The mystery of missing tectonic plates: why they may rewrite the history of geology

The mountain belt hides secrets about the Earth's geological history, revealing clues about the ancient Pontos tectonic plate, a discovery that changes our understanding of the planet (picture information)

to understand Tectonic plate movements Which forms the hard outer layer of Land It is essential to understand the geological history of the planet. Their movements have affected how the planet's ancient geography and climate changed over time, and even where they are found Rare metals. But since then large oceanic plates have emerged from the geological past It disappeared into the Earth's mantle Through subduction. They left only fragments of rock hidden in it Mountain belts.

from Utrecht UniversityIn the Netherlands, we were able to rebuild Huge tectonic plate It was not previously known that it was a quarter size The Pacific Ocean. Other colleagues at the same university had predicted its existence more than 10 years ago based on parts of ancient tectonic plates found deep in the Earth's mantle.

Now the losses have been reconstructed through field investigations and details of the mountain belts Japan, Borneo, Filipino, New Guinea And New Zealand. To our surprise, Ocean remains In the north Borneo It must belong to the long-suspected painting that scholars have named Pontus. Now we have completely redone the surface. magnificence.

A study was also conducted on Tectonic zone The most complex plate structure on the planet: the surrounding area Filipino. Located in A Complex union Of different painting systems. The area consists almost entirely of Oceanic crustBut some pieces rise above sea level and show rocks of very different ages.

The Pontus Oceanic Plate reconstructed by Susanna van de Lagemaat: its position in the ancient Pacific Ocean 120 million years ago and its present implications (Susanna van de Lagemaat, Utrecht University)

Using geological data Painting movements Current in the region between Japan And New Zealand. These results Recently published in Natural earth sciences. This work revealed the extent of the area that has disappeared today Western Pacific region.

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We also implement Field work It is in North Borneo, where we find the most important piece of the puzzle. We thought we were looking at the remains of a lost painting that we already knew about. But our investigation of those rocks in Magnetic laboratory He pointed out that our finds originally came from the far north, and must have been so Remnants of a different paintingwas not known before.

But no Important conclusion Not yet come. 11 years ago we thought it was a relic Pontus They could be in the north JapanBut we have since disproved this theory.

the Monuments of Pontus It is not only found in the north Borneobut also in PalawanAn island to the west of FilipinoAnd in South China Sea. The research also showed that one Tectonic system Of cohesive plates extending from the south Japan until New Zealandand it must exist at least 150 million years. This is also a New discovery In this field.

Other colleagues at the same university had predicted its existence more than 10 years ago based on parts of ancient tectonic plates found deep in the Earth's mantle.

Previous expectations about existence Pontus It was possible because of the subducted plate leaves Footprints when you sink In the Earth's mantle: regions with anomalous temperatures or compositions that can be observed when… Seismographs They pick up earthquake signals.

These phenomena send waves through the core of the earth When they travel through an anomaly, such as part of an old painting, a signal interruption occurs. Geologists can attribute these Changes in existence Phenomena in the mantle, such as fragments of tectonic plates. This allows them to see 300 million years in the past.

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the Panel sectors The older ones have melted at the boundary between the mantle and the core. he Studying for 11 years It showed that great Subduction zone It must have crossed the ancient western Pacific Ocean, which separates what is known Pacific plates In the east Virtual panel Pontus in the west. This hypothesis has now been independently proven through this investigation.

*Susanna van de Lagmaat holds a PhD in Geology from the Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands. The research was conducted with Doy JJ van HinsbergenHe is also a Doctor of Geology from the same university.

Freddie Dawson

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