12

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). This has been interpreted as a difference in the angle of subduction. Under the active zones, the subducting plate (called "slab") sinks into the mantle, ...


11

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 Himalayas it's like you must've seen in the documentary: the collision between the Indian and Eurasian continental plates. The material has to go somewhere and ...


7

This actually does happen, a feedback loop between the Himalayas and the Indian monsoon. The Indian Plate is actively shoving itself under the Eurasian Plate, creating the Himalayas. At the same time, monsoon storms come up against the southern side of the Himalayas. The high mountains enhance the storms' rainfall, and the mountains erode much more on ...


7

you are missing a big factor, the plates are not moving due to the momentum of an initial impulse. They are being actively moved by the push and pull of mantle convection. Much like how icebergs are pulled along by ocean currents. the iceberg analog however breaks down because icebergs melt before they can do much complex interaction, where as continental ...


6

The reason that you have not seen any diagram showing the position of the continents 10K years before present (ybp) is that the plates move so slowly that there would not be a perceptual difference on the scale of a world map. The Atlantic is spreading about a half centimeter per year. So 10,000 years will have moved Europe away from North America by 5000 cm,...


5

The example of the East African Rift was given in a different answer. Splitting of mountain ranges in two becomes even more apparent as you go up north from there. The Red Sea between Egypt and Saudi Arabia is a young new spreading ocean, that cuts through Precambrian mountains. Further north from there, the Dead Sea is a combined transform–rift zone ...


5

When the subducted oceanic plate slides beneath the continental crust, it causes crustal thickening and sometimes crustal folding. In addition to this, rising plumes of magma are created when the oceanic plate is forced down into the mantle. These are all orogenic (mountain building) processes. We also have mountains built by volcanoes. The friction created ...


4

Divergent boundaries are going to form where the crust is weak and thin, a divergent boundary siis very unlikely to form in an existing mountain range. Imagine trying to pull apart a lumpy cookie, is it going to break through the thick lumps or the thin areas. That's not saying a rift could not cut across a mountain range but it will be very unlikely, it ...


4

Don't be mislead by the subaerial part, it is actually a ridge on a large scale but neither the lava production rate nor erosion rates are constants. That leaves the ridge with higher and lower parts, as well as gaps. Furthermore reef building biocenoses change shape and appearance of the eroding volcanic edifices. Hawaiian (and other like for instance the ...


3

The driving forces of plate tectonics has long been debated. Several mechanisms have been proposed, mainly ridge push, mantle drag, and slab pull (see this page from the British Geological Survey). However, there is now a good agreement that slab pull is the main driving force of plate tectonics. It means that it is the subducting plate which controls the ...


2

If you want to know about what happens with diverging plates, the best example to look at is the East African Rift Valley. An existing plate is forced to split apart by a mantle plume or plumes, and this is likely to be accompanied by volcanism as is the case in East Africa. It is theoretically possible for the rift to cut through mountains, and this seems ...


2

It’s relative motion that matters. So in your case, I assume one side is moving faster than another, so you would have a right lateral or left lateral transform fault depending on which side is moving faster. It’s “significance” would depend on the amount of relative difference in motion and, as usually defined, its potential impact on man. Note that if ...


2

The jaguar is a close relative of the Asiatic leopard and must have had a common ancestor within the last 5 million years. The South American tapir is obviously closely related to the Malayan tapir and must also have had a common ancestor within he last 5 million years. While the first statement is more or less correct, the latter is not. The Asian and ...


1

Sixty six million years ago the Chicxulub meteorite struck the Yucatan peninsular in the same place as the crater is today. The peninsular hasn't moved very far since then, though some of the continents have, India for example. South America was already well adrift from Africa. At the time, most of Yucatan was probably under a shallow sea, too shallow to ...


1

As you suggested in your question, one of the things that slows plates down is friction with an adjacent plate. The force that drives them forward is the force of the mantle plume or plumes that split them off in the first place. A very large plume of magma rising from far below sometimes causes a plate to break off from a larger one, and a rift valley ...


1

Up to now, we constrained the (relative) plate movements mostly with seismic slip measurments. Since 10-20 years, with the diffusion of GPS measurments, it has been possible to have a more granular distribution of movements and a more precise estimation of the rotation pole for a given plate. Roughly speaking, then, you should look for the work of authors ...


1

Rock is dense, is a good insulator, and usually has very high specific heat capacity; the crust is also kilometers thick. The combination of these qualities means that it takes a very long time, even geologically speaking, for crustal blocks to melt completely in the mantle. This is exacerbated by the fact that the mantle, especially the shallow layers close ...


1

This is more a problem with how you are trying to categorize things than any concrete problem. A "plate" is not a completely hard and fast concept, there is some interpretation involved, it is a way of categorizing a group of natural objects with similar properties. When continental crust merges they do not become homogeneous, much like how individual ...


1

The forces of a magnetic field on materials that are not ferromagnetic and not electric conductors are negligible compared to pressure, tension, and buoyancy. It is likely safe to ignore them for the upper mantle. However, the lower mantle is a semiconductor with a significant thermal gradient, which induces electrical gradient via thermoelectricity. This ...


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