wherever the junction between contiguous parts of different realms is exposed, it is marked by extensive faulting, thrusting and crushing; ... there is evidence that the junction is everywhere along the eastern side of a series of ancient island arcs; ... the fit appears to meet the geometric requirement that during a single cycle of closing and reopening of an ocean, and in any latitudinal belt of the ocean, only one of the pair of opposing coasts can change sides."
"This perceptive model has been verified by more recent studies of the Appalachian /Caledonian System, and the rapidly developing theories of lithosphere plate tectonics (Dewey, 1969).  The cycle of ocean opening and closing with respect to adjacent continental margins is now known as the Wilson cycle." (J. Bird, 1987,  Encyclopedia of Structural Geology and Plate Tectonics, p.837)

The pure speculation of the model however is emphasised by Wilson's framing of his own thesis as a question [Wilson, J.T., 1966,  Did the Atlantic close and then re-open? Nature, 211, 676-681.]

Faulting, with crushing and parts of the sequence missing due to crustal shortening is characteristic of thrust deformation everywhere and does not imply closure of an ocean - particularly one so immaculate as to excise all pre-existing mantle.   The "island arcs" that Wilson mentions are no doubt his interpretation of the arcuate curvature in the structural trends of the Appalachians, which he is interpreting (wrongly) as analogous to the lobate shapes described by the curvatures in strike of the circumglobal.mountain belt from the French Alps to the Himalayas [ 1 ], [ 2 ] .. and in the half-submerged shapes that consensus describes as "island arcs" in the Western Pacific.  By asking the question Wilson appears to be again simply testing the mentis of his geophysical peers (and finding it wanting).

Anyway, .. Back to Fig.1 which illustrates how the cycle is supposed to work.   Notice this is a sequential squeezebox-accordion model moving the ridge (first opening one way, then closing the other) .. rather than layered convection < previous blog > where ridges move simultaneously, with a lower layer of convectional flow dragging an upper one along for the ride which does its own independent spreading as it goes.  The ocean floor is conceived as spreading to a certain (or rather uncertain) width (A to D)  before one end gets cold enough to sink (E) - and does so somehow always on a continental margin (never in the ocean), and descends into the mantle dragging the whole mantle crust as far back as the ridge with it including whatever continent might be sitting on top of it, to engage in later 'collision'.  This is notwithstanding Plate Tectonics' own dictate that continents are built on continental, not oceanic, lithosphere (F to H).

So, two models in Plate Tectonics about how ridges are supposed to move, each contradictory of the other, 1. subduction, 2. multilayered convection.

And why should only one end of the ocean floor get cold?  They are symmetrical after all. And what would happen if both ends did?  And why don't they (one or both) sink *before* they get to a continental margin?

These are not questions Plate Tectonics cares to address, although it is clear to ordinary logic that if there was symmetry in cooling then both sides of the ridge would be consumed equally down subduction zones, and yet the norm is either asymmetry (Pacific) or no subduction (Atlantic).  Plate Tectonics has no explanation why ocean floors ringed by a subduction zone should behave asymmetrically, while those that aren't, don't.

(It *is* only a theory after all. )

(And a pretty lousy one at that, no matter how it's dressed up.)

= = = = = = = =

Both sides (now).
"Bows and flows of angel hair - and ice cream castles in the air.."
Somewhere it says Joni Mitchell wrote the song in 1967 after reading 'Henderson the Rain King' (Saul Bellow, 1959).  But I'll bet she was probably reading the nonsense about Plate Tectonics at the same time - or already had.

[ See also Expanding Earth blog at
http://www.earthexpansion.blogspot.com/ ]