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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On Expanding Planets and Plate Tectonics

Note: This is a compilation of my comments about the subject matter, and much of it is of a controversial nature.

When a solid turns to a liquid or gas, generally there is an expansion and pressures tend to build up, which is what explains some CO2 geysers of icey moons. The state of matter in the atmospheres and subsurfaces really depend on the local temperatures and pressures of the planet or moon and the material present or the kind of material which arrives there by meteor or asteroid impact, or by other means. Perhaps that gives some validity to Neal Adam's animations of expanding planets. Although I reject the notion that the Earth and all other planets are purely expanding, perhaps they all are expanding to varying degrees, and perhaps contracting in other instances too, each case being unique.

There is no real reason why there can't be both subduction and an expanding/contracting Earth....just to put all of the physical processes on the table, see also Earthquake Storms and Continental Drift and Our Evolutionary History and also Earth's Interior and The Origin of Magmas.

In continental drift theory, perhaps water, or abiotic hydrocarbons, or liquefied magma acts as a lubricant upon which the plate boundaries slide. What may cause the apparent expansion is the oceanic crust lifting up the continental crust due to 'cooling' iron from the mantle expanding from a body centered cubic to a face centered cubic crystalline structure and thereby fill the gaps resulting in volcanism. My bet is the rate of seafloor spreading at the oceanic trenches is greater than the rate of subduction at the mountainous subduction zones.

If that is the case, then perhaps there should be a longterm receding seas effect being observed, but also the rate of iceberg melting from the end of the last worldwide ice age up through the projected future of global warming ought to be contributing to sea levels rising at an even greater rate than the relatively slow process of expansion is making them recede (however, icebergs do float on water, so in liquid form, once the water warms above 4 Celcius they water actually should start getting less dense and receding once again). Will people need to live in underwater sea domes or on artificial islands someday in the future? It certainly isn't a unique trend considering that many of the most ancient cities being found in the world are actually beneath the sea level.

In clearing up one commonly thought myth, oceanic crust don't actually sink straight down at subduction zones, any angle besides 90 degrees straight down is usually observed since the continental crust which is sitting on top of the oceanic crust tends to shift around and also slowly rises upward over time, also contributing to the "the mysterious receding seas" effect that have been observed in some parts of the Earth yet not in other parts, and also mountain ranges where the continental crust has been pinched upward as well. Maybe some of the continents have historically rose up also due also to glacier melts reducing weight on them as the water rushed down to the ocean level, and simultaneously sea levels rose due to all the water rushing down to sea level as well thereby creating a situation where the net sea level rose in some places and fell in other places.

Seismologists and geologists determine the kind of plate boundaries that exist at various continental and oceanic fault lines by the type of siesmic wave that is encountered during earthquake events. Throughout geological history, there must have been tremendous energies involved in the different tectonic plates overcoming friction and sliding above and below each other and some of them sinking down beneath each other as per the rock cycle. I've stated that perhaps water or oil or molten rock or some other substance may have provided the lubrication for those processes, however also to consider is that fusion/fission and iron expansion due to heat, and possibly even antimatter annihilations or static electrical pressures or even microblack hole formations deeper down in the core as being possible power sources in driving the plate tectonics as well.

As for Mars, with all the various young valleys and older plateaus, it is mainly composed of iron, I doubt it is expanding anymore as there are no active volcanoes anymore as far as astro-geologists know, aside from the formation of methane plumes....perhaps Mars' present geological inactivity helps demonstrate my theory of the historically expanding iron core on Mars as well as the presently expanding iron core on Earth. If Mars had the right temperature and pressure values on the surface, it would have an atmosphere and ocean similar to that found on the Earth with water erosion and the whole likes, but since it doesn't that thereby allows Mars to have long term craters from meteorites and possibly also from dry ice bombs/geysers as well. Modern theory says that the erosion of Mars is mostly due to dust storms and from the extremely rare water melts which are atmospheric in nature, but could possibly be from electromagnetic space weather as well given that there is lightning on Mars.