WIT Press


Plate Motions, Mantle Convection And Chaos

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/ECO130051

Volume

175

Pages

11

Page Range

43 - 53

Published

2013

Size

5,231 kb

Author(s)

S. Qu´er´e & A. A. Berezin

Abstract

Plate tectonics is the theory that the earth’s lithosphere divided into several plates is linked to processes taking place deep inside the Earth. The motion of the plates can be divided into two terms: the horizontal divergence (ridge-trench system) and the radial vorticity (transform faults and plate spin). At present-day, the degree variance of the horizontal divergence presents two peaks at degrees 4 and 5. So far, these two peaks have been explained by (1) the dominant large scale flow that drives the plates (4000 km) and/or (2) the Pacific plate. In this paper, we propose a new explanation. We compare the two published plate reconstructions that span the Mesozoic and Cenozoic periods by imposing each of them on top of a convective code. While the constructal theory provides a conceptual framework for our modeling, we venture to mention the possibility of a presence of chaotic behavior in the self-organization of plates linked to mantle convection. Keywords: plate tectonics, mantle convection, plate motion reconstruction, constructal theory, chaos theory.

Keywords

Keywords: plate tectonics, mantle convection, plate motion reconstruction, constructal theory, chaos theory.