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26 votes
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Does the Plate tectonics contradict the theory of continental drift?

The boundary between the African and South American plate is a 'divergent' boundary. The two continents were joined as part of the Pangean super-continent. In the Cretaceous period a rift opened up ...
Andy M's user avatar
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23 votes
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What do continents "lay" on?

Matan, the continents where we all live "float" on the Earth's mantle. The continents are made out of relatively brittle rock called the "Crust" and the mantle is made out of much more ductile ...
Antonio's user avatar
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22 votes
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Is there a geological explanation for the recent Mammoth tusk discovery 185 miles off the California coast?

The mammoth probably died on land. Its remains got picked up by a glacier. The glacier carried the tusk down to the sea. Eventually, the ice containing the tusk broke off as an iceberg. The iceberg ...
Spencer's user avatar
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20 votes
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What is the consensus among geologists about climate change being caused by humans?

First, a correction. Most climate scientists are climatologists rather than meteorologists. Climatology and meteorology, while related, are quite distinct sciences. Meteorologists and climatologists ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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20 votes

Is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge a ridge or a trench?

Trench has a specific meaning in plate tectonics. It doesn't just refer to any valley; it specifically refers to the features formed at subduction zones by the flexure of the downgoing oceanic plate. ...
bon's user avatar
  • 2,211
20 votes

Why is basalt denser than granite?

Magmas have a wide range of chemical (and mineralogical) compositions. Basalts come from mafic magmas (they used to be called "basic" magmas), while granites come from felsic magmas (used to ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
18 votes

Does the Plate tectonics contradict the theory of continental drift?

Alfred Wegener developed his theory of continental drift in the early 20th century. His theory wasn't well accepted at that time. Geologists of that time had their own not quite scientific ideas ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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18 votes
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Would the US East Coast rise if everyone living there moved away?

The mass of human bodies across the US East coast (about 120 million for the East coast States) is very small compared to Greenland ice mass loss, which (according to Grace Satellite data) has ...
Ken Fabian's user avatar
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17 votes
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How did the Ural mountains form?

The Ural mountains are one of the oldest mountain ranges on Earth. They started forming about 300 Ma ago by the subduction of the oceanic crust once attached to the Kazakhstania plate under the ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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16 votes

If we assume the mega impact hypothesis for the formation of Moon, where on Earth is the impact point?

I think you are confused about the timescales and the magnitude of the impact that is being talked about here. The collision between the early Earth and a roughly Mars sized body, Theia is thought to ...
bon's user avatar
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15 votes
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How could this pyramidal Mountain have been formed?

Such forms tend to be created by glacial activity, which, ahem, the ice-covered continent is known for. Much discussion of this in the related question in Skeptics: Are there three pyramids in ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
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14 votes
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Plate Tectonics: Is it possible to have an ocean-continent divergent boundary

The oceanic plates are themselves formed from the divergent boundary, so probably not. Even if a new rifting occurred exactly at the boundary, the result would eventually be that the ocean floor ...
user2821's user avatar
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14 votes
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Why are the latest additions to the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain the highest?

As it was explained to me at university there are two factors; buoyancy and erosion. Rock buoyancy is a major factor, fresh Basalt is hot and dry and has a much lower density than older oceanic ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 4,520
13 votes

Why do some earthquakes and volcanoes occur within plates?

Crustal plates are not homogeneous, uniformly continuous rock masses with uniform stresses. They are a mixture of rock types with variable stresses and stress concentrations. They are also ...
Fred's user avatar
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13 votes

Why are there no volcanoes where continents collide with each other?

Or is the continental crust too dry? Exactly this. Continental collision zones are actually full of volcanic rocks, which formed at the time before it was a continental collision zone. The Wikipedia ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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12 votes
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How do tightly packed plates move in the theory of plate tectonics?

isn't the plate tectonics theory a complete hoax? No, it isn't. It's a perfectly valid theory that has much supporting evidence from all disciples of earth sciences, and it explains features that ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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12 votes

How do tightly packed plates move in the theory of plate tectonics?

tectonic plates are not completely rigid they can bend, flex, and in the case of oceanic plate, get pushed under each other and melted back down.The plates move by sliding under each other, melting, ...
John's user avatar
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12 votes
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Gaps in locations of volcanos (Peru & Chile)

As you said, the Andean belt is divided into four segments, usually called the northern, central, southern, and austral volcanic zones (NVZ, CVZ, SVZ and AVZ, respectively; your map lacks the AVZ). ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
11 votes
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Will the oceans swallow all of the land?

If no new mountains were built, yes. Ultimately the processes of erosion would render the continents flat, and the seas would be left shallow and filled with sediments. The reason that this doesn't ...
Arkenstein XII's user avatar
11 votes
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Could the speed in which the plate is moving affect how quickly mountains rise?

The height of the Himalayas Like Keith McClary says in his answer, there really are two factors in creating growing/shrinking mountains. Mountains grow due to various reasons. In the case of the ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 1,999
10 votes

Himalayas are currently rising. What will be the highest point they can reach?

The Himalayas are indeed rising, but they are also being eroded at a comparable rate. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the maximum possible height of a mountain on Earth is only marginally ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
9 votes
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How can we have "floating" and convection currents in a non-liquid mantle?

Is the mantle solid? It's all a matter of timescales. The mantle is undoubtedly solid (except locally in the uppermost regions where melting can occur) but on a long enough timescale it can display ...
bon's user avatar
  • 2,211
9 votes
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Has our understanding of the East African Rift significantly changed recently?

tl;dr Has our understanding of the East African Rift significantly changed recently? No. We already know that it is splitting The headlines suggest that the fact there is splitting (i.e. a rift) ...
Gimelist's user avatar
  • 23.1k
9 votes

Does the Plate tectonics contradict the theory of continental drift?

"Continental Drift" was a theory developed to explain observed phenomena (the coastline of South America and Africa being but one example). Plate tectonics, on the other hand, is the ...
SoronelHaetir's user avatar
8 votes

Earthquakes at plate boundaries

The cause is partly geometry and partly process. Subduction zones generally take oceanic crust and upper mantle down into the deeper mantle, but the angle of the subduction zone varies greatly. For ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
8 votes

Movement of the Prime/Greenwich Meridian

Remember it is just an imaginary line on the Earth's surface used for georeferencing purposes, so movement of the reference line has no implications so long as we can still reference to it (hence the ...
Tom Newton's user avatar
8 votes
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Could diamonds be formed from coal?

Craters actually can be identified by formation of high-pressure materials such as diamonds or stishovites and coesites (varieties of shocked quartz). A good example of this is the Popigai crater in ...
Gabija's user avatar
  • 549
8 votes
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Volcanoes in the Alps and Himalayas and the subduction of Tethys Sea

The end of the Tethys Sea and the initiation of the continent-continent collision that formed the Himalayas is thought to have happened about 65 Ma ago (recent studies suggest maybe only 35 Ma). And ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.7k
8 votes
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How do scientists reconstruct pre Cretaceous continent if all plates that are currently left are younger than Cretaceous?

You forgot about continents First of all, it's necessary to point out the false premise in your question: It is not true that "all plates that are currently left are younger than Cretaceous". There ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 3,638

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