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Earth's Plate Tectonics May Eventually Stop
Natural History Magazine ^ | Aug 15, 2008 | Stephan Reebs

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 ...


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; cuatthepartyrichter; environment; nextweek; weredoomed
This will mean fewer threads on FR.
1 posted on 08/15/2008 11:48:09 AM PDT by decimon
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To: SunkenCiv; blam

Pacific plate ping.


2 posted on 08/15/2008 11:50:38 AM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon

We are fast approaching a tipping point -— in less than ten years -— where we won’t be able to reverse this catastophic trend.


3 posted on 08/15/2008 11:50:44 AM PDT by mbarker12474 (If thine enemy offend thee, give his childe a drum.)
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To: decimon

Or not...


4 posted on 08/15/2008 11:51:02 AM PDT by xcamel (Conservatives start smart, and get rich, liberals start rich, and get stupid.)
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To: decimon

Great news — I’m going to call and cancel my earthquake insurance.


5 posted on 08/15/2008 11:51:42 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: xcamel
Or not...

How much ya wanna bet? How much? ;-)

6 posted on 08/15/2008 11:52:17 AM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon

450 million years and counting.....


7 posted on 08/15/2008 11:53:02 AM PDT by xcamel (Conservatives start smart, and get rich, liberals start rich, and get stupid.)
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To: BenLurkin
Great news — I’m going to call and cancel my earthquake insurance.

Well duh-uh, you'll be in Asia and not covered anyway.

8 posted on 08/15/2008 11:53:58 AM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon

Man. What kind of world will this be for my great x 642,150,423 grandchildren?


9 posted on 08/15/2008 11:54:27 AM PDT by autumnraine
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To: decimon

It’ll cease for sure when Sol goes nova....


10 posted on 08/15/2008 11:55:06 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Who would McQueeg rather have mad at him: You or the liberals? FREE LAZAMATAZ!)
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To: decimon

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.


11 posted on 08/15/2008 11:57:57 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Voting Conservative isn't for the faint of heart.)
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To: decimon

In other news the Earth will eventually be swallowed up by the Sun.


12 posted on 08/15/2008 11:58:18 AM PDT by Domandred (McCain's 'R' is a typo that has never been corrected)
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To: Cyber Liberty

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.


13 posted on 08/15/2008 11:59:02 AM PDT by Malsua
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To: autumnraine

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).


14 posted on 08/15/2008 12:00:05 PM PDT by bagman
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To: Cyber Liberty

Supposedly Sol is too small to go nova. She’ll go small red giant, maybe, but will probably end up as a brown dwarf.


15 posted on 08/15/2008 12:00:50 PM PDT by EarthBound (Ex Deo,gratia. Ex astris,scientia (Who the hell do I vote for now?))
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To: decimon

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.


16 posted on 08/15/2008 12:03:26 PM PDT by C19fan
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To: Malsua
After a some length of time it will collapse to a white dwarf and smolder for a few billion years and cool off.

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.

17 posted on 08/15/2008 12:04:57 PM PDT by Bubba_Leroy (DNC = Do Nothing Congress)
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To: decimon

Sweet! I can take the train to London.


18 posted on 08/15/2008 12:07:42 PM PDT by Tex Pete (Obama for Change: from our pockets, our piggy banks, and our couch cushions!)
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To: decimon

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.


19 posted on 08/15/2008 12:07:51 PM PDT by MainFrame65 (The US Senate: World's greatest PREVARICATIVE body!)
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To: decimon
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.

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?

20 posted on 08/15/2008 12:12:12 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: decimon
I see what he's saying:

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.

21 posted on 08/15/2008 12:13:30 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: EarthBound
Brown Dwarf? I thought it would end up as a Red Dwarf.

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)

22 posted on 08/15/2008 12:13:56 PM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: decimon

Rep. Clyburn just issued a statement that said that plate tectonics disproportionately affect the minority community.


23 posted on 08/15/2008 12:16:21 PM PDT by palomonte
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To: cripplecreek

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.


24 posted on 08/15/2008 12:16:39 PM PDT by staytrue
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To: mbarker12474

somebody call algore quick he must stop this.....


25 posted on 08/15/2008 1:20:25 PM PDT by tatsinfla
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To: bagman

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.


26 posted on 08/15/2008 1:24:28 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: decimon
Plate tectonics is driven by the circulation in the mantel of the earth. That in turn runs on energy from the core, which is a combination of decaying radioactives and residual heat left over from the formation of the planet (and perhaps whatever event created the moon).

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.


27 posted on 08/15/2008 2:48:49 PM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: El Gato
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.

28 posted on 08/15/2008 3:07:50 PM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon
Speed 3 movie:

(350 million-year old Sandra Bullock) - "We've got to somehow slow down these continents from crashing."

(350 million-year old Keanu Reeves) - "WHOOAAA!"

29 posted on 08/15/2008 3:15:38 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (BARACK OBAMA WILL SAVE US! HE HAS RISEN!!)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

(350 million-year old Al Gore) - “We have just ten years...”


30 posted on 08/15/2008 3:39:19 PM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon
This will mean fewer threads on FR.

Only after there's been 1.4 billion quarterly fundraisers.

...sorry...couldn't resist.

31 posted on 08/15/2008 3:44:29 PM PDT by Night Hides Not (John McCain is Lucy, McCainiacs are Charlie Brown, and the football is a secure border.)
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To: decimon
may grind to a halt.

I was wondering when Al Gore would get around to tackling that pesky continnetial drift problem.

32 posted on 08/15/2008 3:48:05 PM PDT by MosesKnows (Love many, Trust few, and always paddle your own canoe)
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To: Night Hides Not
Only after there's been 1.4 billion quarterly fundraisers.

Most conducted by Will Robinson.

33 posted on 08/15/2008 4:00:50 PM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon

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.


34 posted on 08/15/2008 4:25:21 PM PDT by hunter112 (The 'straight talk express' gets the straight finger express from me.)
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To: hunter112
In less than half the time it takes for that to happen, Earth will be irrelevant to the human race.

Given our current rate of technological advance, you'd think we'll be outta here within ten thousand years.

35 posted on 08/15/2008 5:35:12 PM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon; 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; ..
Thanks decimon.
 
Catastrophism
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

36 posted on 08/15/2008 10:38:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: decimon; El Gato
That's how I read the article. That there would be a 'hesitation' following some continental coziness.

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.

37 posted on 08/15/2008 11:03:45 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (DEATH TO PUTIN!)
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To: decimon
"Australasia and the Americas are inching closer together, and in about 350 million years the Pacific will effectively close."

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.......

38 posted on 08/15/2008 11:12:58 PM PDT by Enchante (Obama-cons: Trying to fool America, one media dupe at a time!)
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To: xcamel

450 million years... I guess that means I really don’t need to wait up for it.


39 posted on 08/16/2008 12:07:38 AM PDT by rdl6989
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To: SunkenCiv
NEAL ADAMS EARTH PROJECT TOON.


40 posted on 08/16/2008 3:27:33 AM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: SunkenCiv

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?


41 posted on 08/16/2008 7:50:12 AM PDT by Monkey Face (All generalizations are dangerous.)
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