Skip to comments.Earth's Plate Tectonics May Eventually Stop
Posted on 08/15/2008 11:48:02 AM PDT by decimon
The Pacific is the biggest ocean on Earth, but it's getting smaller every day. Australasia and the Americas are inching closer together, and in about 350 million years the Pacific will effectively close.
That's when plate tectonics - the process driving all that slow motion, and one that geologists have assumed to be continuous - may grind to a halt.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Pacific plate ping.
We are fast approaching a tipping point -— in less than ten years -— where we won’t be able to reverse this catastophic trend.
Great news — I’m going to call and cancel my earthquake insurance.
How much ya wanna bet? How much? ;-)
450 million years and counting.....
Well duh-uh, you'll be in Asia and not covered anyway.
Man. What kind of world will this be for my great x 642,150,423 grandchildren?
It’ll cease for sure when Sol goes nova....
Gonna get worse than that before it’s done. If the plate tectonics stop it will mean that the earth’s core will be running out of fuel and the magnetosphere will fade. then the atmosphere will begin to be stripped away and radiation will give us all real bad sunburns.
In other news the Earth will eventually be swallowed up by the Sun.
The sun won’t nova. It’s going to expand to a red giant and swallow all the inner planets. After a some length of time it will collapse to a white dwarf and smolder for a few billion years and cool off.
My understanding that is that continental drift has a 250 million year cycle (I can’t remember the name of the cycle) so that the continents drift apart and then drift back together to form a new Pangea every 250 million years (give or take a decade or two).
Supposedly Sol is too small to go nova. She’ll go small red giant, maybe, but will probably end up as a brown dwarf.
The volcanic activity caused by the subduction zones, for example the Cascade mountains, is a key step in the carbon cycle. If this stops then Earth might become lifeless. Mars does not have plate tectonics and from what I read the lack of a carbon cycle might of killed life off that planet.
Whatever energy is left will eventually disburse as the universe fades to entropy.
It is all Bush's fault. Bush and those damned SUVs.
Women and minorities will be hardest hit.
Sweet! I can take the train to London.
And plate tectonics, in turn, is driven by heat caused by radioactive decay taking place deep in the Earth - primarily by a radioactive isotope of potassium.
At some point in the far distant future, the radioactive isotope will be depleted to the point that the molten mantle will cool enough to congeal, and tectonics will slow down and stop. But we might not be around to see that happen.
This would not be the first time that radioactive elements on the Earth have decayed to the point of altering their activity. Millions of years ago, uranium had a higher concentration of U-235 relative to U-238 - in other words, it was “enriched” enough that in a very places we have found excessively depleted uranium deposits, which indicate that at some time in the past, ordinary water (instead of heavy water, or deteurium oxide) was able to act as a moderator and slow fast neutrons down to where they could sustain a low-level chain reaction in a rich uranium ore bed. Look up the Oklo reactor in Gabon for more info.
Yeah, when continents merge and form a supercontinent, they can't break apart.
Whoops, the last one did just that. Is this dude telling us that something is going to change so dramatically in the next 350 million years that a process that has run for 4.5 billion years will halt?
ate tectonics may have already taken a global hiatus 900 million years ago, when several continents collided to form the supercontinent Rodinia. The team says various geological indicators suggest that during Rodinia's 140-million-year existence, the world's plates were at a standstill.
140 million years ain't diddly in geological terms.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
Rep. Clyburn just issued a statement that said that plate tectonics disproportionately affect the minority community.
We probably could use electron guns to fire electrons into space leaving the earth with a net positive charge, coupled with earth’s spin, this would generate a global magnetic field.
Of greater concern is the carbon cycle where all the dead marine life sink to the bottom of the ocean trapping the carbon there.
I guess we could do massive dredging to recover the carbon.
The electron guns might be placed on mars to generate a magnetic field and then you need to crash a mostly icy comet into mars to get the water back.
somebody call algore quick he must stop this.....
That would be the Wilson cycle, I think. Named after J. Tuzo Wilson, who observed that the Atlantic Ocean (or another ocean in roughly the same position between N. America and Europe) had opened and closed several times. Somehow that did not stop plate tectonics, nor did the formation of Pangea after the last closure.
250 million years ago there was only one continent, Pangea it has been called, there might once again be only one. But as long as the 'engine' at the earth's core is still running, that too will evenutally break up.
That's how I read the article. That there would be a 'hesitation' following some continental coziness.
(350 million-year old Sandra Bullock) - "We've got to somehow slow down these continents from crashing."
(350 million-year old Keanu Reeves) - "WHOOAAA!"
(350 million-year old Al Gore) - “We have just ten years...”
Only after there's been 1.4 billion quarterly fundraisers.
I was wondering when Al Gore would get around to tackling that pesky continnetial drift problem.
Most conducted by Will Robinson.
In less than half the time it takes for that to happen, Earth will be irrelevant to the human race. If there still is a human race. We might well evolve to something considerably different in a tenth of that time.
Given our current rate of technological advance, you'd think we'll be outta here within ten thousand years.
On a History Channel show about the history of the Earth, they projected that the Earth's core would cool enough to turn off tectonics in 4 billion years or so.
Maybe that's when Obambi was thinking we'd be up to "57 states" -- we'd welcome Australia, New Zealand, various Pacific island nations, etc.......
450 million years... I guess that means I really don’t need to wait up for it.
I suspect we won’t be here to worry about it.
The Himalayas are growing by a half-inch a year, but I don’t know what that means for the coastal areas. More beaches?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.