16 votes

How high can a mountain possibly get?

Found an article that used a simple analytical modelling to determine how high a mountain can be. Reference Based on simple physics, tallest a mountain will be on Earth is ~10 km. This is based on: ...
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13 votes

How high can a mountain possibly get?

The glacial buzzsaw hypothesis (summary; sample paper) is that mountains can't get much higher than the elevation at which glaciers form cirques. The upper walls of the cirques are steep and erode ...
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  • 531
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 ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Is a San Andreas volcano possible?

Yes. In fact there are already volcanos associated with the San Andreas fault system. Neenach is an extinct Miocene volcano split in half by the San Andreas fault. Garry Hayes wrote a nice blog post ...
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  • 10.8k
10 votes
Accepted

What tectonic mechanisms cause the North and South Islands of New Zealand to be so geologically different?

New Zealand sits along an oblique convergent plate boundary, where the Pacific and Australia Plates meet. The boundary between the two plates is shown in your second figure as the grey line, with the ...
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  • 1,044
9 votes
Accepted

How is/was continental drift monitored?

Scientific GPS and SLR have been used for some time now, and the measurements are rather accurate. Not only do we measure horizontal movements of tectonic plates, but also uplift as e.g. in the ...
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  • 5,896
7 votes
Accepted

What is the tectonic explanation for parallel ridges in the Arctic Ocean?

The fact that these three features are parallel may be somewhat coincidental, although we can suspect that tectonic forces have influenced their morphology. The crust under the Arctic Sea is one of ...
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7 votes
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What is a fault?

A fault is a crack in the rock that shows movement over time. The movement may have stopped (eg. small faults seen in the field in the UK) or be essentially dead even though the crack still represents ...
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  • 3,843
7 votes
Accepted

How do tectonics work on other planets?

It's a huge field of research and a lot of interesting studies have been published over the years, but also a lot of speculation. Models and theories are mostly based on surface structures observed by ...
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  • 5,896
6 votes

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains?

Quite the opposite. Divergent boundaries can cause mountain (well, actually volcano) building, because upwelling magma is part of the rifting process. First and most importantly, the Mid-Ocean Ridge ...
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  • 3,143
5 votes

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains?

I want to add some nice examples of how divergent plate movement can actually create mountains, not destroy them. Here are two photographs I took several years ago from the Red Sea rift near Eilat, ...
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  • 22.3k
5 votes

Would it be wise to monitor real time human activity to anticipate earthquakes?

If you have no prior information that event B depends on event A, it's a logical error to claim event A causes event B just because you find they are correlated. Let's say you collect a large data ...
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  • 3,780
5 votes

Relationship between tides and earthquakes

I don't find Ide et al's recent paper to be very convincing. They only studied three earthquakes - hardly a statistically representative sample. There are millions of earthquakes on record, and ...
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5 votes
Accepted

What is the current status of geophysical global cooling theory?

The effects one can see on other planets (and many of the icy moons in the solar system) are typically faults and scarps due to the fact that during cooling, these bodies contracted. Since the surface ...
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5 votes

What structures form due to the melting of subducting plates?

The subducting plate never really melt. It just gets recycled into the mantle (the Asthenosphere to be more precise), which is in solid state. It is plastic and deformable enough to allow convection ...
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  • 17.1k
5 votes
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What is the impact of divergent tectonic plates on old mountain ranges?

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 ...
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  • 22.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Did a crater cause the break up of Gondwanaland & separate Australia from Antarctica

To clarify: Your question is valid, although if you are referring to Dr. von Frese's words as paraphrased in this article, you may be conflating a potential "breakup initiation" with something like ...
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  • 495
4 votes

Source of sub-surface ringwoodite water

Is there no means through which such a large volume of surface water, perhaps delivered by comets, could be subsumed in to the mantle through tectonic processes? Definitely. This was happening ...
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  • 22.3k
4 votes

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains?

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains? The short answer is "no". Erosion destroys mountains. Period. Not slumping, not faulting, not "flowing back to flatness" in the absence of compression, ...
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4 votes

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains?

Mountains tend to fault and collapse back to flatter ground once the building forces cease. This is a very slow process and rarely leads to the complete elimination of a mountain range. So, left on ...
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  • 6,558
4 votes
Accepted

Is it coincidence that Antarctica is centered on the south pole?

It's an interesting thought. Antarctica is not so balanced as it might appear on the maps. East Antarctica is old, consisting probably of cratons and Proterozoic orogenic domains whiles West ...
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  • 5,896
4 votes

What is the impact of divergent tectonic plates on old mountain ranges?

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 ...
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  • 6,558
3 votes
Accepted

tectonic faults catalog for plot

A good database of tectonic plates is available at the Institute for Geophysics of the University of Texas. The database includes present conditions and past and future conditions. They provide ASCII ...
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  • 14.7k
3 votes
Accepted

Calculating the displacement of a fault

The process is carried out by solving an "inverse problem" and there are many ways to estimate the moment depending on the observable. For example if you have some measurements of ground deformation ...
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  • 2,361
3 votes

What tectonic structures delineate the split between the Australian and Indian tectonic plates?

The structures are not mature or well defined and deformation was thought to be diffused, i.e., distributed over a large area. Earthquakes such as the M8.6 2012 Indian Ocean earthquake (largest strike-...
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  • 2,361

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