A study in the sky identifies the main driver of tectonic movements on Earth


27 ene 2022 22:40 GMT

According to new calculations, the invisible force moving and colliding plates is not heat from the core of our planet.

Convection currents from the Earth’s hot core are usually cited as responsible for the movement of the continents and tectonic plates, which make up parts of the Earth’s crust, or lithosphere. However, many geophysicists have questioned the hypothesis that the effect of this heat and its changing distribution produced enough energy to move the planet’s outer layer.

A team of three researchers looked at the sky for an explanation for this phenomenon and hypothesized that they found it in the interaction of the gravitational forces of the Sun, Moon and Earth itself.

The key to his hypothesis was revealed on January 27 in magazine GSA Special Papers (of the Geological Society of America), is the so-called ‘center of gravity’, Axis of masses in a system of bodies that revolve in orbits. It’s unbalanced, according to the study, and the “mistake” is lunar drift, the same thing that causes tides.

The elongation of the lunar orbit and the monthly radial flight of the pari center by about 1000 km are two related phenomena and Because of the attraction of the sun on the moon, which is 2.2 times larger than Earth’s on its natural satellite. Temperatures in the upper layers of the planet are caused by the intrusion of radiant heat from inside in space, but A combination of acceleration and inertia It has a greater influence on movements in the lithosphere.

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The imbalance generates tensions that “the warm, thick and strong inner layers of the planet can withstand”, while Thin, cold, and brittle lithosphere responds by cracking.As explained by the study’s first author, Anne Hoffmeister, a geophysicist at Washington University in St. Louis. Without the Moon and the oscillations it causes between the barycenter and the physical center of the Earth, we would not see the plate activity that we observe.

In this sense, Hofmeister says and picks up a college statementour moon is “exceptionally large” and its size and specific distance from the sun are “essential.”

To validate this idea, the researchers applied their calculations to several rocky planets in the solar system and their moons, none of which has confirmed tectonic activity so far.

The study shows that the presence and longevity of volcanoes and tectonics depends on a particular combination of the moon’s size, its orbital direction, and its proximity to the sun.

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Lovell Loxley

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