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582 New Concepts in Global Tectonics Journal, V. 4, No. 4, December 2016.
Great deep earthquakes and solar cycles
Dong Choi1 and John Casey2
International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center, Canberra, Australia, Orlando, Florida, USA
Abstract: Great deep earthquakes (300 km or deeper with magnitude 7.0 or greater) are considered the first tangible appearance of the Earth’s outer core-derived thermal energy, which later generates a series of shallow earthquakes. Therefore, a right understanding of great deep earthquakes is pivotal in predicting catastrophic earthquakes at the shallow Earth. It is also important to understand Earth’s geodynamic processes and their interaction with other planets, such as the Sun. Historically the great deep earthquakes have occurred sporadically, zero to four per year since 1970 only in some limited areas in the Pacific Ocean and its surroundings. They were almost absent prior to 1984, but suddenly increased in 1990 onwards when the Schwabe (11 year) solar cycle 22 peaked; after which solar activity has been continuing to decline – implying the arrival of a major prolonged solar low cycle or an hibernation stage possibly comparable to the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830) or the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715); both of which had accompanied historic catastrophic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The great deep earthquake fluctuation is mainly controlled by two combined cycles, the 11-year Schwabe cycle and a longer 22 year Hale cycle, but obviously longer term solar cycles, such as 100 and 206 year cycles, are also affecting. Further study is required. Since 1990 the Earth’s core is considered to have entered an active phase and has been discharging powerful thermal energy into the mantle. The recent spate of unusually strong earthquakes worldwide support this assertion. We expect this trend to continue and strengthen for the coming 20 to 30 years.
Keywords: earthquake-solar cycle anticorrelation, 11-year solar cycle, 22-year solar cycle, great deep earthquake, Eddie Minimum, thermal energy transmigration
(Received on 7 October 2016. Accepted on 26 December 2016)
Our studies on the Sun-Earth interaction on the basis of earthquakes/volcanic eruptions and solar cycles have clarified many intriguing relationships between the Sun and the Earth. Choi and Maslov (2010) established a reversed correlation between the solar activity and earthquakes (Fig. 1) after the extensive data analysis and review of published references. Casey (2010) noted that the strongest volcanic and seismic activities in the continental USA in the last 300 to 350 years have occurred during the major solar minimums. Some earlier works such as Simpson (1967) also noted the increased earthquake activity during the solar declining period. The anticorrelation between the Sun and seismic/volcanic activities has been supported by many recent studies by the present Authors and other researchers (Choi and Tsunoda, 2011; Choi et al., 2014; Casey et al., 2016).
An underlying physical mechanism of this Sun and Earth interaction requires further study: Gregori (2002) attributes to Earth’s core being a leaky capacitor or a battery; when solar activity is high, the Earth’s core is charged, whereas when the Sun’s activity is in low phase, the core in turn discharges energy.
Figure 1. Solar cycle (left) and the earthquake-solar cycle anticorrelation (right) for strong, shallow earthquakes.
On the other hand, an improved understanding of earthquake mechanism and precursory signals has led to many successful earthquake predictions by a team of International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center and other colleagues in recent years, as demonstrated in many papers on the September 2015 M8.3 Chile Earthquake (Césped, Choi and Casey, Davidson, Straser et al., Venkatanathan et al., U-Yen, and Wu, - all in NCGT Journal, v. 3, no. 4, p. 383-408, 2015). The April 2016 Kumamoto Japan earthquake was linked to a swarm of deep quakes in 2010 in the Celebes Sea, Philippines (Tsunoda and Choi, 2016). This quake also revealed several critical precursors and was successfully predicted (Cataldi et al., 2016; Hayakawa and Asano, 2016; Wu, 2016).
These successful predictions and improved understanding of earthquake generation mechanisms tell us; 1) important role of deep earthquakes, 300 km or deeper, with magnitude, 7.0 or greater, in generating catastrophic earthquakes at shallow Earth, validating the thermal transmigration concept by Blot (1976) (see also Grover, 1998), and 2) the interaction between planets and Earth, especially the Sun and Earth and their cycles in triggering shallow earthquakes (Kolvankar, 2011; Gregori, 2015; and others).
Because the deep (300 km or deeper) great earthquakes (magnitude 7.0 or greater) are considered the first tangible appearance of the Earth’s outer-core discharged thermal energy, they are considered to directly reflect the activity of the outer core which is intricately interacting with the solar activity and its cycle. We consider the great deep quakes, particularly in the South Fiji –Lau Basins, Southwest Pacific, most sensitively respond to the outer core activity, because the region is the site where thermal plume rises directly from the outer core according to the mantle tomography (Kawakami et al., 1996).
The clarification of the solar cycle and great deep quakes is all the more important today as we have entered a major solar low cycle, which is comparable to the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830) or Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), or solar hibernation (Casey, 2010 and 2014; Casey et al., 2016), which had accompanied strongest earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
All the earthquake records used in this study come from the IRIS archives (, with reference to the USGS archives for verification. There are some minor discrepancies between them, especially in magnitude assignment.
Deep and great earthquakes are distributed mostly in the western Pacific region and Southeast Asia. They also occur in South America (Fig. 2). The most frequent occurrence is the South Fiji Basin – Lau Basin, Southwest Pacific where superplume rises from the Earth’s outer core (Kawakai et al., 1994). In all areas deep earthquakes distribute linearly, implying the control by deep-seated fracture systems (Choi, 2005).
Figure 2. Great (M6.5+) earthquakes in the western Pacific/SE Asia (left) and South America (right). Generated from IRIS website ( For greater clarity only quakes deeper than 300 km are displayed on the left map. The right map includes all depths. Note linearly arranged distribution, suggesting the involvement of deep fracture systems reaching the upper mantle.
1) South Fiji Basin and Lau Basin, Southwest Pacific
The following table (Table 1) lists the great deep earthquakes used for this study. Their depth-year diagram is shown at the top of Fig. 3. The record shows no M7.0+ deep earthquakes from 1970 to 1984 in the region. This quiescence was interrupted in 1985-86, but then became quiet again until 1991. After that the region has become seismically very active up until today, 2016.
Table 1. List of deep and very strong earthquakes in the Fiji region, Southwest Pacific. Quakes with magnitude 6.5 or greater and depth deeper than 350 km were extracted.
Year Month Day Time UTC Mag Lat Lon Depth km Region
1985 8 28 20:50:49 6.6 -21 -178.99 628.8 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1986 5 26 18:40:45 6.8 -21.78 -179.1 590.2 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1986 6 16 10:48:27 7.1 -21.93 -178.96 557.1 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1987 2 10 0:59:30 6.5 -19.36 -177.52 409.7 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1991 9 30 0:21:47 6.9 -20.9 -178.57 579.5 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1992 7 11 10:44:20 7.2 -22.5 -178.39 381.6 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
1993 4 16 14:08:38 6.9 -17.76 -178.85 563.6 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1994 3 9 23:28:04 7.5 -17.95 -178.43 533.9 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1994 3 31 22:40:51 6.5 -21.99 -179.52 570.5 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1994 10 27 22:20:27 6.6 -25.81 179.35 506.3 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
1996 8 5 22:38:20 7.3 -20.72 -178.29 531.2 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1996 10 19 14:53:47 6.9 -20.41 -178.44 572.6 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1997 9 4 4:23:35 6.8 -26.5 178.32 608 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
1998 1 27 21:05:42 6.5 -22.46 179.12 588.1 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
1998 3 29 19:48:12 7.1 -17.66 -178.99  499.6 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
1998 5 16 2:22:02 6.8 -22.21 -179.5 570.5 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
2000 12 18 1:19:21 6.5 -21.15 -179.12 617.7 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2001 4 28 4:49:51 6.9 -18.06 -176.94 340.6 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2002 6 30 21:29:36 6.5 -22.24 179.24 626.5 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
2002 8 19 11:01:02 7.6 -21.7 -179.46 587.7 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2002 8 19 11:08:22 7.7 -23.87 178.45 649.9 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
2003 1 4 5:15:05 6.5 -20.65 -177.63 390.4 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2004 7 15 4:27:13 7 -17.7 -178.77 560 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2004 11 17 21:09:09 6.6 -20.05 -178.72 592.2 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2006 1 2 22:13:40 7.1 -19.97 -178.11 584.1 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2006 2 2 12:48:43 6.7 -17.83 -178.28 599.6 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2007 5 6 21:11:53 6.5 -19.47 -179.33 678.6 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2007 10 5 7:17:54 6.5 -25.2 179.45 521.3 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
2007 10 16 21:05:43 6.6 -25.74 179.5 501.2 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
2008 1 15 17:52:16 6.5 -21.99 -179.58 597 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2009 11 9 10:44:54 7.3 -17.27 178.45 591.3 FIJI ISLANDS
2011 2 21 10:57:52 6.5 -26.14 178.39 558.1 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
2011 7 29 7:42:23 6.7 -23.8 179.75 532 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
2011 9 15 19:31:04 7.3 -21.61 -179.53 644.6 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2013 11 23 7:48:32 6.5 -17.1 -176.56 377 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2014 3 26 3:29:36 6.5 -26.09 179.28 493.1 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
2014 5 4 9:15:52 6.6 -24.61 179.09 527 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
2014 7 21 14:54:41 6.9 -19.83 -178.46 616.4 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2014 11 1 18:57:22 7.1 -19.7 -177.79 434.4 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
2016 5 28 5:38:51 6.6 -22.02 -178.16 416.8 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
2016 9 24 21:28:42 6.8 -19.84 -178.27 594.5 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
Their depth-year plot is shown below, Fig. 3. The concentration is seen in the 500 to 600 km depth range. Note the M7.0+ quakes which have increased from 1992; they are almost absent prior to 1992 except 1985.
Fig. 3. Depth- time (year) diagram of the M6.5+ deep quakes since 1970. Note the absence or sparsity of samples prior to 1984, and an overall increase from 1990.
2) Solomon - Papua New Guinea
The following table (Table 2) is a list of M6.5+, deep quakes in this region (Fig. 2). Only five quakes with a depth range of 386–500 km have been registered; three of them in the years from 2010 to 2016. Only one quake has a magnitude over 7.0+. Because of the small number of samples and isolated, narrow occurrence, this area is excluded in Figs. 3 and 6.
It is noted; 1) no samples deeper than 490 km, and 2) no quakes prior to 1988 and frequent occurrence from 2010 onwards, which follow the trends observed in other deep quake regions.
Table 2. List of deep, very strong earthquakes in the Bougainville-New Ireland region.
Year Month Day Time UTC Mag Lat Lon Depth km Region
1989 8 21 18:25:40 6.5 -4.1 154.49 482.7 SOLOMON ISLANDS
1995 6 24 6:58:08 6.8 -3.96 153.91 403.8 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
2010 3 20 14:00:50 6.6 -3.38 152.28 418.9 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
2013 7 7 18:35:30 7.3 -3.92 153.92 386.3 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
2016 8 31 3:11:36 6.7 -3.69 152.79 499.1 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
3) Southeast Asia
Many earthquakes in the studied categories have been registered in the Southeast Asia; Flores Sea, Java Sea, Banda Sea and Celebes-Mindanao (Fig. 4). They are listed in Table 3.
This area follows the same trend as others; sparsity or total absence of great deep quakes prior to 1990, and the peak activity in 2009 to 2011 (Fig. 3).
Figure 4. Deep great earthquakes in the Southeast Asia.
Table 3. Deep (350 km+) and very strong (M6.5+) earthquakes, Southeast Asia (Indonesia and Philippines) from 1970 to 2016 extracted from the IRIS website.
Year Month Day Time UTC Mag Lat Lon Depth km Region
1972 4 4 22:43:06 6.6 -7.47 125.56 -375.5 BANDA SEA
1984 3 5 3:33:51 7.3 8.17 123.77 -656.1 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
1991 6 7 11:51:24 6.9 -7.11 122.76 -505.4 FLORES SEA
1992 8 2 12:03:20 6.6 -7.12 121.76 -484.4 FLORES SEA
1994 9 28 16:39:53 6.6 -5.76 110.42 -660.5 JAVA SEA
1994 11 15 20:18:11 6.5 -5.62 110.26 -567.7 JAVA SEA
1996 6 17 11:22:18 7.7 -7.11 122.61 -589.5 FLORES SEA
2000 8 7 14:33:56 6.5 -6.98 123.43 -666.1 BANDA SEA
2003 5 26 23:13:31 6.8 6.77 123.81 -586.9 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
2004 7 25 14:35:17 7.3 -2.49 103.97 -581.9 SOUTHERN SUMATERA, INDONESIA
2005 2 5 12:23:18 7 5.29 123.44 -540.4 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
2006 1 27 16:58:54 7.5 -5.45 128.19 -403.6 BANDA SEA
2009 8 28 1:51:19 6.9 -7.2 123.46 -640.1 BANDA SEA
2009 10 4 10:58:00 6.6 6.67 123.51 -635 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
2009 10 7 21:41:14 6.8 4.09 122.54 -586.8 CELEBES SEA
2010 7 23 23:15:09 7.5 6.74 123.33 -633.7 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
2010 7 23 22:51:13 7.7 6.42 123.58 -584.7 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
2010 7 23 22:08:11 7.3 6.71 123.49 -610.2 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
2010 7 24 5:35:01 6.6 6.17 123.56 -564.7 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
2010 7 29 7:31:56 6.6 6.56 123.36 -615.8 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
2011 2 10 14:41:58 6.5 4.08 123.04 -525 CELEBES SEA
2011 2 10 14:39:27 6.5 4.2 122.97 -523.2 CELEBES SEA
2011 3 10 17:08:36 6.6 -6.87 116.72 -510.6 BALI SEA
2011 8 30 6:57:41 6.9 -6.36 126.75 -469.8 BANDA SEA
2014 12 2 5:11:31 6.6 6.09 123.13 -614 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
2015 2 27 13:45:05 7 -7.29 122.53 -552.3 FLORES SEA
2016 10 19 0:26:01 6.6 -4.86 108.16 -614 JAVA SEA
4) Offshore South Japan, Sea of Japan and Okhotsk Sea
Numerous deep quakes with magnitude 6.5 or greater have been registered in these regions (Fig. 5). Like other areas, the quakes in this category burst from 1984 onwards. Before 1984, on the contrary, quake occurred rarely.
As noted earlier, the quakes in this category directly reflect the orthogonal deep fracture patterns formed in early stage of the Earth’s formation, Precambrian (Choi, 2005).
It should be noted that a strongest deep quake (M8.4) since 1970 occurred in the northernmost Okhotsk Sea in 2013 (Fig. 3 and Table 1, yellow highlight). This energy is expected to reappear at shallow depth in 2017 to 2018 offshore Kamchatka as gigantic earthquakes.
Figure 5. Very strong earthquakes (M6.5+) around Japan and the Okhotsk Sea. Note linear and orthogonal distribution of deep earthquakes, which reflects the occurrence of deep quakes along deep-seated fault zones.
Table 4. List of earthquakes included in analysis of this study.
Year Month Day Time UTC Mag Lat Lon Depth km Region
1970 8 30 17:46:08 6.5 52.36 151.64 -643 SEA OF OKHOTSK
1973 9 29 0:44:00 6.5 41.93 130.99 -567.4 NORTH KOREA
1978 3 7 2:48:47 6.9 31.99 137.61 -440.6 SOUTH OF HONSHU, JAPAN
1984 1 1 9:03:40 7.2 33.62 136.8 -386.4 NEAR S. COAST OF WESTERN HONSHU
1984 3 6 2:17:20 7.4 29.35 138.92 -454.2 SOUTH OF HONSHU, JAPAN
1985 4 3 20:21:36 6.5 28.27 139.55 -475.4 BONIN ISLANDS REGION
1986 2 3 20:47:36 6.5 27.87 139.51 -526.8 BONIN ISLANDS REGION
1987 5 7 3:05:48 6.8 46.75 139.22 -417.1 NEAR SOUTHEAST COAST OF RUSSIA
1987 5 18 3:07:34 6.8 49.24 147.69 -545.6 SEA OF OKHOTSK
1988 9 7 11:53:25 6.7 30.31 137.5 -501.8 SOUTH OF HONSHU, JAPAN
1990 5 12 4:50:08 7.2 49.05 141.88 -602.5 SAKHALIN ISLAND
1991 5 3 2:14:18 6.7 28.09 139.67 -471.4 BONIN ISLANDS REGION
1992 1 20 13:37:04 6.7 27.93 139.47 -521.3 BONIN ISLANDS REGION
1992 10 30 2:49:50 6.5 29.95 139.1 -418.5 SOUTH OF HONSHU, JAPAN
1993 1 19 14:39:26 6.6 38.68 133.56 -446.6 SEA OF JAPAN
1993 10 11 15:54:22 6.8 32.05 137.97 -366.7 SOUTH OF HONSHU, JAPAN
1994 7 21 18:36:30 7.3 42.37 132.91 -458.8 NEAR SOUTHEAST COAST OF RUSSIA
1996 3 16 22:04:06 6.7 28.97 138.98 -481.5 BONIN ISLANDS REGION
1998 8 20 6:40:56 7.1 28.93 139.36 -442.8 BONIN ISLANDS REGION
1999 4 8 13:10:34 7.1 43.61 130.41 -564.1 E. RUSSIA-N.E. CHINA BORDER REG.
2000 8 6 7:27:14 7.3 28.8 139.6 -416.9 BONIN ISLANDS REGION
2002 6 28 17:19:30 7.3 43.76 130.67 -568 E. RUSSIA-N.E. CHINA BORDER REG.
2002 11 17 4:53:55 7.3 47.77 145.99 -483.9 SEA OF OKHOTSK
2003 7 27 6:25:31 6.8 47.1 139.21 -467.5 NEAR SOUTHEAST COAST OF RUSSIA
2007 7 16 14:17:37 6.8 36.86 134.82 -349 SEA OF JAPAN
2008 7 5 2:12:06 7.7 53.95 152.86 -646.1 SEA OF OKHOTSK
2008 11 24 9:03:00 7.3 54.22 154.29 -505.3 SEA OF OKHOTSK
2009 8 9 10:55:56 7.1 33.15 138.06 -302.2 SOUTH OF HONSHU, JAPAN
2010 2 18 1:13:18 6.9 42.6 130.7 -573.7 E. RUSSIA-N.E. CHINA BORDER REG.
2010 11 30 3:24:41 6.8 28.39 139.24 -485 BONIN ISLANDS REGION
2011 1 12 21:32:53 6.5 26.97 139.88 -512 BONIN ISLANDS REGION
2012 1 1 5:27:55 6.8 31.46 138.07 -365.3 SOUTH OF HONSHU, JAPAN
2012 8 14 2:59:38 7.7 49.8 145.06 -583.2 SEA OF OKHOTSK
2013 5 24 5:44:48 8.4 54.89 153.22 -598.1 SEA OF OKHOTSK
2013 5 24 14:56:31 6.7 52.24 151.44 -624 SEA OF OKHOTSK
2013 9 4 0:18:24 6.5 30.01 138.79 -407 SOUTH OF HONSHU, JAPAN
2015 5 30 11:23:02 7.8 27.83 140.49 -677.6 BONIN ISLANDS REGION
5) South America
As seen in the list below (Table 5) and the depth-year diagram (Fig. 8), there are no M6.5+ quakes in the 300-500 km depth window in South America. Their depths are concentrated around 600 km. Like other areas, the quakes are sporadic prior to 1983, after which steady appearance is seen.
Table 5. List of deep, very strong earthquakes analysed in this study. See Figs. 2 and 3 for geographic and depth-year distributions, respectively.
Year Month Day Time UTC Mag Lat Lon Depth km Region
1970 7 31 17:08:05 6.5 -1.46 -72.56 -653 COLOMBIA
1983 12 21 12:05:06 7 -28.13 -63.15 -591.9 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
1985 5 1 13:27:57 6.6 -9.21 -71.22 -612.6 PERU-BRAZIL BORDER REGION
1985 10 31 21:49:19 6.5 -28.69 -63.14 -588.9 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
1989 5 5 18:28:40 7 -8.28 -71.39 -605.9 WESTERN BRAZIL
1990 10 17 14:30:15 7 -11.01 -70.77 -625.9 PERU-BRAZIL BORDER REGION
1991 6 23 21:22:29 7.1 -26.75 -63.3 -558.4 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
1994 1 10 15:53:50 6.9 -13.34 -69.41 -604.9 PERU-BOLIVIA BORDER REGION
1994 4 29 7:11:29 6.9 -28.25 -63.22 -554.4 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
1994 5 10 6:36:28 6.9 -28.51 -63.02 -604.2 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
1994 6 9 0:33:16 8.2 -13.87 -67.51 -640 NORTHERN BOLIVIA
1994 8 19 10:02:51 6.5 -26.6 -63.38 -558.3 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
1997 11 28 22:53:42 6.6 -13.77 -68.8 -599.8 PERU-BOLIVIA BORDER REGION
2000 4 23 9:27:23 7 -28.29 -62.94 -603.6 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
2002 10 12 20:09:09 6.9 -8.32 -71.67 -516.4 WESTERN BRAZIL
2003 6 20 6:19:40 7 -7.63 -71.71 -572 WESTERN BRAZIL
2005 3 21 12:23:53 6.9 -24.94 -63.46 -576.6 SALTA PROVINCE, ARGENTINA
2006 11 13 1:26:36 6.8 -26.16 -63.29 -581.9 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
2010 5 24 16:18:28 6.5 -8.12 -71.64 -582.1 WESTERN BRAZIL
2011 1 1 9:56:58 7 -26.8 -63.14 -576.8 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
2011 9 2 13:47:09 6.7 -28.4 -63.03 -578.9 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
2011 11 22 18:48:16 6.6 -15.36 -65.09 -549.9 CENTRAL BOLIVIA
2012 5 28 5:07:23 6.7 -28.04 -63.09 -586.9 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO PROV., ARG.
2015 11 24 22:45:38 7.6 -10.55 -70.9 -600.6 PERU-BRAZIL BORDER REGION
2015 11 24 22:50:53 7.6 -10.05 -71.02 -611.7 PERU-BRAZIL BORDER REGION
2015 11 26 5:45:18 6.7 -9.19 -71.29 -599.4 PERU-BRAZIL BORDER REGION
1) General trends in great deep quake occurrence
This section compares the solar cycle and the great deep earthquakes scanned through in the foregoing pages. A summary figure of the depth-year diagram is shown in Fig. 3, and that of the frequency-year in Fig. 6.
Each region has some distinctive trends, but on the whole the following trends are recognized.
- The complete absence or sparsity of great deep earthquakes throughout the globe prior to 1984.
- A peak in 1984 followed by a relative quiescence from 1985 to 1989. Note here that the M7.0+ quake
peak in 1984 in IRIS archive (Fig. 6) is not seen in USGS archive (see Fig. 7) – they were downgraded below 7.0 magnitude in the latter.
- Another outstanding peak in 1994 which is seen in all study areas. It is followed by an overall active
phase until 1998, which is particularly well observed in South Fiji-Lau Basins. A quiet period ensued
from 1999 to 2001.
- A sudden burst in 2002 which is followed by a relatively active phase until 2010.
- A peak in 2015 which is seen commonly in Southeast Asia, Sea of Japan and South America, but it is
not seen in Fiji.
In terms of the depth of hypocenters, most regions (Fiji, SE Asia and South America) have a concentration in 550 and 620 km, but the South of Japan, Sea of Japan and Okhotsk Sea areas are slightly shallower, 400 to 600 km. As stated earlier, it is worthy to note - the narrow hypocentre range (around 600 km) and the complete absence of South American deep quakes between 300 and 500 km.
2) Comparison of great deep quake trends and solar cycles
The solar cycle and earthquake frequency are compared in Fig. 6. If we see the peaks of magnitude 7+ shocks with three or more per year in the second top figure, the spikes are, 1984, 1994, 2020, 2010 and 2015. All of them are located at the start of the lowering cycle, during the lowering period, or the later stage of the trough.
The Southwest Pacific record is most remarkable. All of the high activity periods represented by M6.5+ quakes almost perfectly correlate to the solar cycle lows or troughs. However, other areas, do not necessary follow this trend, although overall trend remains the same – heightened activity during the trough. Here the highest activity in 2010 in Southeast Asia is most outstanding. Note here a disturbed solar cycle trend between cycles 23 and 24; unusually longer lowering cycle. In South America 2015 was the most active year – which corresponds to the early lowering period after the cycle 24 peaked in 2012.
As illustrated in the M7.0+ quake fluctuation from 1970 to 2016 (Fig. 6, second figure from the top), the overall frequency of the great deep quakes became much more active after 1994 with a precursory minor peak in 1990. This fact coincides with the declining solar curve started from the cycle 22 peak, 1990 (Fig. 6 top figure), which is still continuing today, and expected to last 20 to 30 years more – coined solar hibernation by Casey (2014). Recently the solar physics community named the expected solar minimum covering solar cycles 24, 25 and 26, the “Eddy” Minimum (
Figure 6. Histogram of M6.5+ quakes with emphasis on M7.0+ quakes and their comparison with the solar cycle curve. The list in this figure is solely based on the IRIS registered earthquakes which are somewhat different from the USGS data base as seen in Fig. 7. The “Earth core active phase” from Choi and Maslov (2010), and “seismo-volcanic quiescence” from Choi (2010) and Tsunoda et al. (2013). Blue shade indicates the lowering and trough of solar cycle.
The heightened seismic activity possibly coming from the increased core activity (“Earth core active phase”) since 1990 has been discovered by Choi and Maslov (2010). It has been also summarized by Choi
et al. (2014) based on the worldwide seismic and volcanic eruption records. This is best illustrated in Fig. 7, in which clear correlation is seen in the coincidence between the “Earth core active phase” and the sudden increase in seismic activity from 1990.
Figure 7. Earthquakes and solar cycle. Cited from Choi et al. (2014). This figure is solely based on USGS NEIC archives. Note a sudden increase in both shallow and deep seismic activity started from 1990 which coincides with the “Earth core active phase” by Choi and Maslov (2010). All of the California’s M7.0+ quakes have occurred exclusively after 1991. Note, 1) major volcanic eruptions occurred at the second peak or the early stage of lowering cycle, and 2) deep precursory quakes of Japan’s M9.0 quake in 2011 occurred in 2005 to 2007 (Choi, 2011) which belong to the lowering period of cycle 23.
Great deep earthquakes show correlation with the combined cycles: 1) the 11 year Schwabe cycle, and 2) the 22 year Hale cycle which coincides with the peak of the 11 year cycle 23. The latter is most conspicuous – prior to 1990, almost no great deep quakes, except for a peak in 1984 indicated in the IRIS archive (note: this peak is not present in the USGS archive).
Since this analysis covered the period 1970 to 2016, the possibility exists for the influence of longer
duration solar cycles than the 11 and 22 year cycles upon the frequency and extent of deep earthquakes.
Further analysis is required. For example previous work by Casey (2010, 2013 and 2014) has shown a 100 and 206 year cycle in solar activity.
1. The Earth’s core activity has entered an active phase since 1990 as seen in the sudden appearance of
great deep earthquakes after 1990.
2. This 1990 is the starting year of unusual behaviour of solar activity – lingering lowering period of the 11-year cycles (between cycle nos. 23, 24 and 25), and declining peaks of cycles.
3. We expect the stronger release of thermal energy from the outer core to continue for the coming 20 to 30 years, which would generate catastrophic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions throughout the globe.
4. Regional differences in the timing, intensity, and depth of deep quakes indicate the presence of other factors in deep quakes and solar activity.
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NCGT Journal, v. 1, no. 3, September 2013. 2
Earthquakes and surge tectonics
As some of you may be aware, in February of this year the International Earthquake  and Volcano Prediction Center (IEVPC) warned of possible strong earthquakes in  Yunnan, South China ( This was based on various signals we had  detected from the region since late last year. In accordance with our prediction,  an M6.6 quake occurred on 20 April 2013 in Sichuan near the predicted area. More  than 150 people died. Immediately after the quake, Chinese National TV interviewed  John Casey, Chairman of the IEVPC, at the head office in Florida, and broadcast it  in real time throughout their country. The second quake (M5.8) occurred on 31  August 2013 in northernmost Yunnan. Since then the region’s seismo-electromagnetic  activities have been gradually abating.

___Our comprehensive geological-seismological analysis conducted for this  particular prediction confirmed a very interesting fact: the presence of a live  surge channel occupying the Yunnan and Sichuan region (originally described by  Meyerhoff et al., 1992 & 1996).
Since the 1970s it has hosted a series of strong earthquakes along a major NE-SW  tectonic belt that connects to the Tan-lu Fault in North China and, further  northwards, a deep tectonic/seismic zone in the Okhotsk Sea.

___Along the Myanmar-South China segment of this tectonic zone, three major  earthquakes have occurred since late last year – an M6.8 quake in central Myanmar  in November 2012 (IEVPC colleagues successfully predicted it with pinpoint  accuracy),
an M6.6 in Sichuan in April 2013, and an M5.8 in northernmost Yunnan in August  2013. Their geological significance in relation to the Yunnan surge channel is  discussed on pages 45-55 of this NCGT issue.
The Yunnan surge channel develops on the axis of the northern end of the Borneo- Vanuatu Geanticline, which has been heavily oceanized in the SW Pacific and  Southeast Asian region.

___As stated in my article in this issue (pages 45-55), the Borneo-Vanuatu  Geanticline is a trunk surge channel through which the energy derived from the  superplume in the SW Pacific migrates northward, and the process occurring in the  Yunnan surge channel can be regarded as an incipient stage of oceanization.
The IEVPC’s continuing successful earthquake predictions are the result of  combining the right seismo-tectonic model with medium- and short-term signal  detection tools.

___The new earthquake model is based on thermal energy derived from the Earth’s  outer core, its transmigration along deep fracture systems and surge channels, trap  structures, geological history represented by orogenic events, and local and  regional geology.
Thermal energy (or perhaps more properly, thermal-electromagnetic energy)  transmigration is the heart of the IEVPC’s working model. Hence a good knowledge of  local and regional geological structure is essential in predicting in which  direction the generated energy will flow, particularly in areas where strong deep  earthquakes have occurred. In this context, surge tectonics is instrumental in our  prediction approach. Earthquakes as well as volcanic activities cannot happen  without heat input into the upper mantle and the crust.

___Like hydrocarbons, migrating or flowing thermal energy accumulates in structural  highs with effective seals in the upper mantle. We therefore assume that earthquake  belts have underlying channels through which thermal energy can flow – they are  often developed in ancient or young orogenic/mobile belts that form structural  highs in the mantle.
As a practising field geologist, I am convinced that surge tectonics is a  comprehensive and workable tectonic concept that can explain most of what we  observe at the Earth’s surface and in its interior, although some updates are  needed to incorporate new data that have appeared since 1996, when the most recent  version of surge tectonics was published. In this issue Karsten Storetvedt presents  a critique of surge tectonics and a defence of wrench tectonics (p. 56-102), to  which David Pratt (p. 103-117) and Arthur Meyerhoff’s children (p. 117-121) reply.  Another response by Taner et al. will be published in the next issue. We welcome  this open debate in the pages of the NCGT Journal.
Meyerhoff, A.A., Taner, I., Morris, A.E.L., Martin, B.D., Agocs, W.B. and  Meyerhoff, H., 1992. Surge tectonics. In:
Chatterjee, S. and Hotton, N. III (eds.), New Concepts in Global Tectonics, Texas  Tech Univ. Press, Lubbock. p. 309-409.
Meyerhoff, A.A., Taner, I., Morris, A.E.L., Agocs, W.B., Kamen-kaye, M., Bhat,  M.I., Smoot, N.C., Choi, D.R. and
Meyerhoff-Hull, D. (ed.), 1996. Surge tectonics: a new hypothesis of global  geodynamics. Kluwer Academic
Publishers, 323p.
NCGT Journal, v. 1, no. 3, September 2013.

An Archean geanticline stretching from the South Pacific to Siberia, Dong R.  CHOI………………………………..45
(The Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline was found to connect to the Siberian Craton via the  East Asia Reflective Axial Belt in China. This super antilinal trend forms one of  the most outstanding Archean structural elements on the Earth’s surface together  with the “North-South American Superantilcine”, an antipodal counterpart in the  western hemisphere)
NCGT Journal, v. 1, no. 3, September 2013.
Dong R. CHOI
International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center
Canberra, Australia
Abstract: The Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline reported earlier by the author was found  to connect to the Siberian Craton via the East Asia Reflective Axial Belt in China.  This geanticlinal trend, here called the South Pacific-Siberia Geanticline” (SPSG),  forms one of the most outstanding Archean structural elements on the Earth’s  surface, together with the “North-South American Geanticline” (NSAG), an antipodal  counterpart in the western hemisphere.

___The SPSG has been subject to strong magmatic and tectonic activities in the  Proterozoic and Phanerozoic, notably in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia region  where uplift and oceanization-induced subsidence took place in the Cenozoic.
The Yunnan surge channel in South China, characterized by a kobergen and well- developed low-velocity layers in the upper mantle and the lower crust, sits on this  geanticline.

___The fact that the framework of these two global-scale geanticlinal trends is  still preserved almost intact flatly contradicts large-scale horizontal movement of  the Earth’s crust and mantle, and provides constraints on geodynamic models of the  Earth.
Keywords: Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline, East Asia Reflective Axial Belt, Yunnan surge  channel, N-S American Geanticline, Siberian Craton, Earth’s geodynamics
1. Introduction
While studying the geology of China to facilitate earthquake prediction for the  Yunnan-Sichuan area, the author came across a significant tectonic feature  regarding the northern extension of the Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline (Choi, 2005 and  2007) through China and Mongolia to the Siberian Craton.

___This geanticlinal trend hosts the Yunnan surge channel identified by Meyerhoff  et al. (1992 and 1996), where very active seismic activity has been occurring in  recent times.
Together with the North-South American counterpart that is situated in an antipodal  position, the existence of this global-scale geanticlinal trend has wide  ramifications in understanding geodynamic processes and the history of the Earth.  Here I briefly report these new findings, focusing on the northward tectonic link  of the BVG. A more detailed account of the Yunnan surge channel and its geological  significance will be given on another occasion (Choi et al., in preparation).  Another paper on mineral deposits along the Geantincline is also in preparation  (Michaelson and Choi).
2. Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline (BVG)
The Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline was first proposed by the author of this paper  (Choi, 2005 and 2007).

___Its presence was detected on a free-air gravity map (to degree 10) published by  the Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources (1985), Fig. 1; it is  considered to show the density contrast from the surface to the core-mantle  boundary, 2,900 km. This linear mantle high sits on a high-velocity anomaly zone in  the deep mantle tomographic images by Fukao et al. (1994), thus it is undoubtedly  deep rooted, reaching the core-mantle boundary. The gravity peaks are situated in  the North and South Fiji basins, New Guinea and Borneo: the axial area (several  thousand km wide) is characterized by high heat flow, especially in the Fiji Basins  (Tuezov and Lipina, 1988), mantle-origin ultramafic or ophiolitic rocks (New Guinea  Island and Banda Sea), and Precambrian-Lower Paleozoic rocks or granite (Borneo).  On both wings of the BVG, deep-seated fault zones with swarms of deep earthquakes  are developed (Fig. 2). Today the BVG is very active, characterized by both uplift  and subsidence (where oceanization has occurred). It is a trunk channel for thermal  energy that originates from the outer core and passes through a superplume under  the South Pacific (Fiji-Tonga) region to the northern area, Southeast Asia, China  and the western Pacific including Japan (Tsunoda et al., 2003).

==Figure 1. Free-air gravity to degree 10 around the Australian continent and the  axis of the Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline. This map is considered to show the density  contrast from the surface to the core-mantle interface (2,900 km; Circum-Pacific  Council for Energy and Mineral Resources, 1985). Cited from Choi (2005).
==Figure 2. Tectonic framework of the BVG in relation to deep earthquake belts and  major tectonic zones (Choi, 2005). EARA Belt = East Asia Reflective Axial Belt  redefined by Zhang and Wang (1995). Note well-developed deep earthquake zones on  both wings of the BVG. Lineaments and ore deposits in the Australian continent from  O’Driscoll (1986).
3. Northern extension of the Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline
1) China

___As seen in Yanshin et al.’s (1966) map, Fig. 3, the BVG obviously connects  northward with the Yunnan-Guizhou Anticline (brown stripe in the map); it is a N-S  trending Proterozoic anticline at the western margin of the Yangtze Platform.

==Figure 3. Tectonic map of the South China and Indochina area. Base map by Yanshin  et al. (1966). Major earthquakes in 2012 to 2013 are shown. The BVG runs through  the Yunnan-Guizhou Anticline (coloured brown) and extends northward.
The Yunnan-Guizhou anticline extends further northward as the East Asia Reflective  Axial Belt (EARAB) redefined by Zhang and Wang (1995) – earlier it was called the  “North-South Trending Belt” or “North-South Zone” by Yin et al. (1980), Wang (1985)  and Ma (1986), Fig. 4. The axial area of the EARAB is about 200 to 250 km wide.
___Zhang and Wang described it as a “natural crustal boundary” situated  between the western and eastern China crustal blocks;
the eastern part of the boundary belongs to the Circum-Pacific mineral province,  whereas the western part belongs to the Tethys mineral province. The central axial  belt has a mixture of both mineral provinces.

___The axial belt is a notable earthquake belt too (Ma, 1989); Zhang and Wang  (1995) further remarked that earthquakes on the central axial belt migrate  isochronally and equidistantly from south to north or north to south. This is an  important observation that implies the energy flow occurring under the axial belt.  East of the EARAB has higher heat flow and thinner crust than the west as  summarized in Meyerhoff et al. (2006).
The EARAB runs through the western wall of the Ordos Basin where patches of Archean  and Proterozoic crustal blocks are exposed (Fig. 6). The bouguer gravity anomaly  map (Fig. 5) shows a large low-anomaly trough to the west of the EARAB. This is  supported by the magnetic anomaly map too (Fig. 6 right side figure). The original  structures along the EARAB are clearly very early Proterozoic or more likely  Archean (Meyerhoff et al., 2006).
==Fig. 4. Tectonic mosaic map of China by Zhang and Wang (1995). The BVG extends  northward as the Yunnan-Guizhou Anticline and the East Asia Reflective Axial Belt.  Major earthquakes (M6.5+) since 2010 and the Yunnan surge channel are superimposed.  Filled stars occurred from late 2012 to 2013. Surge channel by Meyerhoff et al.  (1992 and 1996).
==Figure 5. Bouguer anomaly map of China from Wang (1983). Note the strong high- gravity anomaly in the border area with Mongolia situated on the axis of the EARAB.
2) Mongolia and Russia
In Mongolia the axis of the EARAB extends northward. Near the Chinese border, a  gigantic copper-gold deposit, Oyu-Tolgoi deposit (Fig. 6;, is  situated on the eastern boundary fault of the EARAB. The area is characterized by a  number of Permian intrusives as well as Tertiary extrusives, clear
==Figure 6. Geanticlinal trend in China, Mongolia and Russia. Left – geological map  by Jatskevich et al., 2000, and right – magnetic anomaly map by Korhonen et al.,  2007. Archean and Proterozoic distribution emphasized in the west of Ordos Basin.  AR=Archean, PR=Proterozoic.
evidence of prolonged magmatic activity (Michaelson, personal communication,  September 2013). Near Ulaan Baatar, a swarm of Mesozoic granites which intruded the  Middle-Upper Paleozoic sedimentary rocks are indicated on the Yanshin et al. (1966)  geological map. Then, the EARAB runs through the western margin of Lake Baikal and  enters the Siberian Craton to reach the Anabar Massif where the Archean is exposed  (Fig. 6). Pavlenkova (2005) illustrated the deep root of the Siberian Craton over  300 km. The EARAB seems to extend further north to the Severnaja Zemlja in the  Arctic Ocean.
4. Yunnan surge channel
Another discovery was the Yunnan surge channel (Meyerhoff et al., 1992 and 1996)  situated exactly on the axis of the BVG-EARAB (Fig. 4). It is also related to  orthogonal structures, Ct4/Ct5 and Tt3/Tt4 structural belts as illustrated in Figs.  4 and 8. Historically strong earthquakes have occurred inside or around the surge  channel (Fig. 8). Most of the major quakes occurred in the NE-SW Ct4 tectonic zone  which is a deep-seated tectonic zone connecting with the Tan-lu Fault in the North  China and Okhotsk Sea, along which deep earthquakes are nested. Further study is  needed to clarify the relationship between earthquake loci and distribution of  low-velocity layers in the mantle and the crust (Fig. 7); this will provide a  valuable insight into the energy flow along surge channels and the tectonic  processes causing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions (Choi et al., in preparation).
==Figure 7. Yunnan surge channel (top right) by Meyerhoff et al. (1992 and 1996):  kobergen (top – A; Wang and Chu, 1988), and seismotomographic sections (B and C;  Liu et al., 1989) showing low-velocity layers. See Fig. 8 for details of geologic  structure. The kobergen has been uplifting very actively in Cenozoic time.
==Figure 8. Crustal wavy mosaic structure (Zhang and Wang, 1995), surge channel  (Meyerhoff et al., 1992 and 1996), and East Asia Reflective Axial Belt. See Fig. 7  for seismotomographic sections.
Strong earthquakes with magnitude 6.5 or greater since 1973 are also shown. The  August 2013 M5.8 quake in the northernmost Yunnan is indicated too. Circled stars  are earthquakes occurred in late 2012 to 2013. Note five strong quakes that  occurred in a single year, 1976 (filled red star) on the Ct4 tectonic zone. 1976  was the bottom cycle year between solar cycles 20 and 21.
5. N-S American Geanticline
The author (1999) wrote about the South American Geanticlinal trend characterized  by Archean cores and emphasized their structural continuation into oceanic areas:  the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in the north, and the Rio Grande Ridge, South  Atlantic Ocean, in the south. The latter has been proved by dredging and  submersible observation on the Rio Grande Ridge, as reported in the last issue of  NCGT Journal (v. 1, no. 2, p. 2).

___The northern extension of the South American Geanticline is confirmed by the  Caribbean dome (Choi, 2010). The Gulf of Mexico is a Pennsylvanian thermal dome  that has collapsed since the Permian, according to Pratsch (2008 and 2010).
The northern extension into the North American continent can be placed in the  collapsed basin areas (Fig. 6): N-S troughs surrounded by the Ordovician and  younger strata in the southern part of the continent or the United States.

The distribution of Paleozoic units in the region suggests that the collapsed  structure was formed after the deposition of the Ordovician and prior to the  Silurian. In the area of the Canadian Shield, the axial collapse may have occurred  prior to the Ordovician. It is noteworthy that the Cambrian units are almost  missing in the Shield, implying a subaerial environment during the Cambrian. The  distribution of Proterozoic rocks suggests that the incipient axial depression  formed in the Early Proterozoic, and the depression became most distinctive prior  to the Ordovician.
To summarize the above, the axis of the North American Geanticline can be placed in  the N-S trending axial area of the Canadian Shield which has formed basins since  the Proterozoic to Early Paleozoic as seen in Fig. 9.
==Figure 9. Global geanticlinal trends superimposed on the magnetic map by Korhonen  et al., 2007. They are antipodal to each other.
6. Discussion
The presence of a global-scale geanticlinal structure stretching from the South  Pacific to Siberia, or the South Pacific-Siberia Geanticline (SPSG) is of  particular significance and has wide ramifications in constraining the geodynamic  history of the Earth. The Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline (BVG), the southern segment of  the SPSG, is characterized by active rise in Cenozoic time (Ollier and Pain, 1980  for example), which simultaneously has been subject to oceanization that resulted  in active subsidence to form insular and oceanic basins.

___The BVG is considered the trunk conduit for thermal energy transmigration from  the superplume under the Fiji-Tonga-Vanuatu region to the north, Southeast Asia,  China, and the western Pacific margins (Tsunoda et al., 2013).

Detailed tomographic mapping of low-velocity layers along the BVG is required to  clarify the actual mechanism of thermal transfer along the low-velocity layers.
Another interesting fact is that the tectonic position of the Yunnan surge channel  situated at the junction of SPSG and other two orthogonal fracture systems.

___Active energy release through the low-velocity layers at structural culminations  or junctions of deep fracture systems can be regarded as an incipient stage of the  oceanization process
The antipodal relation between the SPSG and the N-S American Geanticlines is of  special interest. This intriguing tectonic relationship must be investigated.  Obviously they have affected the tectonic development of the Earth throughout the  Proterozoic to the Phanerozoic.

___From a historical perspective, the area of the Yunnan surge channel coincides  with the Permian Emeishan Large Igneous Province (Fig. 10; Ukstins-Peate and Bryan,  2008), suggesting that the Yunnan surge channel has a long history of magmatic  activity since at least the Permian.
On the basis of extensive literature search and study, Meyerhoff et al. (2006)  concluded the most intense surge-channel activity in the Red River channel was  between late Proterozoic and Late Triassic time. This is applicable to the northern  segment of the SPSG in Mongolia where numerous Permian to Mesozoic intrusives with  Tertiary extrusives, as stated earlier.
==Figure 10. Permian Emeishan volcanic deposits. Ukstins-Peate and Bryan, 2008. The  inner zone is included in the present-day surge channel.
As seen in Figs. 4, 8 and 9, the SPSG is not affected by NE and NW orthogonal  structures which disturb Proterozoic structures. Because the former involves  Archean basements, the Geanticline was formed earlier than the formation of  orthogonal structures (Fig. 6). This is applicable to the N-S American Geanticline  too.

___These facts suggest that the Geanticlines were formed in the Archean, probably  when the Earth’s surface was still hot and prior to the cooling which led to the  formation of the pervasive orthogonal structure in the Proterozoic.

7. Conclusions
This paper described one of the most outstanding geological structures seen at the  Earth’s surface; a global-scale, deep-rooted geanticlinal structure extending from  the South Pacific to the Siberian Craton. It was formed in the Archean and,  together with the antipodal N-S American Geanticline, undoubtedly affected the  structural and magmatic development of the Earth. Together they place constraints  on global tectonic models. The Yunnan surge channel sits on the axis of the  Geanticline.

___It is one of the most active surge channels today, characterized by strong  energy discharge (earthquakes) and active rise in the Cenozoic. These activities  can be regarded as the early stage of the oceanization process. The existence of  such large-scale, deep-rooted, Archean-origin geological structures on opposite  sides of the globe, both without large horizontal dislocation, means that no  large-scale horizontal movement of the crust and mantle as claimed by plate  tectonics has occurred since Proterozoic to Cenozoic time.

Acknowledgements: The author’s sincere thanks are offered to; Chris Pratsch for  geology the Gulf of Mexico, Nina Pavlenkova for geological information about the  Siberian Craton, and Per Michaelson of Nordic Geological Solutions for Mongolian  and Chinese geology and mineral deposits as well as valuable general comment. The  author’s thanks are extended to David Pratt for English editing.
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Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline and the tectonic framework of Southeast Asia and the  Indian Ocean, Dong R. CHOI…….….18
Dong R. CHOI
Raax Australia Pty Ltd
6 Mann Place, Higgins, ACT 2615, Australia;
Abstract: Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline (BVG) is a NW-SE trending deep-mantle high in  SE Asia and the western Pacific. In combination with the perpendicular NE-SW linear  trend, represented by the Laurantian-2 Trend, it has determined the tectonic  framework and paleogeographic development of the region. SE Asia is positioned at  the junction of these two trends and another global lineament Tethyan-1 Trend; it  is currently tectonically one of the most active regions in the world mainly due to  the rapid subsidence of the Indian and Pacific Oceans along a NE-SW block developed  between the Laurentian-2 Trend and the relatively stable Kerguellen-Australia- Hawaii block.
Keywords: Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline, Lauratian-2 Trend, Kerguellen-Australia- Hawaii block, SE Asia, Indian Ocean

In one of recent papers, I described a major NW-SE trending deep mantle high  structure extending from SE Asia to the Western Pacific (Fig. 1; Choi, 2005).  During the study of this outstanding tectonic feature, I came to realize that this  structural high is one of the most active and fundamental tectonic features on the  globe, and is strongly related to the makings of the tectonic framework of SE Asia  and the Indian Ocean. Here I am going to briefly describe some of the highlights of  my ongoing study.
1. Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline
This arcuate mantle high structural trend (Fig. 1; Choi, 2005) develops in the  oceanic areas to the north and east of the Australian continent, stretching in NW- SE direction from north of New Zealand (Kermadec Islands), through Vanuatu, New  Guinea and Borneo, to Indochina, with a total length around 10,000 km and a width  3,000 km. Here I name this trend, Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline (BVG). It is clearly  defined by free-air gravity data (to degree 10) which is considered to show the  density contrast from the surface to the core-mantle boundary, 2,900 km (Circum- Pacific Council, 1985). This mantle high sits on a high-velocity anomaly zone in  the deep mantle tomographic image by Fukano et al. (1994; Fig. 2). Undoubtedly the  Geanticline is deep rooted, reaching the core-mantle boundary. The gravity peaks  are situated in the North and South Fiji basins, New Guinea and Borneo: the axial  area is characterized by high heat flow, especially in the Fiji Basins (Tuezov and  Lipina, 1988), mantle-origin ultramafic or ophiolitic rocks (New Guinea Island and  Banda Sea), and Precambrian-Lower Paleozoic rocks or granite (Borneo).

___The BVG runs locally parallel with one of the global lineaments, Tethyan-1 (T-1)  Trend by O’Driscoll (1980 and 1992; Figs. 2 and 4), but on the whole, it runs N40- 50W (= N40W orientation of De Kalb, 1990). Interestingly, the distribution of the  300-km seismic discontinuity in the mantle in the western Pacific region (Williams  and Revenaugh, 2005; Fig. 3) is almost identical with that of the BVG. This  coincidence strongly suggests that the discontinuity is related to the raised  mantle structure,
but not to ancient subducted oceanic crusts entrained in Earth’s mantle, as  Williams and Revenaugh speculate. However, apart from their tectonic  interpretation, their conclusion based on geochemical analysis that the  discontinuity is generated by SiO2-stishovite formation in an eclogitic assemblage  is worthy of note in considering the upper mantle processes under the mantle high  block. The northern extension of the BVG is not clear, but patches of this seismic  discontinuity in the Western Siberian Platform make it tempting to connect the BVG  to that region at least at the shallow mantle level.
==Figure 1. Free air gravity to degree 10 around the Australian continent (Circum- Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources, 1985) with the Borneo-Vanuatu  Geanticline superimposed New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, no. 42,  March, 2007 19
==Figure 2. Mantle tomography between 700 and 1700 km by Fukao et al. (1994) and  Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline. Also O’Driscoll’s global lineaments are added. Modified  from Choi (2005). The Geanticline is situated in the high-velocity anomaly area. A  = Tan-Lu – Kamchatka Tectonic Zone, B = Susong-chon – Lake Biwa – Mariana Islands  T.Z., C = Shan Boundary – West Malaysia – Java Sea T.Z., D = New Zealand – Fiji  T.Z., E= West Brazilian Shied T.Z.
2. Relation to the tectonic framework of SE Asia and the Indian Ocean.
Now let’s examine the Geanticline on a global scale. I superimposed the BVG on a  gravity anomaly map generated by the DEOS program (  and global lineaments in Figs. 4 and 5.
As can be seen on Fig. 4, the Geanticline is parallel with the Mid-Indian Ocean  Ridge (Carlsberg - Mid-Indian - SE Indian Ridges). Some rudimentary parallelism is  also seen in the Kerguellen – Madagascar Ridge trend in the southern Indian Ocean.  Also parallel is the Hawaiian Ridge-Emperor Sea Mount trend. A very distinctive,  broad (3,000 km) gravity-low anomaly zone lies between the BVG and the Mid-Indian  Ocean Ridge in the eastern Indian Ocean. This low gravity zone as a whole extends  from India, crossing Australia, to the South Pacific. This zone had formed  paleolands until Jurassic (Jatskevich, 2000; Blot and Choi, 2006; Choi, 2006; Figs.  5 and 6), but subsided at the end of Jurassic. This is evidenced by the extensive  development of Cretaceous sedimentary basins in this gravity-low zone which forms a  flat deep-sea plain, 5,000 to 7,000 meters deep (Fig. 6).
The BVG is perpendicularly crossed by another set of lineaments – represented by  Lauratian-2 (L-2) Trend (Figs. 4 and 5), which is roughly N50E in the predominant  direction (= N50E orientation of De Kalb, 1990). The L-2 Trend is situated roughly  at the boundary between the northern continental and the southern oceanic blocks.
___The latter, about 3,000 km wide, started to subside at the end of the  Jurassic, and the subsidence is still actively progressing in the Cenozoic.
The 2004 Boxing Day earthquake in northern Sumatra occurred on this line (Figs. 5).  The recent spates of large earthquakes (Blot and Choi, 2006) as well as the  continuing mud volcano eruptions (United Nations, 2006) in Indonesia are  indications that the strong stress accumulation along ridges is mainly due to the  active subsidence of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific margins coupled with deep  energy discharge from the BVG.

___The subsided zone south of the L-2 Trend has a structural high block which was  shown in one of my previous papers (Blot and Choi, 2006; Fig. 5).
Note this structural high stretching from the SW Indian Ridge-north Kerguellen  Plateau to Sumatra is slightly oblique to the L-2 Trend and controlled the  distribution of the Cretaceous sedimentary basins in the eastern Indian Ocean  (Figs. 5 & 7). Of special interest is the locality of the Jura-type Indoysian fold  belt discussed by Wezel (1988): It is situated near or on the L-2 Trend between Sri  Lanka and Ninety East Ridge. Considering the geologic profiles coupled with thick  sediments in the north (Bengal fan), the region is undoubtedly of economic interest  for industry. There is another NE-SW trending crustal block (4,000 km wide)  stretching from Kerguellen Plateau through Australia and Hawaii to the NW coast of  USA (Fig. 4). This is a relatively stable block without deep trenches (Choi, 2005).
3. Summary
The BVG is a deep-mantle-rooted structure and has helped to frame the tectonics of  SE Asia and the Indian Ocean.

___The recent extremely intense tectonic activities in the Indonesian region can be  explained by processes occurring under the BVG and its perpendicular blocks related  to the L-2 Trend which is causing active subsidence in both the Pacific and the  Indian Ocean sectors. All geological and geophysical data clearly show that a large  part of the Indian Ocean had formed paleolands until the Jurassic to Cretaceous,  that the composition of the “oceanic crust” is continental (Shipboard Scientific  Party, 1989; Jatskevich, 2000; Blot and Choi, 2006; Seychelles National Oil  Company, 2006, Fig. 9; Vassiliev and Yano, 2006), and that the mid-Indian Ocean  ridges finally submerged only in the Neogene to Quaternary time.

A correct understanding of tectonics and geological development of SE Asia and the  Indian Ocean is essential in mineral resources exploration as well as in scientific  prediction of natural disasters such as earthquakes. There is an urgent need for  Jatskevich’s Geological Map of the World to be updated and for paleogeograhic maps  of the study areas throughout the Phanerozoic to be compiled by a multidisciplinary  team of scientists from all surrounding countries. I hope the current short paper  will become a first step in this direction. 20
==Figure 3. Distribution of the 300 km seismic discontinuity by Williams and  Revenaugh (2005). They speculate that the distribution indicates the residue of  ancient subducted oceanic crusts within the upper mantle. The superimposed red line  is the Borneo-Vanuatu Geanticline. Obviously the seismic discontinuity has  something to do with the mantle high structure. Compare this with tomography in  Fig. 2 which shows the state of the mantle at much deeper section. Recapture of  this figure by permission from Geological Society of America.
==Figure 4. Gravity anomaly map (equi rectangular) with major global linear trends  superimposed. M-L Line = Mediterranean-Lake Baikal Tectonic Line (new name). SE  Asia is positioned at the junction of BVG, Lauratian-2 Trend and the Tethyan-1  Trend; and the Mediterranean Sea Tethyan-1 Trend and M-L Line.

___Note parallelism among BVG, Mid-Indian Ocean Ridge, Keguellen-Madagascar trend  and Hawaii-Emperor Sea Mount chain (pink lines).

Acknowledgement: I thank J. Hutabarat of Indonesia for information about mud  volcano in Java, Howard De Kalb for lineament data, and T. Yano for information on  continental rocks in the Indian Ocean. Patrick Joseph of Seychelles National Oil  Company kindly provided the author with exploration data of the Seychelles Plateau.  Discussion with Vadim Anfiloff was helpful. David Pratt’s editorial review greatly  improved the quality of this paper.

References cited
Blot, C. and Choi, D.R., 2006. The Great Southern Java earthquake on July 17, 2006  and its tectonic perspective. NCGT Newsletter, no. 40, p. 19-26.
Choi, D.R., 2005. Deep earthquakes and deep-seated tectonic zones: A new  interpretation of the Wadati-Benioff Zone.
Boll. Soc. Geol. It., Vol. Spec. n. 5, p. 79-118.
Choi, D.R., 2006. Where is subduction under the Indonesian Arc? NCGT Newsletter,  no. 39, p. 2-11.
Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources, 1985. Geodynamic map of  the Circum-Pacific region, SW quadrant. Scale 1:10,000,000. AAPG, Tulsa, De Kalb,  H.F., 1990. The twisted Earth. ISBN: 0-9623271-0-7. Lytel Eorthe Press, Hilo,  Hawaii. 156p.
Fukao, Y., Maruyama, S., Obayashi, M. and Inoue, H., 1994. Geologic implication of  the whole mantle P-wave tomography. Jour. Geol. Soc. Japan, v. 100, no. 4-23.
Jatskevich, B.A. (ed.), 2000. Geological map of the world. 1:15,000,000. Ministry  of Natural Resources of Russian Federation, Russian Academy of Sciences.
Meyerhoff, A.A. and Meyerhoff, H.A., 1974. Tests of plate tectonics/ In Kahle, C.E.  (ed.), “Plate tectonics – assessments and reassessments”. AAPG Mem., no. 23, p. 43 -145.
O’Driscoll, E.S.T., 1980. The double helix in global tectonics. Tectonophysics, v.  63, p. 397-417.
O’Driscoll, E.S.T., 1992. Elusive trails in the basement labyrinth. In: Rickard  M.J., et al. (eds.), “Basement tectonics”, no. 9, p. 123-148. Kluwer Academic  Publishers, Dordrecht.
Seychelles National Oil Company, 2006. Petroleum Potential & Exploration  Opportunities. CD-ROM.
Shipboard Scientific Party, 1989. Introduction. Proc. CDP. Init. Repts., v. 120, p.  7-23.
Tuezov, I.K. and Lipina, E.N., 1988. Heat flow map of the Pacific Ocean and the  adjacent continents. Inst. Tectonics and Geophysics, Far East Branch of the USSR  Academy of Sciences, Khabarovsk. 1:10,000,000 scale with an explanatory note by  Tuezov, I.K., 33p.
United Nations, 2006. Environmental assessment: Hot mud flow East Java, Indonesia.  UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit. 52p.
Vassiliev, B.I. and Yano, T., 2006. Ancient continental rocks discovered in the  ocean floors. The Journal of Science Education, v. 49, no. 7, p. 25-41 (in  Japanese).
Wezel, F.-C., 1988. A young Jura-type fold belt within the central Indian Ocean?  Bollettino di Oceanologia Teorica ed Applicata, v. 6, no. 2, p. 75-90.
Willimas, Q. and Revenaugh, J., 2005. Ancient subduction, mantle eclogite, and the  300 km seismic discontinuity. Geology, v. 33, p. 1-4.
Yeates, A.N., Bradshaw, M.T., Dickins, J.M, Brakel, A.T., Exon, N.F., Langford,  R.P., Mulholland, S.M, Totterdell, J.M. and Yeung, M., 1986. The Westralian  Superbasin: An Australian link with Tethys. Intern. Symp. on Shallow Tethys 2,  Wagga Wagga, p. 199-213.
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34 New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, no. 45, December, 2007
A NEW HYPOTHESIS FOR EARTH LITHOSPHERE EVOLUTION James G. A. CROLL Professor of  Civil Engineering University College London, London WC1 E 6BT, England

ABSTRACT: The past 50 years have seen a profound shift in the modelling of the  processes believed to have shaped the continental and oceanic crust of our planet,  with Plate Tectonics (PT) now providing an almost universally accepted paradigm.  There are however, increasingly acknowledged problems with the PT model. This paper  briefly summarises what appear to be some of the more substantial areas of weakness  of PT. It then outlines a new hypothetical model that seemingly overcomes these  weaknesses.

___It argues that long period fluctuations in the levels of insolation energy,  similar to those thought to be responsible for the ice ages, are directly and  indirectly the cause of major changes in the thermal conditions within the crust.  Widespread changes in the disposition of surface water and ice result in temporal  and spatial variations in the insulation to both the inward flow of solar radiation  energy and particularly the outward flow of geothermal energy. The results are  significant fluctuations in the thermal conditions within the crust, with the  associated restraints to lateral expansion and contraction inducing massive  ternations of tension and compression loading. This cycle of thermal loading is  suggested to act as a form of tectonic pump, driving the many processes currently  explained by PT.
Most of the known characteristics of the Earth’s lithosphere can be explained by  this dynamic model, and, significantly, it will be demonstrated how this new model  is capable of resolving many paradoxes of PT and especially might help to explain  the processes that cause long term vertical movement of both continental and ocean  crust.
Keywords: contraction, expansion, lithosphere, tectonic forces, thermal energy,  lithosphere, dynamics

From the author’s perspective, outwith [without?] the earth sciences, it would  appear that plate tectonics (PT) has become the almost universally accepted  paradigm. It seems to explain what it was in the past that shaped the Earth’s crust  and presently continues to drive the dynamic processes determining the  relationships between the continental land masses and the oceans. To pick up  virtually any textbook underpinning curricula in the earth sciences around the  world there seems to be a consistent and it has to be said compelling model being  promulgated (see for example: McLeish, 1992; Skinner and Porter, 1995; Spencer,  1977; Wicarder and Monroe, 1999). Even if there is still lack of clarity and  agreement as to what is actually providing the driving force, there appears to be  relatively few who question the basic validity of the PT model. At first sight the  growing body of evidence does seem to be overwhelming in support of the PT model,  as illustrated by for example the very easy to read and excellent summary of the  evidence by Sullivan (1991). The topological fits between the continental shelves  on opposing sides of the various oceans would seem to be too close for pure chance.  That the sediments immediately above the first basalt layers get older as the  distances from the mid-oceanic “spreading zone” increase, strongly supports the  idea of new ocean crust being formed from an upwelling of magma into the fissures  being created when the “plates” are torn apart. Evidence of matching bands of new  crust either side of the “spreading zone”, located in time by changes in magnetic  signatures that have been locked-in when the magma solidified, is by many  considered the pivotal evidence that the “plates” are being prised apart to allow  the creation of new mid-ocean crust. The concentrations of seismic and volcanic  activity around the spreading zones and their complementary “subduction zones”,  where the newer ocean crust is thought to be pushed beneath the relatively older  continental crust, is consistent with the fundamental ideas of PT. So too are the  some of the matches in certain floral and faunal fossil remains within the  continental crusts on opposing sides of oceans, believed to have once formed part  of a larger continental land mass split asunder by the processes of PT. In some  cases there are even matches in existing living species on continents too far apart  to have allowed natural spreading. All of this and much other carefully gathered  evidence provide a model that is beguiling in its simplicity and convincing in its  consistency. And yet there are increasingly recognised factors that do not seem to  fit into this apparently self-consistent and compelling model. In the following  some of the serious geological evidence that does not appear to fit in with the  basic ideas of PT will be briefly summarised. This critique has relied upon the  excellent summaries of critics such as Meyerhoff et al. (1996). It has also been  bolstered by the increasing body of evidence being presented by Choi, Dickins,  Smoot et al. in the publication New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter (NCGT),  an e-publication explicitly set-up to allow the airing of evidence that is contrary  to the ideas of plate tectonics and which it seems has too often been suppressed by  the dominant publications in the field. Pratt (2000) has provided an easy to read  and much more extensive summary of much of this contrary evidence. Some of the  alternative explanations that have been put forward for the source of energy  required to drive the dynamic processes that have so clearly influenced the  evolution of the Earth’s crust will also be briefly touched upon. However, the main  purpose of this note is to put forward an alternative model for the processes that  might in the past have been at work and which continue to shape the Earth’s crust.  It will be argued that this new model is not only able to account for most of the  processes and observations currently cited as evidence in support of PT but is also  seemingly able to overcome most of its identified serious deficiencies.

___In particular, this new model will be demonstrated to be consistent with the  evidence that vertical crustal motions are and have been as critical as horizontal  motions in shaping our planet. Furthermore, the horizontal movements required for  this new explanation are considerably less than those needed for PT. At temporal  and spatial scales many orders less it will be suggested that similar dynamic  processes continue to form periglacial environments both on Earth and some of the  other planets and their satellites within the solar system.

Reassembling the continental jigsaw puzzle: One of the factors that first excited  attention to the possibility of continental drift, and the rifting apart of early  super-continents to form the present disposition of land masses, was the remarkably  close fit that appears to exist between the shapes of the eastern seaboard of the  Americas and the western coastline of Africa and Europe. Sophisticated topological  fits have been proposed, vast numbers of papers written and conferences have been  dedicated to the task of perfecting the levels of fit achieved by these models.  Sceptics have on the other hand questioned many aspects of these fits (Voisey,  1958).

___It would seem that although there is strong geological evidence for plate  movements of up to a few hundred kilometers (Jeffreys, 1976) there is little to  support the notion that the crustal plates have moved upwards of 9000 km as  required by PT. There are it appears also rather too many inconsistencies in the  various fits for this evidence to be taken as definitive proof of PT. As  highlighted by Meyerhoff et al. (1974), there are at least 3.5 million square  kilometres that fail to fit in with the Bullard et al. (1965) computer generated  emergence of the Americas, Africa and Europe from the super continent of Pangaea.  It seems there are similar difficulties arising from the supposed break-up of  Gondwanaland in the southern hemisphere, as postulated by Smith and Hallam (1970)  and Dietz and Holden (1970), to account for the formation of the southern land  masses of the Antarctic, Australia and the highly mobile India. India is supposed  to have dislodged itself from Gonwanaland and been propelled on a 9000 km northward  journey to collide with the Asian plate with such force as to form the Himalayan  mountain range. It appears however, there is very strong geological and  palaeontological evidence that India has been an integral part of Asia well before  its hypothesised northward journey from Antarctica and Australia (Chatterjee et  al., 1986; Ahmad, 1990; Meyerhoff et al., 1991) with which it shares very little  floral and faunal similarities.Indeed, as Pratt (2000) so eloquently  puts it, “the supposed ‘flight of India’ is no more than a flight of fancy”. ___Biogeographic boundaries based upon floral and faunal distributions that  would follow from PT models are often in strong contradiction with those actually  existing. Indeed, it would appear that the known palaeontological data on the  distribution of fossils is rather more consistent with current distributions of  continental land mass than those upon which PT is predicated (Smiley, 1992).

In a major global study based upon floral and faunal distributions, Meyerhoff et  al. (1996) concluded that current biogeographical boundaries are seriously out of  step with the boundaries that would be anticipated from plate tectonic models. They  comment that “what is puzzling is that such major inconsistencies between plate  tectonic postulates and field data, involving as they do boundaries that extend for  thousands of kilometers, are permitted to stand unnoticed, unacknowledged, and  unstudied”. It seems that all is not as simple as is often suggested.

Ocean sediment age: A fundamental notion in PT is that of sea-floor spreading. In  this process new oceanic crust is created around the oceanic ridges, or “spreading  zones”, where molten material from the Earth’s interior is extruded up into  fissures caused by the tearing apart of the plates. This new crust is characterised  as gradually moving across the ocean floor, like a “conveyor belt”, until it comes  into contact with the relatively thicker continental crust.

___At these collision zones the relatively thinner oceanic crust is said to be  forced down into trenches, “subduction zones”, where the newer oceanic crust is  lost back into the molten interior.
If these notions are correct then one would anticipate the sedimentary layers  deposited upon this new ocean crust to increase in age the further one moves away  from the spreading zone. Very extensive deep sea drilling programmes have been  undertaken to test this hypothesis, with seemingly great success. It was found in a  NSF study (1969-73) that the ages of sediments immediately overlying the first  basalt rock, supposed to be the new ocean crust being forced out from the spreading  zone, do indeed display a gradual increase in age as the distance from the  spreading zone increases.

___Once again, however, there appear to be grounds for supposing that the evidence  on sea-floor geology has been chosen selectively to support the hypotheses of PT.  Smoot et al. (1995) have demonstrated that most of the published charts showing the  ocean floors have been drafted using the data that supports the ideas of PT. They  suggest that much of the accurate information currently available has been ignored  because it is at odds with the notions of PT. For example, they show that from  side-scanning radar images there is evidence that the mid-oceanic ridges are cut  with thousands of long and straight, ridge parallel, fissures and fractures that  have older crustal rock between them. There are also numerous areas in all the  oceans of the world where seabed rock, of continental origin and up to 3.74 Ga in  age, are located where PT would suggest the rock should be of an age at least 2  orders of magnitude younger (Timofeyev, 1992; Udintsev, 1996). Dickins et al.  (1992) undertook a detailed survey of the evidence relating to the existence of  large continental crust within the present oceans, and concluded that “we are  surprised and concerned for the objectivity of science that such data should be  overlooked or ignored”. There are also strong and well founded suspicions that had  the deep sea drilling boreholes been able to penetrate through the first layers of  basalt, older sedimentary layers would be found to overlay possibly even older  horizontal layers of basalt.
On the basis of the above cited survey, Dickins et al. (1992) opined that “there is  a vast need for future Ocean Drilling Program initiatives to drill below the base  of the basaltic floor crust to confirm the real composition of what is currently  designated oceanic crust”. As will be argued later there are other possibly more  convincing models for how these finds on sedimentary age could be explained.

Magnetic anomaly evidence: It has been claimed that stripes of newly formed oceanic  crust roughly parallel to the spreading zones, display reversals in magnetic  polarity that are reasonably symmetrical about the oceanic ridges (Sullivan, 1991).  These magnetic signatures are believed to have been captured when the molten magma  being extruded into the spreading zone solidified. For some curious reason these  newly created widths of magnetised rock are believed to be split into equal halves  and propelled off in opposite directions to create bands of magnetised rock that  display symmetry about the spreading zones. It has been pointed out that the  evidence of this symmetry and chronology of spreading, supporting PT, is rather  less convincing than is sometimes implied. The licourice-allsort appearance of some  of the text book summaries of this evidence fails to indicate the many serious  anomalies.

___Magnetic stripes of magma intrusions display very imperfect symmetry, and indeed  often occur in sequences that do not represent a linear time-wise evolution  (Meyerhoff et al., 1974). The stripes often occur within seabed rock that is very  much older and sometimes of continental origins (Grant, 1980; Choi et al., 1992),  and furthermore these stripes have been shown to display anisotropy with depth. It would appear that here too much of the data is open to alternative  explanations.

___Evidence of tension and compression: At many locations within the Earth’s crust  there is evidence of both tensile and compressive actions having occurred at  different times (Storetvedt, 1997). This is perhaps particularly in evidence at the  mid-ocean “spreading zones” where the crust is supposed to be torn apart by a  tension field normal to the stripe of new crust being formed by the intrusion of  magma into the fissures. As previously observed these fissures occur in bands that  are broadly parallel to the mid-oceanic ridge. And yet the existence of a ridge or  mid oceanic mountain ranges, sometimes involving folded sedimentary deposits, is  strongly suggestive of a compression field action normal to the ridge, and Antipov  et al. (1990) have suggested that thrust faults adjacent to the mid-Atlantic ridge  are more likely to have been caused by compression rather than tension. Fracture  patterns are also suggestive of compression related failures in the vicinity of the  spreading zone. Zoback et al. (1989) demonstrated that earthquake data at  midoceanic ridges is more strongly supportive of compression action than as  supposed by PT from tension behaviour. It would appear that alternations of both  tension and compression actions are experienced in locations where PT would  indicate steadily developing tensile failure.

Vertical tectonics: It should not take long for even an untrained geologist to  become concerned about the fact that[/color]
___many of the highest continental mountain ranges and some of the most extensive  continental plateaus are formed from sedimentary rock that was once laid down at  the bottom of an ocean floor.

Often these vast regions are remote from any supposed plate boundaries or are  within the interiors of continental crust (Beloussov, 1990; Chekunov et al., 1990).  Equally, as observed above considerable areas of deep ocean floor are composed of  rock whose palaeontological evidence alone indicates that it once formed part of a  continental land mass (Spencer, 1977). PT appears to have only partially addressed  these issues and seemingly would be hard pushed to provide an explanation for much  of this very clear geological reality.

___That marine sediments and fossils can be found near the highest peaks of the  Himalayas or that shallow sediments and even land based fossils can be recovered  from the depths of ocean crust, are difficult to reconcile with existing notions  that form part of PT (Spencer, 1977; Wezel, 1992). Explanations based upon changes  in sea level, believed to be brought about by increased volumes of uplift at the  mid-oceanic ridges, has been suggested by an acknowledged supporter of PT to be an  inadequate explanation, and that the scale of these movements “fit poorly into  plate tectonics” (van Andel, 1994).

There is convincing evidence that the Earth’s crust has undergone periodic changes  with timescales, both very long measured in 100’s of Ma, and shorter measured  in10’s or 100’s Ka. Over the very long term continents would on a periodic basis  seem to sink to become ocean floors and ocean floors rise to become new continents.  How many such cycles have occurred during the circa 4.5 Ga of the Earth’s existence  and when exactly a significant crust of the form we know it today actually formed  to make such movements possible, seem to be largely unresolved. However, it appears  conceivable that the number of such very long-term cycles could be many. It also  seems clear that the PT model, dominated as it is by the tangential motions of the  crust, would find it difficult to explain the occurrence of these very long-term  vertical tectonic cycles. Within these long-term geological cycles there seem to be  other shorter timescale processes at work. These shorter period processes could be  responsible for the alternations between compressive and tensile actions occurring  within the crust. Before going on to outline a model that could provide an  explanation for this dynamical system, involving as it appears to do both  horizontal and vertical motions, accompanied by both tensile and compressive  actions, it may be useful to consider some of the previously postulated  explanations, other than PT, that have been advanced for the development of the  Earth’s crust as we know it today. One major differentiation of Earth models is  between those that take the line that what we see today has been the result of a  gradual evolution in which the processes at work in the past should be evident from  those that are at work today. This so called “uniformist” model contrasts with  those that see the evolution in terms of more discrete and often cataclysmic  changes. Among the latter were those that tried to explain the Earth as we find it  today in terms of a Biblical flood. This idea, prevalent in the 18th and early 19th  C, incorporated the growing recognition that the match between the coastlines of  the Americas and Africa/Europe was due to a rifting apart of the Atlantic following  the flood referred to in the Bible. Others have suggested that the spin-off of the  Moon left a great hole in what is now the Pacific Ocean with the great void so  created being filled by the splitting apart of Americas and Europe/Africa to form  the Atlantic Ocean (this view is associated with George Darwin nephew of Charles).  Various other ideas have included the colliding or near colliding bodies, taking  different forms but including the idea that the gravity field generated by the  Earth’s capture of the Moon developed at an early stage the forces needed to drag  the continents towards the equator, creating enormous mountain building forces  (Taylor, 1910). A variant was the idea that the close approach of Venus created the  gravity field needed to drag the Moon from the Earth (Baker, 1914), with other  orbital interactions being elaborated by Velikovsky (1950). In the former, more  traditional, uniformist, view the models have included the shrinkage (contraction)  model relying upon the idea that the shrinkage of the Earth’s interior against the  crust created the compression forces needed to build mountains. This idea appears  to have been first put forward by Newton (1681) using the analogy of the wrinkling  of the skin of an ageing apple (must have come a few days after his gravity  observations from the falling apple!). Jeffreys (1976) too has argued that since  its inception the Earth as a whole has contracted while cooling. These models fail  to account for the clear evidence that in certain places and during some periods,  the crust has been and continues to be torn apart by tensile actions. To  accommodate the very clear evidence of tensile stretching action, and at the other  extreme, the expansion model advocates that the tearing apart of the oceans has  been the result of a massive increase in the diameter. Carey (1958) argued that the  diameter of the Earth could have been increased by as much as 100%. How these  expansions occurred has been explained in a number of ways. It has been suggested  that this expansion could have been caused by changes in phase or molecular  composition of the Earth’s matter to less densely packed molecules, or on a more  modest level through a gradual decline in the strength of the gravity force (Dicke,  1962). Each of these uniformist models fail to account for the massive compressions  needed to either explain upward folding and mountain building or the downward  folding to form ocean trenches. None of the models appear to be able to account for  strong spatial and temporal evidence of periodic cycles of tension and compression  being involved. An attempt to reconcile the clear evidence of periods of tension  and other periods of compression, the mixed shrinkage and expansion, recognises  that during the earliest period of the Earth’s formation the largely gaseous  materials gradually changed phase to become liquid and some to eventually become  solid. This gradual compaction of the molecules would have been accompanied by a  massive decrease in the diameter of the Earth. When later these dense liquids and  solids were broken-down into less compact molecular forms the volume would once  again be increased. This latter period would cover the formation of the Earth’s  crust, during which the breakdown in molecular forms would have started to produce  the water that now forms such an important ingredient in the dynamics of the Earth.  This view (see for example MacDonald, 1959) is attractive but is more concerned  with the period prior to the dynamic crust of present interest. It would suggest  however, that underlying any shorter periodicities there may continue to be a  gradual expansion occurring as the average thickness of the crust and the  associated volumes of free water and other low density molecules increase. Along  similar lines the so called antimobilists believe that the Earth’s crust has been  shaped by cycles of heating and cooling, causing expansion and contraction of the  land masses. They took the opposite view to the mobilists who supported Wegener’s  notions of continental plates in motion. The concept of a pulsating earth has also  been advocated by Wezel (1992) and Dickins (2000).

___The truth, if and when found, will undoubtedly find that most of these models  contain elements required to explain what has occurred.

It seems evident that certain phenomena are associated with sudden and cataclysmic  changes. It seems equally clear that other phenomena have been the result of  gradually emerging processes. It is also very clear that whether one adopts a  steady state or a transient model, the evolution of the Earth’s crust has been and  remains a highly dynamical process. There is strong evidence that at a given  location the crust has at times experienced tensile action and at others  compression. This is incompatible with either the uniformist view or many of the  prevailing notions of the nature of the Earth as a dynamical system. There is also  unquestionable evidence that the various regions of the Earth’s crust have  experienced, on a periodic basis, major changes in vertical elevation, which is  also at odds with most of the past models including PT. What therefore might be an  alternative model that could explain all of the essential processes known to have  taken place and which continue to take place in the shaping of the Earth’s crust?

While it might at first sight seem of peripheral relevance to the modelling of  crustal dynamics, the following aims to clarify how a fascination with the effects  of solar induced thermal cycles on the development of various surface morphological  features may provide an alternative dynamic model of how some features of the  earth’s crust have evolved.

Surface morphologies and solar cycles: Drying mud develops well recognised crack  polygonal forms, similar to those shown in Figure 1. In this case the energy  release associated with the tension fields developed during the restrained  shrinkage is maximised by the development of the characteristic polygonal forms. In  a similar way the
==Figure  1. Polygonal crack patterns developed in drying mud.
cooling of asphalt pavements can result in the development of characteristic  polygonal crack networks, which often develop into permanent forms of pavement  failure. During any period of cooling the asphalt layer will experience the build- up of in-plane tensile stress as a result of the constraint to the contraction that  would otherwise occur. With asphalt being relatively brittle at low temperatures  this tensile energy is commonly relieved by the development of polygonal crack  networks which serve to maximise the release of the stored tensile energy. Any  surface detritus entering the cracks will mean that they will not be fully closed  when the asphalt sheet is heated, with the result that significant levels of  compressive stress develop. Over many cycles of heating and cooling the asphalt  under certain conditions is observed to develop the well known and serious form of  pavement failure known as “alligator cracking” (Croll, 2006 & 2007c), like that  shown in Figure 2. A closely related thermal ratchet process is widely recognised  to be responsible for the development of ice-wedge polygons in areas of permafrost  both on Earth (Lachenbruch, 1962; Mackay and Burn, 2002), and also on the frozen  regions of other planets and their satellites (Yoshikawa, 2000). Figure 3 shows  some examples of terrestrial ice-wedge polygons in northern Canada. Just as for the  asphalt polygonal cracks, the seasonal lowering of temperature will be associated  with the development of tension stress fields within the permafrost due to the  restraint to the contraction wanting to occur. With ice being
==Figure 2. Alligator cracking in asphalt pavement.
==Figure 3. Ice-wedge polygons in northern Canada.
weak in tension, patterns of fracture cracks will be generated that maximise the  release of stored energy. These cracks will fill with moisture which will freeze so  that upon warming the expansion strains will be restrained and almost immediately  start developing compression stresses. The spatial scales of the ice-wedge polygons  reflect the depth to which the annual seasonal thermal cycles penetrate into the  frozen ground. Other forms of periglacial morphologies, such as stone and rock  circles, polygons, nets, stripes, etc, see Figure 4, would appear to be driven by  closely related but usually shorter term thermal cycles occurring within seasonally  frozen ground or even the surface layers that undergo circadian cycles of freeze- thaw (Croll and Jones, 2006; Croll, 2008). (a) (b)
==Figure  4. Examples of (a) stone circles, and (b) stone polygons.
Under certain circumstances an asphalt layer when constrained by its interactions  with its surroundings will when heated develop characteristic uplift bulges, such  as those shown in Figure 5. Because during the warming phase the asphalt has  relatively low elastic-visco-plastic stiffness, the in-plane compression induced  uplift buckles will experience relatively high levels of creep. On account of the  higher elastic-visco-plastic stiffness at low temperatures these uplift buckles  will not be fully recovered when the temperature drops. Each cycle of increase and  decrease in temperature above certain critical thresholds could be expected to  result in a further ratcheting upward of the bulge deformation (Croll, 2005a &  2007b). It would appear that closely related mechanics could be involved in the  initiation and growth of many other forms of periglacial morphologies.
==Figure  5. Asphalt bulges caused by cyclic thermal loading.
Around the periphery of the ice-wedge polygons shown in Figure 3, can be seen  raised ramparts that result from the compression shoving accompanying the outward  expansion during the heating phase of the seasonal cycle. The possibility that the  seasonal thermal cycle could be contributing to the upward growth of pingos in  areas of recently aggrading permafrost, was first discussed (Croll, 2004) in the  context of theoretical mechanics. Typical pingos are shown in Figure 6. The  mechanics for their growth as a result of seasonal thermal cycles, has been  elaborated
==Figure  6. A pair of pingos emerging from permafrost in northern Canada.
(Croll, 2005b) and extended to other forms of seasonal and perennial periglacial  surface mound formations (Croll, 2006 & 2007a,d), some of which are shown in Figure  7.

___For each of these uplift bulge formations, the growth mechanism relies upon the  ice or ice rich ground being strong in compression but weak in tension. Tension  cracks formed when the frozen ground contracts upon cooling will attract moisture  which will turn to ice. This means that like the ice-wedge polygons the cracks will  not be fully closed when the frozen ground is warmed. Under certain conditions the  significant in-plane compression stresses associated with the restrained thermal  expansion will be sufficient to induce a form of uplift, ratchet, and buckling.
This new view of how many surface morphologies develop is suggested to provide a  model, albeit on different spatial and temporal scales, of some of the important  long-term dynamical processes at work within the Earth’s crust.
==Figure  7. Hummocks formed within peat.

Thermal cycle of Earth’s crust: Changes in the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit  around the sun together with the inclination and precession of the axis of spin  relative to the orbital plane, are regarded as the chief sources of the massive  changes in climate that have seen inter alia the periodic ice-ages. The Croll- Milankovic model is widely regarded as a major source, but by no means the only  one, for the very large changes in level of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s  surface (Croll, 1864; Milankovic, 1920), and as will be suggested in the following  also responsible for associated large changes in temperature gradient through the  earth’s crust. While the periodic ice ages over the past 2 Ma or so years are the  most obvious symptoms of this cyclic process there is considerable evidence to  suggest that similar cycles have been occurring, possibly with even more extreme  variations in temperature, for very much longer than this. With periods of around Δ  tp = 20 Ka for the cycle of changes in precession and Δ ti = 40 Ka for the cycle of  inclination of the axis of spin, and around Δ to = 110 Ka for the changes of  eccentricity of the elliptic orbit, the intensity of the temperature changes at a  given location on the earth’s surface are expected to show a time dependence like  that shown in Figure 8. It seems probable that average surface temperature changes  of up to 20oC at periods of 20 to 110 Ka would penetrate deep into the Earth’s  crust. Increasing
==Figure  8. Typical variations of average Earth surface temperatures.
the temperature through the earth’s crust will mean that the rock wants to expand  laterally. However, the crust is restrained from lateral expansion by its  interaction with the relatively stiff inner mantle and core. The level of lateral,  or in-plane, compressive stress developed during the warming cycle will of course  depend upon the average temperature increases and their profile within the crust.  Similarly, high tensile stress would develop during the cooling phase of the  thermal cycle. While direct changes in temperature due to fluctuations of  insolation may be significant, it is probable that the indirect effects of these  surface thermal cycles could exert even greater changes to the thermal regime  within the crust. The changes in the disposition of surface water and ice  accompanying the thermal cycles are likely to have even more profound effects. The  proportion of incoming solar energy reflected back into space will be greatly  effected by the build-up of surface snow and ice. Changes in sea level may alter  ocean currents and cause major changes in the geothermal energy flux. Any  associated build-up of continental ice sheets will also cause major changes to the  degree of thermal insulation to the conduction of geothermal energy. These are  likely to induce even more significant changes in thermal conditions within the  earth’s crust. A sheet of continental ice will for example, significantly lower the  rate of geothermal energy flow through the crust. This will be reflected by a  lowering of the geothermal gradient as suggested in Figure 9. Over a period of time  sufficient to re-establish thermal equilibrium this would result in very  considerable reductions in temperature, which would become increasingly significant  with depth. Alongside these temperature reductions would be massive lateral tensile  stress fields building up as a result of the restraint to the in-plane contractions  wanting to occur. Even at the elevated temperatures experienced at depth the  relatively brittle nature of the rock would be expected to result in considerable  seismic activity associated with the greater incidence of tensile and shear  fractures relieving this tensile energy build-up. Similar effects could arise from  any substantial changes in sea level. With one of the most significant sources of  geothermal heat flow in the oceans arising from the convection processes associated  with ocean currents, any change in this convection process will also be likely to  affect the long term geothermal gradients. Were a long term lowering of sea level  to occur, possibly as a result of ice build-up on the continental ice sheets, then  constrictions to the ocean convection currents could result.
==Figure  9. Effects of increasing surface insulation on geothermal heat flux and  geothermal gradient, and the resulting decreases in crustal temperature and  associated development of tensile stress.
Due to perhaps ocean freezing or the development of land bridges any such  constriction would severely reduce the flow of geothermal energy. A lowering of the  geothermal gradient similar to that shown in Figure 9 would therefore be expected  to induce very substantial decreases in deep crust temperature, with similar  consequences for the build-up of tensile energy especially in the lower crust.  Melting of the ice sheets and an associated rise of the sea level might be expected  to have the opposite effects. As suggested in Figure 10 the steepened geothermal  gradient occurring over very long time frames would cause substantial increases in  temperature, especially at lower levels. Constraint of the expansions wanting to  occur will induce massive additional levels of in-plane compression stress. This  compressive energy would be expected to induce other forms of failure such as  crushing, folding, shearing and uplift of the crust.

The effects of the thermal cycle: As suggested above long term fluctuations in  surface temperature, arising from Earth’s interactions with the Sun, could as a  result of the changes in the disposition of water and ice be greatly magnified by  the interaction of these surface processes with the flow of geothermal energy.  Moderate levels of surface warming could give rise to greatly magnified increases  in temperature at depth, resulting in massive build-ups of inplane compressive  stresses. Taking the rock of the crust to have a coefficient of thermal expansion  of α =12.5x10- 6m/m/oC, then an increase in average surface temperature of say 20oC  would if unrestrained induce a tensile strain of 250x10-6. Over a continental  landmass of roughly circular shape, having an in-plane radius of say a=3000 km,  this unrestrained expansion would give rise to an outward, in-plane, radial  movement of 750 m. With similar outward movement of the adjacent crust a total of  1.5 km of relative motion would be available for distorting and crushing of the  crust; significant potential for tectonic activities in each thermal cycle. But as  discussed above the indirect effects of fluctuations of surface temperature could  be even greater. As an indication of just how large these in-plane stresses and  strains could be consider the effects of an increase of 200oC at a particular  level, deep within the crust. Taking the rock at this level to have a coefficient  of thermal expansion α =12.5x10-6m/m/oC, then the increase temperature of 200oC  would, if unrestrained, induce a strain of 2.5x10-3. Again, over a continental  landmass of roughly circular shape, having an in-plane radius of a=3000 km, this  unrestrained expansion would give rise to an outward, in-plane, radial movement of  around 7.5 km. If the adjacent landmass is being similarly deformed there would be  a total relative in-plane motion of 15 km available to fold,
==Figure  10. Effects of decreasing surface insulation on geothermal heat flux and  geothermal gradient, and the resulting increases in crustal temperature and  associated development of compressive stress.
shear, or otherwise distort the earth’s crust when this crust is thermally loaded  during the heating or compression cycle. Such distortions would undoubtedly occur  selectively as will be discussed later. They could certainly account for the  kinematics involved with upward folding or mountain building, or downward folding  into trenches, or the shearing of crustal layers one over the other as appears to  happen in many areas, including ocean trenches or so called “subduction” zones. The  levels of distortion actually reached would in turn depend upon the forces needed  to fail the particular volume of crust, whether by folding, shearing, or whatever.  But with no failure to relieve the compressive strain of 250x10-6, required at the  surface to restrain the outward expansion, or 2500x10-6 at depth, a relatively hard  rock having an elastic modulus of E = 40x10+3 MPa, will develop compressive  stresses of between 10 MPa (1000 ton for every 1 square meter of rock) and 100 MPa  (10,000 ton for every 1 square meter of rock). While at the surface these levels of  stress may be lower than those needed to crush the rock they could, when integrated  over substantial thickness, certainly be sufficient to induce various forms of  geometric failure such as folding and faulting. At lower levels the stresses could  easily be enough to contribute to the crushing failure and other processes  producing metamorphosis. The differential straining with depth could also be  responsible for various forms of shear failure, particularly at relative weak  sedimentary layers. During the warm-up phase the compressive related distortions  and sudden releases of stored energy would be associated with compressive related  failure modes, occurring when the strain build-up reaches the levels required for  failure to be induced; they could be expected to be progressive and cumulative, and  to occur at different locations at different times over the entire period of the  warm-up. At the end of the warm-up period it might be anticipated that the greater  part of the compressive energy will have been transferred into the distortions  characterising the various failure modes, whether they be mountain building,  crustal over-riding or downward folding to generate ocean trenches. By the start of  the next cooling period the crust would consequently contain very little thermally  derived residual compressive stress. As the crust cools during the cooling period  it will want to contract. Being again prevented from doing so by the effectively  rigid inner core and mantle, tensile stresses will be developed. This cooling  period could be termed the tension cycle. Reversing the above scoping calculations,  a drop in average temperature of 20oC will produce tensile stresses of around 10  MPa, which even at the surface would be sufficient to cause tensile cracking of the  rock. At lower levels the greatly increased drops of temperature could open up  massive fractures and rifts into which high pressure magma would be intruded. It is  likely that the tensile fractures would be concentrated in those areas where the  crust is at its weakest. With oceanic crust being apparently so much thinner than  that of continental crust, at least in the present phase of the dynamic tectonic  cycle to be elaborated later, it would be expected that most, but by no means all,  of these fractures would be located on the ocean floors. While the dominant  fractures might be anticipated to be largely polygonal, in order that energy  release should be maximized, it is likely that the heterogeneity of the crust  thickness will see the fracture patterns concentrated within oceanic crust and any  weakened zones within the more massive continental crust.

The periodic reversals of heating and cooling, and importantly the associated  compression and tension cycles, seem to be consistent with the evidence upon which  PT is predicated. With periods of 20 Ka to 110 Ka the crust, particularly at depth,  will experience significant cycles of compression and tension. Figure 11 provides a  cartoon of a typical cycle of heating and cooling. At the various times indicated  in Figure 11(a), the stress state and the nature of the expected failure within the  crust are shown in Figure 11(b). After a prolonged period of cooling and allowing  for the time lag for the cold thermal wave to reach the lower crust, (1) the crust  and especially the areas of relative weakness on the ocean bed will experience  tensile fractures. Magma will be extruded into these fractures and spill out onto  the seabed, forming new basaltic crust. Following the subsequent warming phase (2)  the massive compressions would in each cycle propagate the failures such as folding  and mountain building, or crustal over-riding and shear faulting or downward  folding at oceanic trenches or “subduction” zones. At the end of the next cooling  phase (3) these compression failure distortions would not be reversed by the  development of tension forces. Instead, during the tensile phase extensive cracking  and rifting could again be expected with, in many cases, molten magma being  extruded into the tensile fissures. These progressive alternations of horizontal  motion, driven by the thermal cycle, would for the same reason as the motions  involved in the development of say ice-wedge polygons, result from the differential  failures properties of rock in compression and tension.
==Figure  11. Long term thermal cycles producing cycles of crustal tension and  compression with associated failure mechanisms.
New crust would be forming at the mid-oceanic rift or “spreading” zones or any  other zones where tensile failures are concentrated, as suggested in Figure 11(b).  This could appear as stripes of new basalt that may or may not be in a symmetric  sequence about the “spreading” zone, and into which magnetic time signatures could  be frozen. However, the present model would be entirely consistent with older,  possibly continental crust, existing where PT would anticipate much younger  sediments, as observed by Timofeyev (1992), Udintsev (1996) and Dickins et al.  (1992), and for the magnetized basalt stripes to be interspersed with older rock,  possibly of continental origin as recorded by Grant (1980) and Choi et al. (1992).  It would also be entirely consistent with non-sequential and asymmetric stripes of  magnetized basalt (Meyerhoff et al., 1974). It is these features that have been  observed to be problematic with the PT model. Magma pillows extending from these  mid-oceanic fractures could be expected during some of these extrusions, with a  statistical probability that those spreading furthest would have occurred longest  ago. Each of these pillows of magma, formed during one of the tension cycles, would  be overlaid with sediments that would have accumulated over the subsequent  compression (warming) cycles, during which the rates of fluvial erosion of the  continental landmass would be at their highest. This would mean that the age of the  sediment at the first basalt layer might become progressively older as the distance  from the spreading zone increases. However, the present model would be consistent  with the suspicions of Dickins et al. (1992) and many others that were deep sea  drilling to penetrate through the first layer of basalt older sedimentary layers  would be discovered beneath. Indeed, it might be anticipated that a succession of  increasingly ancient alternating layers of basalt and sedimentary rocks would be  found. Such a finding would be a serious embarrassment to PT, but a strong  probability for the present cyclic expansion and contraction, compression and  tension, model. At the mid-oceanic fracture or rift zones the heating period will  lead to compression forces being developed in the now integral new crust. Under  certain conditions these compressions will be enough to initiate local folding,  shearing, faulting or general uplift of the crust. These uplifts or ridges would be  expected to grow during each of the heating cycles, as suggested in Figure 11(b).  It is one of the problem areas of PT that the ridges, characteristic of compression  action, should occur where the spreading is said to result from a steady tensile  rifting. No such problems occur in the present cyclic model. Over the 4.5 Ga or so  of Earth’s existence, many thousands of thermal cycles will have been experienced.  Some will have been very much more extreme than others, depending upon the  particular forms of the orbit and spin characteristics. Many will have occurred  prior to the formation of a significant crustal layer as we know it today. But the  effects of these cycles could be likened to a thermal pump. Each heating  (compression) cycle will lead to processes that tend to concentrate crust into  folded mountains, mid-oceanic ridges, or over-riding shear and folding typical at  the trenches or so-called subduction zones. In each cooling (tension) cycle the  distortions from these compression failures will not be reversed, but, as a result  of the differential properties of rock in tension and compression, will result in  tension fractures, shear dislocations and rifts opening up to be intruded with  magma that upon solidification forms new crust. By this means a new, integral,  crust will present itself for the process to be continued during the next heating  (compression) cycle. The process is closely analogous to the processes controlling  the development of ice-wedge polygons in permafrost, Mackay et al. (2002), the  behaviour recently hypothesized for pingo development, Croll (2004) and also that  recently described for certain motions of glacial ice, Croll (2007e). In each of  these cases it is the water rather than the molten magma that solidifies after  filling the tension cracks. But in all these and other cases the thermal ratchet  has its origins in the different failure properties of the materials in tension and  compression, and of course the different periodicities of the thermal cycles  brought about by the Earth’s interaction with the Sun.

In the circa 4.5 Ga years it has taken to develop the Earth’s crust and its  associated water volume, the average thickness and therefore the volume of the  crust has been gradually increasing. It might be safe to assume that over a shorter  time frame, measured in terms of say a few million years, the crustal volume  remains effectively constant. Hence, the cyclic creation of new crust, often near  mid-oceanic “spreading zones”, must be balanced by the loss of older crust.  However, this does not necessitate a model envisioned by PT where the new crust is  being continuously pushed out only to be lost again in subduction zones by being  thrust back down into the molten magma. Instead, the present model suggests a very  different form of mass balance that could help to explain the very long period  vertical motions experienced by both continental and sea floor crust. It could  provide an explanation for why ocean floors sink and become thinner, and then  build-up, rise and become continents again, only to be eroded and sink back to  become ocean floor. Vertical movements of continental and oceanic crust are clearly  on time scales that are orders of magnitude greater than the periodic thermal cycle  described above in terms of the ratchet action driving horizontal motions. Whereas  the latter can be measured in 100’s of thousands of years the vertical motions  would appear to occur at time scales of one to two orders of magnitude greater.  That being so many hundreds of thermal cycles could go into the development of the  vertical motions of crust. However, it will be suggested that at least some of the  driving force for these vertical motions could also derive from the thermal cycles  arising from the changes in orbital eccentricity and axis of spin of the Earth. The  following briefly describes how the thermally derived components of this driving  mechanism might work. As discussed above even a moderate drop in surface  temperature leading to the growth of a continental ice sheet will, in addition to  the simple increase in weight of the overburden, result in considerably larger  decreases in temperature at the lower levels of the crust. As suggested in Figure 9  this change in thermal regime could give rise to aggradation of solidified magma at  the lower crust boundary. With this solidified magma having a lower density than  the magma from which it derived, buoyancy considerations would suggest that this  lower surface aggradation would produce a rise of the upper surface of the crust.  Whether the rise due to lower surface aggradation of crust would be greater than  the fall due to increased ice overburden would be dependent upon the thermal  conductivity and the thickness of the crust and the ice overburden. An additional  factor that could influence the rise and fall would be the strain state associated  with the cyclic changes in thermal regime within the crust. The large drops in  temperatures at the lower levels would, if no tension fractures occurred, result in  build-up of tension stress having a profile similar to that shown in Figure 12(a).  This would be equivalent to loading the crustal plate with a resultant tensile  force and a moment which will tend to deform the plate into a downward concave  shape, as shown in Figure 12(b). Tensile fractures relieving these stresses would  be greatest at the lower surface of the crust so that any intrusion of magma that  subsequently solidifies would tend to lock-in the downward deformation, of the  crust giving rise to a general lowering of the upper surface of the crust. Again,  the relative importance of these thermally induced stress fracture effects would be  dependent upon the nature of the crust.
==Figure  12. How long term crustal cooling would generate average tensile forces  that could contribute to the vertical depression of crust.
Surface warming could be expected to have the opposite effects upon the rise and  fall of crust. The loss of ice overburden would as is generally recognized to have  been occurring in Scandinavia following the most recent ice age, produce an uplift  of the crust. The thermal effects discussed above could in contrast add to this  inter-glacial rebound or give rise to a lowering of the upper surface of the crust.  As discussed in Figure 10 the non-uniform heating of the crust could result in  remagmafication of crustal material at the lower boundary. Due to the increased  density of the magma this would be anticipated to result in thinning and sinking of  the crust. In contrast, and as suggested in Figure 13, the non-uniform increases in  temperature with depth would give rise to compressive stresses that are greatest at  the lower boundary. To accommodate the failures and enhanced creep at the lower  levels of the crust associated with the higher compressive stresses and the higher  visco-plastic strains, an upward dishing of the crust is likely to occur. This  upward deformation could be thought of as a form of upheaval buckling induced by  the high compressive force and its eccentricity encouraging an upward deformation.  So the thermal effects could either be adding to the rebound during an inter- glacial, or under different conditions working to produce a sinking of the crust.  Similar effects would be experienced within oceanic crust being subjected to major  changes in its thermal regime as a result of perturbations in the surface  temperature and any associated changes in the thermal insulation. Over large  numbers of thermal cycles a number of possible outcomes could occur. Possibly  triggered by a prolonged period of cold surface conditions, ocean crust could  gradually rise or fall and not be recovered by say a shorter intervening period of  warm surface conditions. The reverse would be true of prolonged periods of warm  surface conditions followed by shorter intervening periods of cold. In this regard  it is interesting to speculate that the Earth’s rate of spin at different times of  its 4.5 Ga history may have been very different to what it is today. Might there  have been geological epochs during which Earth may have almost ceased spinning and  even undergone reversals in direction? Such changes could start to account for very  considerable antipodal differences in the thermal gradients through the Earths  crust. With the associated prolonged periods of either intense cold or heating it  would be possible to envisage a situation where crust becomes intensely heated on  one side of Earth and intensely cold at the antipode. This could possibly account  for the well recorded observation that continental crust and oceanic crust have a  strong tendency to occur as antipodal opposites.
==Figure  13. How long term crustal warming would generate average compressive  forces that could contribute to the vertical elevation of crust.
Potentially massive changes in thermal energy within the earth’s crust have been  suggested to give rise to tectonic forces capable of producing either rises or  falls of both ocean and continental crust. Once again the mechanisms for the  alternations of thermal energy have been suggested to derive from the long term  cycles of solar radiation reaching the earth’s surface and magnification of the  thermal regimes brought about by the consequential changes in the levels of surface  insulation to the outflow of geothermal energy. Credible mechanisms have been  described which under certain conditions would be expected to result in a long term  rise of oceanic crust to eventually become continental crust and vice versa. That  such vertical motions have occurred is fairly clear from the evidence available. It  is the failure to explain such vertical changes in crustal disposition and indeed  its assumption that they have generally not occurred that is one of the major  shortcomings of PT as currently formulated.

It has been suggested that there are some fundamental problems with plate tectonics  (PT), the now dominant paradigm that underpins much of current geologic thinking.  Most of these problems are overcome by a new model that attributes the tectonic  forces required to drive the formation of the Earth’s crust to the periodic changes  in thermal conditions. Some of these thermal changes are suggested to derive from  variations in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun and to a lesser extent the periodic  changes in the orientation of the Earth’s axis of spin relative to the orbital  plane. Restraint of the expansions wanting to take place when the crust warms will  induce massive compressive forces. During the cooling cycle these same restraints  will act to induce a dominantly tension field. This cycle of thermal loading has  been suggested to act like a form of tectonic pump driving the many processes  currently explained by PT. But importantly, it has been reasoned that this new  model is capable of resolving many paradoxes of PT and in particular could help to  resolve the issue upon which PT is noticeably silent, namely, the processes that  cause long term vertical movement of both continental and ocean crust (“plates”).  This cyclic, thermal, model has been shown to be capable of explaining: the  vertical upheaval of thickened oceanic floor to form continental land masses; the  vertical depression of eroded continents to form new ocean floors; the formation of  mid-oceanic mountain chains often adjacent to mid-oceanic rifts and “spreading  zones”; and the processes whereby mountains continue to be formed on continental  land masses. While direct evidence to prove or disprove this new model would appear  to be unavailable, its consistency with much of what is known would seem to  recommend it for serious consideration. Future evidence may show that it is  incorrectly founded. This risk is surely outweighed by the consideration that the  present model is already known to be at odds with too much fundamental empirical  data to be retained. We are clearly in need of fresh thinking. It is hoped that  this contribution could form part of this fresh thinking.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Presentation of this paper at the American Association of  Petroleum Geologists, European Conference, Athens, 17-20 November, 2007, was made  possible by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship grant number RF/RFG/2006/0087. This  support is gratefully acknowledged.

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26 New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, no. 42, March, 2007
... The Rifts Fallacy
The first page of another 1970 Freund publication was also found on the internet  and reveals that while he helped establish the Dead Sea Transform legend, he also  warned the Red Sea could not be opened by ignoring what was then known as the big  Afar triangle (Fig. 4):
Nature 228, 453 (31 October, 1970); doi:10.1038/228453a0
Plate Tectonics of the Red Sea and East Africa
Department of Geology, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
I WOULD like to comment on some of the assumptions and results of a recent letter  by McKenzie et al. They reconstruct the pre-movement position of Arabia and Africa  by fitting the two coast lines of the Red Sea, assuming that the entire space  between the coasts is occupied by newly formed oceanic crust. This assumption  ignores the existence of the Danakil horst, which consists of continental crust  (Pre-Cambrian, Jurassic) and which is some 80 km wide, in between these two coast  lines in the southern Red Sea depression. It seems impossible to close the gap of  the Red Sea without leaving the space required for this continental block.
These words were the pivotal moment in the whole history of Plate Tectonics, but  Circus Maximus ignored this crucial warning and proceeded to pick the lock at the  mouth of the Red Sea. In fact, their darkest secret was that the Red Sea must be  seen to be opening wide and connecting with the Mediterranean, otherwise the whole  region is a closed system and the axe of oceanization hangs over their heads (Fig.  5).
So the Red Sea had to be a rift and the dark continent of Africa was then perfect  for establishing the illusion of forking rifts (Fig. 6) where nobody could possibly  suspect the existence of forking ENIGMAS (Fig. 7).
Despite plentiful signs of the ENIGMA in the form of triangles (Fig. 8) and all  over the 1976 Gravity Map of Australia (Fig. 9), the illusion of the forking rift  spread from Africa right around the world to become the biggest fiasco in the  history of man's intellectual endeavours and far too hot for the media in 1999 and  2004.
While the biggest offset in Australia is quite small (Fig. 10), the 105 km shift  along the DST was needed to confirm that the whole Levant was on the move, that the  Red Sea was about to open, and Africa was about to be torn apart, yet there was not  a scrap of evidence of this actually happening anywhere on the planet, despite  “finding” many platelets. New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, no. 42,  March, 2007 31
Figure 5. The utter absurdity of Plate Tectonics was obvious decades ago. The  Mediterranean and Red Sea are really zones of closed subsidence being reworked by  oceanization, and access has been produced by waterfalls cutting through basement  ridges at Gibraltar and Istanbul. Gibraltar means that all the inland seas were  caused by oceanization and Continental Drift is a giant farce.

Figure 6. In the land of multiple illusions, opening the Red Sea was a fiasco as it  was always obvious the Afar end is completely closed and locked. The high elevation  (left) is shown in red and contains the best known rifts of east Africa. The  cartoon (center) impatiently anticipates the rifting away of this whole section,  yet there is no evidence for any actual opening in any continent, and the fallacy  that African rifts fork (right) makes this a mega fiasco. 32 New Concepts in Global  Tectonics Newsletter, no. 42, March, 2007
Figure 7. Rifts were invented by Plate Tectonics in the dark data-less continent of  Africa. The initial concepts were wildly spurious and varied from tension to  compression and even oscillations. In Australian gravity ENIGMA ridges fork (bottom  left), and the forking African rift (bottom right) is an illusion which explains  why they have all failed to open and why no continent has ever broken up (Anfiloff,  1989).

Figure 8. The illusion of the forking African rifts hides the ENIGMA. The  compression-driven compartmentalized Polycyclic Rifting process (Anfiloff, 1992)  shows how bifurcating ridges weave in and out of a row of triangular troughs and is  the bane of oil exploration. But the term “rift” should now be completely removed  from the lexicon of tectonics!New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, no. 42,  March, 2007 33
Figure 9. The difference between African rift tectonics and Australian ENIGMA  triangle tectonics needs to be investigated. The crux of the Plate Tectonics  illusion lies in the complete absence of any continent actually breaking apart  cleanly anywhere in the world despite the finding of numerous “platelets”. They  often slice through triangles but no offsets are to be seen anywhere along these  alleged cracks in the crust. Nor does the ENIGMA involve much offset in the  formation of its triangles which have a very specific slope towards the ridge (Fig.  8).

Figure 10. This is the only tangible offset in the magnetics of Australia and it  does not continue into the Yilgarn Shield.
Nor was there any evidence of an incipient opening process in any deep penetrating  geophysical data, and after a dozen big fiascos, all this culminated decades later  in the tectonic banana fiasco (Fig. 11). This figure shows where Plate Tectonics  started and ended, and the grist of all the fiascos in between lies in the  difference between Africa and Australia (Fig. 9). To avoid this, Circus Maximus has  used transforms to slice tectonic triangles down the middle as if they are  cucumbers, without showing any offsets, and without explaining why they even exist  (Fig. 12).
Two of these triangular cucumbers were eventually studied in detail and they called  them pull-apart basins but that only created more fiascos and points to an  underlying problem which Plate Tectonics could not solve: the subduction  contradiction.
The Nemah fiasco
The new generation has never seen a vertical tectonic structure because they were  deleted from schools and even books on oil exploration. This culminated in the  Nemah fiasco. More than a decade after the complete ENIGMA was revealed (Anfiloff,  1992), oil explorers still have no idea they are standing on top of one on the  Nemah Ridge and that the whole of the legendary Mid Continent Rift is really a  string of highly evolved ENIGMAS (Fig. 13).
This again shows the fiasco of the big rift model illusion in Figure 11 which while  taught all over the internet, has never been tested anywhere with real data.
The GPS fiasco
For decades the DST legend was never properly tested and was propped up by the  automatic citation process. Then GPS measurements of creep created the insidious  merry-go-round of the locked fault, whose logic is: we know the whole thing was  moving, but it paused while we were measuring it!


Morning session Co-Chairs: S. T. Tassos, K. Storetvedt and D. Choi
Introductory Remarks: Karsten Storetvedt
Five Para-Myths and One Comprehensive Proposition in Geology: The Solid, Quantified, Growing and Radiating Earth
Stavros T. Tassos, Institute of Geodynamics, National Observatory of Athens, PO Box 200 48, Athens 118 10
Greece, phone: +30 210 34 90 169,
Five propositions in Geology, namely Plate Tectonics, Constant Size Earth, Heat Engine Earth, Elastic Rebound, and the Organic Origin of Hydrocarbon Reserves are challenged as Para-Myths because their potential truth is not confirmed by Observation, and/or Experiment, and/or Logic. In their place the Excess Mass Stress Tectonics - EMST, i.e., a Solid, Quantified, Growing and Radiating Earth and its implications, such as the Inorganic Origin of Hydrocarbons, claims to be a
Comprehensive Proposition.

Space is the infinite source of all mass that becomes measurable as energy - unpaired standing or travelling waves and matter-paired standing waves, i.e., waving space itself at 299792458 m/s. Energy and matter are sine waveforms of local anisotropy in the elastic, large-scale isotropic continuum, which is lossless and has infinite elasticity to any velocity < light speed, and infinite rigidity at vc. Gravity is tension and its inverse quantity is ‘mass'-space density. All wave-particles contain a constant quantum of tensional elastic potential, irrespective of wavelength, as per E=hf. Due to constant linear stretching, the total tensional elastic energy (E), i.e., frequency, raises proportionally counteracting entropic dissipation, whilst local space density (m), inversely and proportionally increases, as one entity, thus the constancy of the square root of their ratio. In the context of Excess Mass Stress Tectonics – EMST, Earth is a quantified solid black body that appears to grow with time. Earth's inner core is an equilibrium high-tension/high-frequency location, wherein energy-unpaired standing or travelling waves transform into matter-paired standing waves, so that the conservation principle is not violated. Form new elements, i.e., ‘Excess Mass', which are added atom-by-atom, the greater bulk concentrically, whereas the ‘active' part rises in the cold and increasingly rigid with depth mantle, as the seismic wave velocity data indicate. Upon oxidation-decompression the reduced form releases its ‘excess' electrons. Iron with the highest nuclear binding energy of 8.8 MeV should be the last element to form; thus the absence of true oceanic crust older than 200 m.y. High temperatures and melting are local and episodic phenomena, sourced by radiant heat, i.e., electron resonance in 10-6 m micro-cracks at 1014 Hz, at depths lower than 5 km; the maximum depth horizontal micro-cracks can remain permanently open. In the context of Excess Mass Stress Tectonics – EMST, hydrocarbons are energy sources produced abiotically through a process whereby hydrogen and carbon, but also oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur and trace-elements being formed in the Earth's core, rise through radial fracture trails in the solid and cold mantle to the Earth's surface. If their rise is blocked compose bigger compounds, e.g., kerogen, that can transform by radiant heat in the upper 5 km or so of the Earth's interior, into gas, oil and coal, at temperatures <200, 100-50, and <50oC, respectively. In the absence of trapping and/or above 200oC, the temperature at which porphyrins are destroyed, they are released as methane gas, like in Titan today, and/or are fully oxidized to CO2 and H2O. Oil and gas reserves mature in basins adjacent to deformed Precambrian shields and platforms, mostly during the last 200 m.y., when wide and deep oceans and a complex pattern of uplifts and sedimentary basins developed, thus providing the reservoirs and the structural and/or stratigraphic traps. They associate with moderate seismic and volcanic activity, free-air gravity, geoidal, and heat flow anomalies, and large igneous provinces, i.e., Excess Mass. 62 New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, no. 45, December, 2007 Depending on the “virtual” temperature gradient and in the absence of migration, gas, oil and coal should be found at greater, intermediate, and shallower depths, respectively. For example, with 200oC at 4 km depth, temperature gradient 50oC/km, thermal conductivity 2 W/m.oC, and heat flow 100 mW/m2 gas, oil, and coal should be found at about 3, <2, and <1 km, respectively.
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New Concepts in Global Tectonics Journal, V. 4, No. 3, September 2016. 353
Dear Editor,
Inertia-triggered global tectonic stresses and polar wander

In recent letters (NCGT 2015, p. 104-105; 2016, p. 3-4), Peter James has speculated on whether the driving forces invoked to operate my global Wrench Tectonics – the sum of inertial effects caused by Earth’s variable rotation – indeed are strong enough for having a noticeable effect on Earth’s surface structure. Based on his geotechnical experience he apparently regards my inferred inertia-triggered torque hopelessly inadequate for the task –allegedly pointing to “the enormous forces that would be required to twist a continental unit like Australia”. Nevertheless, numerous GPS velocity studies demonstrate that Australia is in fact currently undergoing relatively fast counter-clockwise torsion – consistent with the inferred system of latitude-dependent inertial ‘crustal’ wrenching (cf. Storetvedt and Longhinos, 2014; Storetvedt, 2015). Furthermore, Peter James alleges that I have discussed rotation of Australia in Devonian/Carboniferous times, but this allegation is wrong. Crustal wrenching, giving rise to episodic inertial rotation of continental blocks, is only a feature of the last 100 million years (or so) of Earth history. The rotational instability of the modern continents, which are still taking place, apparently began as a dynamo-tectonic consequence of accelerated processes of crustal oceanization and deep sea formation which was the prerequisite of the Alpine tectonic revolution.

The superdeep Kola drill hole (to a depth of some 12 km) gave the surprising results that fracture spacing increases exponentially versus depth in the upper crust, and similar unexpected observations have been obtained in the 9 km deep crustal drilling site in SE Germany (KTB). A most unexpected discovery of the two continental sections was that the characteristic system of open fractures was filled with hydrous fluids which, under pressure and temperature conditions predicted for the middle and lower crust, would be in its strongly buoyant supercritical state (cf. Storetvedt, 2013 for references and discussion); hence, the strong buoyancy of supercritical hydrous fluids is likely to be the main cause of the increasing fracture volume versus depth in the continental crust. In fact, it appears that the crust does not represent a solid carapace but constitutes rather a highly fractured and increasingly fluid/gas-filled cover layer. Thus, even for the upper crust, the shear strength is likely to be much lower than what traditionally has been assumed. Accordingly, conventional estimates of tectonic twisting forces are clearly outdated; such guesses have little, if any, significance.

In an earlier paper in this journal (Storetvedt, 2011), I took a critical look at the origin and development mode of the Earth. I concluded that “The Earth is apparently still in a relatively un-degassed state, which may be the very reason for its ceaseless dynamo-tectonic activity. Furthermore, the physico-chemical struggle towards internal equilibrium may be expected to have resulted in episodic reworking of the primitive surface layer – in accordance with the variegated [and jerky] geological history”. According such a development scheme, reorganization of the interior mass must have given rise to periodic changes of the Earth’s moments of inertia – including events of true polar wander, which are likely to have been a principal dynamic driver of the planet’s pulse-like geological history. An event of true polar wander represents a relatively fast turning-over of the Earth’s body relative to the astronomical rotation axis – resulting in migration of the equatorial bulge and the zones of polar flattening, naturally imposing significant stress changes on the crust.

Therefore, polar wandering events may serve as a kind of hydraulic pump forcing pressurized hydrous fluids (from the upper mantle) into the expanding fracture system of the overlying crust; in this process, the crustal shear strength is likely to have been greatly reduced periodically – perhaps by orders of magnitude. Owing to the slow magnetization processes in nature, qualified palaeomagnetic studies would only capture the more significant long-term (‘first order’) polar wander events (cf. Storetvedt, 2016) while a recent interesting study of orientation of ancient cultic objects (Grigoriev, 2015) seems to have been able to define a transient Holocene polar track – representing a time span of only tens of thousands of years. Nevertheless, wrenching deformation of the crust – as demonstrated by palaeomagnetism and supported by GPS velocity studies – would have been episodic like everything else in global tectonophysics.

Peter James suggests that crustal stresses brought about by polar wander events would tectonically be much more effective than inertial forces. I fully agree that polar wander, with its associated global-extent crustal stresses, is likely to be a very important factor in crustal wrenching processes; but in order to explain the overall pattern of crustal torsion it is necessary to bring in also the effects of planetary inertia – for which the regulating tectonic stresses would be towards the equator and westward (for references and discussion, see Storetvedt, 2015). This is in fact the mobilistic principle of my wrench tectonics – originally based on a reconsideration of global palaeomagnetic data and subsequently supported by the overall scheme of estimated crustal GPS velocities.

Grigoriev, S.A., 2015. Orientation of ancient cultic objects and polar drift. NCGT Journal, v. 3, no. 4, p. 416-431.
Storetvedt, K.M., 2011. Aspects of Planetary Formation and the Precambrian Earth. NCGT Newsletter, no. 59, p. 60-83.
Storetvedt, K.M., 2013. Global Theories and Standards of Judgement: Knowledge versus Groundless Speculation. NCGT Journal, v. 1, no. 3, p. 55-101.
Storetvedt, K.M., 2015. Inertial forces on the lithosphere. NCGT Journal, v. 3, no. 3, p.259-262.
Storetvedt, K.M., 2016. A Personal History of the Remagnetization Debate: Accounting for a Mobilistic Earth. NCGT Journal, v. 4, no. 2, p. 322-344.
Storetvedt, K.M. & Longhinos, B., 2014. Australasia within the Setting of Global Wrench Tectonics. NCGT Journal, v. 2, no. 1, p. 66-96.
Karsten M. Storetvedt
University of Bergen, Norway


NCGT Journal, v. 1, no. 3, September 2013.
Institute of Geophysics, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
“There is no inductive method which could lead to the fundamental concepts…in error are those theorists who believe that theory comes inductively from experience.” Albert Einstein, in: Philosophy of Science (1934)
“The dispassionate intellect, the open mind, the unprejudiced observer, exists in an exact sense only in a sort of intellectualist folk-lore; states even approaching them cannot be reached without a moral and emotional effort most of us cannot or will not make.”
Wilfred Trotter, in: Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War (1916)
Abstract: In the history of global geology, it has become customary either to ignore problems that do not fit a favoured model, or alternatively to deal with them, in an ad hoc manner, one by one. This means that the geological community has never had the advantage of a functional master theory. The lack of a real overarching plan has clearly hampered a sound development of the Earth sciences, and during the reign of plate tectonics the situation in global geology has perhaps become more chaotic than ever. In an attempt to get out of this deadlock, the search has begun for erecting a new theoretical framework – a functional platform to account for Earth’s diverse expressions, its phenomenological interconnections and development pattern. As a result of these endeavours, a certain ‘battle’ is presently taking place between two incompatible global tectonic proposals: surge tectonics versus wrench tectonics – both being variably linked to planetary rotation. It is concluded that surge tectonics is too narrow in scope and does not have the necessary predictive-explanatory power to serve as a next generation global geological theory.
Keywords: philosophy and sociology of science, requirements of functional theories, global dynamics, surge tectonics,
wrench tectonics
Science as a human enterprise

In a number of books, articles, essays and letters I have, in recent years, taken up a multitude of pressing problems in global geology (Storetvedt 1997; 2003; 2005a, b; 2007; 2009, 2010a, b; 2011a), and in some co-authored works (Storetvedt et al. 2003; Storetvedt and Longhinos 2010, 2011; Storetvedt and Bouzari, 2012) the topical discussion has been greatly extended. In addition to purely geo scientific aspects, I have also paid attention to the diversity of distracting human nature interventions – including intellectual laziness, wishful thinking, blind commitment, and the herd instinct (Storetvedt, 2005a; 2008; 2009; 2011b; 2013a); these non-scientific factors are of particular importance when it comes to discussion of global tectonic theories, which, relative to the mini-theories of specific geological disciplines, have their very special cognitive and heuristic functions. Thus, ‘big picture’ thinking – in general having been acquired through reiteration processes, social relationship or by the powers of indoctrination or persuasion – forms the weakest part of all sciences. For example, ad hoc provisions generally flourish at mini-scale research but rarely on the basic tenets of a particular science with which the majority of scientists is largely unfamiliar. Scientific discussions are often packed with observation statements regarded as verified facts.
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New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, no. 58, March, 2011
M. Ismail BHAT
Christian SMOOT
Dong R. CHOI

_Recent issues of the NCGT Newsletter carried criticism of the surge tectonics.  _The critiques are either half attempts (Karesten Storetvedt) or superficial (Peter  James).  _While our response to Storetvedt should equally apply to James’ comment, we would  however very briefly address his comment separately.  _Using this opportunity we shall also ask a question or two to those who advocate  oceanization.  _And finally, we present a little puzzle for expanding Earth proponents. 
Karesten Storetvedt – Criticism off the mark  _Storetvedt (NCGT issue no. 57) denounced surge tectonics -- in favor of his wrench  tectonics -- as unable to account for geological history.  _Our intention here, however, is not to pick holes in wrench tectonics or to defend  surge tectonics.  _That is for the readers and time.  _We would instead argue what we believe is the scientifically most logical basis  for enunciation of surge tectonics.  _Storetvedt writes “As I see it, the [surge tectonics] hypothesis has ignored too  many data that didn't fit the box (just as has been the situation for Wegenerian  drift and plate tectonics).  _To me many of the arguments sounded strained and constructed for the purpose.”  _But, except for one (tropical-subtropical conditions in Antarctica; see below), he  neither identifies those “ignored” data nor tell the reader what arguments sound  “strained” or “constructed for the purpose.”  _Isn’t that truly unscientific?  _Anyhow, one can’t be more off the mark.  _Surge tectonics isn’t being proposed as a model which is then beefed up and  confirmed by data (something Storetvedt seems to prefer); instead it evolves from  known data.  _Here is the story for those who haven’t read or heard about it.  _The evolution of surge tectonics happened through a series of articles by Arthur A. Meyerhoff and his coworkers that began in 1972 and culminated in the first  presentation of the concept in 1989 at a conference sponsored by the Smithsonian  Institute and Texas Tech University.  _The proceedings of the conference, including the surge tectonics concept, were  later published in 1992.  _In 1995 Journal of Southeast Asian Earth Sciences published its application under  the title ‘Surge-tectonic evolution of southeastern Asia: a geohydrodynamics  approach’ as a single paper issue.  _So, it was not just the enunciation of a concept but its testing as well.  _The year 1996 saw the consolidation and publication of the whole idea and its  application in book form with one additional topic on magma floods.  _The book has just six chapters including a very short one on conclusions. 
>_It begins with a brief discussion of former and current concepts of Earth  dynamics, including Earth contraction concept, which incidentally provides the  basic framework for the surge tectonics.
 _Pros and cons of each concept are presented, concluding with why there is need for  a new hypothesis.  _Next it presents a short description of the history and evolution of techniques  for data gathering. 
>_It is followed by a long discussion of 29 data sets that remain unexplained by all the current geodynamic models.
>_The spread of these data sets is worth noting: from the smallest (like dip and  strike, joints and lineations) through hydrothermal manifestations, linear  anorogenic belts, distribution of world evaporites, vortex structures, deep  continental roots, morphology and seismic characters of different tectonic elements  (rift zones, ocean ridges, island arcs, mountain belts), ocean floor bathymetry,  oceanic basement, heat and microearthquake bands, Benioff zones, antipodal  arrangement of oceans and continents, continental margin phenomena,  seismotomography and convection, magma floods to presence or absence of certain  tectonic elements in particular parts of globe (like island arcs and ocean island  chains).
 _The basic data in all these cases is sourced from published literature,  predominantly by plate tectonicists.  _Does the whole spectrum look like “constructed for the purpose?”  _What is most significant here is the identification of a common denominator that  defines all these 29 tectonic elements and how it lays the foundation for a new  concept. 
>_That common denominator is the presence in the lithosphere of magma channels at  various depths rising from asthenosphere across all tectonic elements and across  all plate tectonic settings – rift, ridge, subduction zone and mountain belts. 
>_The magma channel is shown to be either active or fossilized with characteristic  P-wave velocity range of 7.0 to 7.8 km/s.  _Next comes the construction of surge tectonics hypothesis. 
>_It begins with a discussion of the seismic velocity structure of the Earth and  evidence for deep continental roots. 
>_Then we have discussion of eleven pieces of geological and geophysical evidence  for a differentiated, cooling Earth, one of which also provides a neat explanation  for the existence of asthenosphere:  >“As the Earth cools, it solidifies from surface downward. 
>_Because stress states in cooled [lithosphere] and uncooled [strictosphere, i.e.  mantle below asthenosphere] parts are necessarily opposite one another, compression  above and tension below, the two parts must be separated by a surface or zone …  called the level of no strain.” 
>_This is followed by discussion of why the original contraction hypothesis fails as a viable geodynamic concept and how the presence of surge channels in an  environment of compressive stresses of lithosphere does away with all the valid  objections to the Earth contraction concept. 
>_That is to say, the contraction concept is revived in a new form that addresses  all the known objections to its original form. 
>_Also, evidence for the flow of fluid (magma) under each tectonic element is  presented and shown to control and define structural and morphological features of  all the data sets. 
>_We then have the introduction of surge channel concept.

 _In order not to give any impression of ownership to the idea of surge channels and  give due credit to where it belongs to, literature review of the concept of surge  and related concepts in Earth-dynamic theory is presented. 
>_Geotectonic cycle of surge tectonics is also briefly introduced here followed by  geophysical and other evidence for the existence of surge channels, their geometry,  demonstration of tangential flow, mechanism of eastward flow, their classification,  geophysical/ geological criteria for their identification and their examples in  different tectonic settings as well as how their variable thickness are controlled  are presented and discussed. 
>_Next we see application of surge tectonics hypothesis to SE Asia and origin of  magma floods.

 _Quoting from the surge tectonics book -- Meyerhoff et al. 1996 -- and ignoring  references to the cited literature as well as figures/tables, the broad framework  of the hypothesis is thus: 
>_“Surge tectonics is based on the concept that the lithosphere contains a worldwide network of deformable magma chambers (surge channels) in which partial magma melt is in motion (active surge channels) or was in motion at some time in the past (inactive surge channels)… 
>_The presence of surge channels means that all of the compressive stresses in the  lithosphere are oriented at right angles to their walls. 
>_As this compressive stress increases during a given tectonic cycle, it eventually  ruptures the channels that are deformed bilaterally into kobergens [bilaterally  deformed foldbelts]… 
>_“Surge tectonics involves three separate but interdependent and interacting  processes. 
>_The first process is the contraction or cooling of the Earth. 
>_The second is the lateral flow of fluid, or semifluid, magma through a network of  interconnected magma channels in the lithosphere [the cooled outer shell]. 
>_We call these surge channels. 
>_The third process is the Earth’s rotation. 
>_This process involves differential lag between the lithosphere and the  strictosphere (the hard [still hot but cooling] mantle beneath the asthenosphere  and lower crust), and its effects – eastward shifts.”

 _No other geodynamic concept touches this aspect.  _Again quoting from the surge tectonics book, and ignoring references to the cited literature as well as figures/tables, here is how geotectonic cycle is envisaged under surge tectonics:
>_“The asthenosphere alternately expands (during times of tectonic quiescence) and  contracts (during tectogenesis). 
>_Thus when the asthenosphere is expanding, the surge channels above it, which are  supplied from the asthenosphere, also are expanding; and when tectogenesis takes  place, the magma in surge channels is expelled. 
>_Tectogenesis is triggered by collapse of the lithosphere into the asthenosphere  along 30o-dipping lithosphere Benioff zones. 
>_The following is [the] interpretation of the approximate sequence of events during a geotectonic cycle. 
>_1. The strictosphere is always contracting, presumably at a steady rate, because  the Earth is cooling. 
>_2. The overlying lithosphere, because it is already cool, does not contract, but  adjusts its basal circumference to the upper surface of the shrinking stictosphere  by (1) large-scale thrusting along lithosphere Benioff zones, and (2) normal-type  faulting along the strictosphere Benioff zones. 
>_These two types of deformation, one compressive and the other tensile, are  complementary and together constitute an example of Navier-Coulomb maximum shear  stress theory. 
>_3. The large-scale thrusting of the lithosphere is not a continuous process, but  occurs only when the lithosphere’s underlying dynamic support fails. 
>_That support is provided mainly by the softer asthenosphere and frictional  resistance along the Benioff fractures. 
>_When the weight of the lithosphere overcomes the combined resistance offered by  the asthenosphere and Benioff-zone friction, lithosphere collapse ensues. 
>_Because this process cannot be perfectly cyclic, it must be episodic; hence tectogenesis is episodic. 
>_4. During anorogenic intervals between lithosphere collapses, the asthenosphere  volume increases slowly as the lithosphere radius decreases. 
>_The increase in asthenosphere volume is accompanied by decompression in the  asthenosphere. 
>_5. Decompression is accompanied by rising temperature, increased magma generation, and lowered viscosity in the asthenosphere, which gradually weakens during the time intervals between collapses. 
>_6. Flow in the asthenosphere is predominantly eastward as a consequence of the  Earth’s rotation (Newton’s Third Law of Motion). 
>_Magma flow in the surge channels above the asthenosphere also tends to be  eastward, although local barriers may divert flow in other directions for short  distances. 
>_Coriolis force also must exert an important influence on asthenosphere and surge- channel flow, which by its nature is Poiseuille flow. 
>_Therefore, the flow at the channel walls is laminar and is accompanied by viscous, or backward drag. The viscous drag produces the swaths of faults, fractures, and fissures (streamlines) that are visible at the surface above all the active tectonic belts.  _These bands or swaths are example of Stokes’ Law (one expression of Newton’s  Second Law of Motion). 
>_7. During lithosphere collapse into the asthenosphere, the continentward (hanging  wall) sides of lithosphere Benioff zones override (obduct) the ocean floor. 
>_The entire lithosphere buckles, fractures, and founders. 
>_Enormous compressive stresses are created in the lithosphere. 
>_8. Both the lithosphere and strictosphere fracture along great circles at the  depth of the strictoshere’s upper surface. 
>_Only two partial great circle fracture zones survive on the Earth today. 
>_These include the fairly extensive, highly active Circum-Pacific great circle and  the almost defunct Tethys-Mediterranean great circle. 
>_9. When the lithosphere collapses into the asthenosphere, the asthenosphere- derived magma in the surge channels begins to surge intensely. 
>_Whenever the volume of the magma in the channels exceeds their volumetric  capacity, and when compression in the lithosphere exceeds the strength of the  lithosphere that directly overlies the surge channels, the surge-channel roofs  rupture along the cracks that comprise the faultfracture-fissure system generated  in the surge channel by Poiseuille flow before the rupture is bivergent, whether it  forms continental rifts, foldbelts, strike-slip zones, or midocean rifts. 
>_The fold belts develop into kobergens, some of them alpinotype and some of them  germanotype. 
>_The tectonic style of a tectonic belt depends mainly on the thickness and strength of the lithosphere overlying it. 
>_10. Tectogenesis generally affects an entire tectonic belt and, in fact, may be  worldwide, the worldwide early to late Eocene tectogenesis is an example. 
>_This indicates that the lithosphere collapse generates tectogenesis and transmits  stresses everywhere in a given belt at the same time.

 _Thus Pascal’s law is at the core of tectogenesis. 
>_Sudden rupture and deformation of surge channels may therefore be likened to what  happens when someone stamps a foot on a tube full of tooth paste. 
>_The speed or rapidity of tectogenesis, then, is related to the number of fractures participating in the event, as well as to the thickness of lithosphere involved, the size of the surge channels or surge-channel system, the volume and types of magma involved, and related factors. 
>_11. Once tectogenesis is completed, another geotectonic cycle or subcycle sets in, commonly within the same tectonic belt.” 
>_Summarising, surge tectonics views the Earth as “a very large hydraulic press. 
>_Such a press consists of three essential parts – a closed vessel, the liquid in  the vessel, and a ram or piston. 
>_The collapse of the lithosphere into the asthenosphere is the activating ram or  piston of tectogenesis. 
>_The asthenosphere and its overlying lithosphere surge channels – which are  everywhere connected with the asthenosphere by vertical conduits – are the vessels  that enclose the fluid. 
>_The fluid is magma generated in the asthenosphere. 
>_The magma fills the lithosphere channels. 
>_When the piston (lithosphere collapse) suddenly compresses the channels and the  underlying asthenosphere, the pressure is transmitted rapidly and essentially  simultaneously through the worldwide interconnected surge-channel network, the  surge channels burst and the tectogenesis is in full swing.

 _The compression everywhere of the asthenosphere compensates for the fact that the  basaltic magma of the surge channels is non-Newtonian.”  _In conclusion, it is evident that the evolution and enunciation of surge tectonics  as a viable geodynamic concept follow the most appropriate scientific approach –  from basic data to process to encompassing framework (hypothesis).  _And, most importantly, that the concept “draws on well-known laws of physics,  especially those related to the laws of motion, gravity, and fluid dynamics,” which  are discussed throughout the text and again presented and explained in the  appendix.  _As to its application to the geological past, that needs working out time-series  information about increase in lithospheric thickness.  _Having said this, we do not claim surge tectonics to be the panacea for geodynamic  problems.  _As Donna Meyerhoff-Hull wrote in her editor’s postscript (Meyerhoff et al., 1996),  “He encouraged his colleagues to continue thinking about the hypothesis and wanted  them to continue to improve it with their own data and idea”.  _However, we strongly believe, it addresses nearly every geological and geophysical  piece of data currently available.  _After the enunciation of surge tectonics in 1992 and his death in 1994, numerous  evidence supporting surge tectonics have continually emerged, many of which have  been documented in our own platform, NCGT Newsletter: The data mainly come from  field geological data, earthquake study, satellite altimetry and seismic  tomography.  _They provide much clearer picture of surge tectonics. 
>_Some salient points are: 1) The outer core-sourced energy possibly in the form of  heat, volatiles, or electromagnetics rises to the shallow Earth and transmigrates  laterally along major fractured and porous zones – tectonic zones and orogenic  belts, which trigger volcanic eruptions and major earthquakes by heating magmas and  the upper mantle/lower crust. 
>_The well-tested and proven Blot’s energy transmigration phenomena (1976) and  Tsunoda’s VE process (2009) testify to the presence of energy migration channels or  surge channels. 
>_2) Seismo-tomographic profiles across the Pacific Ocean show the correlation  between the distribution of Jurassic and Cretaceous basins and that of faster  mantle velocity down to 330 km depth, which in turn is underlain by slow mantle  (Choi and Vasiliev, 2008; Fig. 1), while the continents are generally underlain by  fast mantle through to the core-mantle boundary. 
>_These facts are in harmony with the cooling of the shallow mantle model – already  cooled lithosphere and cooling strictosphere. 
>_Cooling of the Earth surface is also supported by earthquake focal mechanism  studies; compressional in the shallow quakes and tensional in intermediate to deep  quakes (Suzuki, 2001; Tarakanov, 2005). 
>_Figure 1. Mantle profile across the Pacific Ocean from Russia to South America  (Choi and Vasiliev, 2008) compiled from tomographic images by Kawakami et al.  (1994). 
>_Note the coincidence between the Mesozoic basin distribution and that of the fast  shallow mantle (to 330 km), suggesting the cause-effect relationship between the  cooling of shallow mantle and subsidence. 
>_There are numerous indisputable data that the oceanic areas had formed land until  Mesozoic. 
>_K-K TZ = Korea-Kamchatka Tectonic Zone; T-K TZ = TanLu-Kamchatka Tectonic  Zone; A-H line = Aleutian- Hawaiian Islands Line.

 _Stroretvedt states that “surprisingly low heat flow, the problem of finding anticipated magma chambers, a nearly complete lack of active volcanism, predominantly low-temperature mineral alteration, and a frequent occurrence of serpentized peridotites” along ocean ridges are “'deadly weapons' against seafloor spreading as well as surge tectonics.”  _No, these are not the data that discount either sea floor spreading or surge  tectonics; indeed, also not expanding Earth.  _It is discomforting to see surge tectonics being clubbed with the concept that it  is anti-thesis of.  _His statement is based both on denial of evidence and misunderstanding. 
>_Denial because, as stated above, there is a whole range of evidence that are marshalled (and cited with full publication details) for the existence of magma channels both under ocean ridges and elsewhere. 
>_Also, relevant literature gives data for heat flow exceeding 55 mW/m2; again, this includes ocean ridges.

 _No concepts including plate, expanding and surge tectonics advocate 24x7 magma  eruption along ocean ridges.  _Per year spreading rates given by plate tectonicists (and used also by expansionists) does not mean magma is erupting on daily or even yearly basis.  _These are supposed to be averages reduced to annual basis from those that are  inferred from dating of magnetic stripes.  _As to low temperature mineral alterations, this problem has been discussed by  several publications.  _We would specifically recommend the paper by W.S.D. Wilcock and J.R. Delaney  (1996, Mid-ocean ridge sulfide deposits: Evidence for heat extraction from magma  chambers or cracking fronts? Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 145, p. 49- 64).  _Although they use plate tectonics framework, it is more important to notice the  conditions and processes they envisage remain broadly applicable irrespective of  their broader tectonic model. _Yes, ST doesn't talk of evolutionary history but where does it come in the way of its application to that question.  _We would challenge Storetvedt to explain just a few of the data sets that we have  listed – like, e.g., morphology of the ocean ridges, steamlines, 7.0-7.8 km/s  anomalous layer, formation of asthenosphere, geographic distribution of island  arcs, angular difference in lithospheric and strictospheric Benioff zones – using  his wrench tectonics.  _Returning to Storetvedt’s comments.  _He laments surge tectonics ignoring “mention of the protracted tropical- subtropical conditions in Antarctica.”  _Climatic conditions -- current or past -- are not primarily a direct consequence of Earth dynamics but can be thought of as proxy for certain processes (e.g., erosion) and physiographic features of the Earth.  _Therefore, expecting a geodynamic model to be erected on such data is too much of  a misplaced expectation. 
>_However, for the sake of completeness, it needs be mentioned that in the same year (1996) when book on surge tectonics was published, Meyerhoff et al. (1996) published a monumental piece of work titled ‘Phanerozoic faunal and floral realms of the Earth; the intercalary relations of the Malvinokaffric and Gondwana faunal realms with the Tethyan faunal realm.’
 _It was published by the Geological Society of America as GSA Memoir 129. 
>_As can be gauged from the title, this publication discusses all available faunal  and floral data – including from Antarctica -- to discount any mobilistic concept.
 _We have already stated that we do not intend to criticize Storetvedt’s “Wrench  Tectonics theory – which [he believes] is an attempt to unify the various facets of  Earth history.”  _Again, that is for readers and time.  _However, before any one worries about testing his theory against Earth’s history,  we would draw Storetvedt’s attention to one current, existing fact.  _On page 45 of the latest NCGT Newsletter (Issue #57) he presents a 3-D satellite  view of “two tectonic 'whirlpool' junctions on the East Pacific Rise”.  _Though he doesn’t name the two “whirlpools,” the bigger one is the Easter Island  and the smaller one is Juan Fernandez Island, both located on the East Pacific Rise  in the eastern part of the central Pacific.  _Easter Island’s geological feature has been fairly well researched and discussed.  _Without describing their geological or geophysical characters, Storetvedt explains  them away as the products of interaction of Easter Fracture Zone and Chile ridge  with the East Pacific Rise.  _He writes: “It looks as if shear stress has produced a torque ripping off micro- blocks at the two cross-cutting junctions, after which the detached crustal units  have been subjected to tectonic rotation.”  _(Notice the wishful language!)  _You can’t imagine a more simplistic approach when actual facts are taken into  consideration.  _Figure 2 shows the structural geometry, deduced from side-sonar images and high- pass GEOSAT altimetry data.  _Notice the vortical morphology; it shows the Easter Island like an elliptical ring  on the ocean bottom.  _And notice the feature is enveloped within the two axes of the East Pacific Rise –  the “overlapping spreading centers” of plate tectonics. 
>_Some plate tectonics literature describes the Easter Island as rotating  microplate.
 _Some descriptions include: “Enclosing the core of microplate, the inner  pseudofaults form a pattern resembling the meteorological symbol for a hurricane”  (Larson et al., 1992); and “The result is a feature that appears much like a  geological “hurricane” embedded in the crust of the earth” (Bird and Naar, 1994;  Leybourne and Adams, 2001). 
>_Surge tectonics calls such structures as vortex structure.
 _One might say there is so far no apparent conflict with wrench tectonics if Storetvedt’s wrench tectonics can produce the observed structural geometry.  _But that ends when you consider a complete gradation in form and style between  overlapping spreading centers (incipient vortices of surge tectonics) and fully  developed vortices so well documented in the surge tectonics book. 
>_More importantly, what would be the wrench tectonics explanation for similar  overlapping spreading center-like structure like, e. g. the East African Rift  Valley system (Fig. 3) or full-blown vortices like Dasht-i-Lut (Fig. 4) or Banda  Sea vortex (Fig. 5)?
 _Which of the intersecting fracture zones or ridges or shear belts would be invoked  in these cases? 
>_Figure 2. Vortex structure in the Easter Island (for source reference see  Meyerhoff et al., 1996).
 _A typical symbol of atmospheric hurricane in the Earth’s crust. 
>_Figure 3. East African rift-valley system (for source reference see Meyerhoff et  al., 1996).
 _Another example of a continental tectonic vortex along a continental rift  geostream. 
>_Figure 4. Dasht-i-Lut vortex structure, Iran (for source reference see Meyerhoff  et al., 1996), a typical continental vortex along a fold belt.
 _The orientation of the structures show that motions beneath the vortex were  counterclockwise. 
>_Figure 5. Bathymetry (left) and 3-D bathymetric view of Webber Deep in the Banda  Sea (Leybourne and Adams, 1999).
 _Storetvedt writes: It is my opinion that the only way into the future is through  application of well-established facts, primarily based on rock evidence and various  other surface data1.  _But to go from there to aspects of real understanding we need a functional thought  construction – a Theory! _And a theory is an invention, invented for the purpose of explaining the diversity  of observations and phenomena – and their interrelationship2.  _Therefore, a successful theory of the Earth will automatically establish an  extensive phenomenological prediction confirmation sequence, spanning at least a  major part of geological history. 
>_The ability of such a system must be its capacity to evolve in one direction only – from the characteristics of the Archaean to the features of the modern Earth3 for  which uplift of mountain ranges worldwide probably stands out as the most prominent  event. 
>_Such an irreversible self-organizing development scheme is what my Global Wrench  Tectonics is thought to delineate.” (Italics and superscript numbers by us.)

 _With reference to the italicized point no. 1, we would say if Storetvedt did not  find this approach in surge tectonics, for sure he has either not read it or he is  definitely not talking about geological/geophysical facts.  _As to point no. 2, well, we have given a sampling of the 29 data sets.  _If they do not represent diversity of “observations and phenomena -- and inter- relationship”, again, for sure these very words must mean something unknown to us.  _Finally point 3: Let us wait to see how Global Wrench Tectonics explains the  question we ask in relation to his “whirlpools” before we worry about how this  “Theory” fares in Archaean.

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Choi, D.R. and Vasiliev, B.I., 2008. Geology and tectonic development of the Pacific Ocean. Part 4, Geological
interpretation of seismic tomography. NCGT Newsletter, no. 48, p. 52-60.
Kawakami, S., Fujii, N. and Fukao, Y., 1994. Frontiers of the earth and planetary sciences: A galley of the planetary world. Jour. Geol. Soc. Japan, v. 100, p. I-VIII.
Larson, R.L., Searle, R.C., Kleinrock, M.C., Schouten, H, Bird, R.T, Naar, D.F., Rusby, R.I., Hooft, E.E. and
Lasthiotakis, H. 1992. Roller-Bearing Tectonic Evolution of the Juan-Fernandez Microplate. Nature, v. 56,
no. 6370, p. 571 -576.
Leybourne, B.A. and Adams, M.B., 1999. Modeling mantle dynamics of the Banda Sea: Exploring a possible link to El Nina Southern Oscillation. MTS Oceans ’99 Conference, Seattle, Sept 1999, p. 955-966.
Leybourne, B.A. and Adams, M.B., 2001. El Nino tectonic modulation in the Pacific basin.
In: Proceedings of the OCEANS, 2001. MTS/IEEEConference and Exhibition, Honolulu, HI, USA, 5 – 8 Nov, 2001, v. 4, p. 2400-2406 doi: 10.1109/OCEANS.2001.9683.
Meyerhoff, A.A., Taner, I., Morris, A.E.L. and Martin, B.D., 1992. Surge tectonics. In, Chatterjee, S. and Hotton, N., III, eds., “New concepts in global tectonics”. Texas Tech Univ. Press, Lubbock, p. 309-409.
Meyerhoff, A.A., Taner, I., Morris, A.E., Agocs, W.B., Kamen-Kaye, M., Bhat, M.I., Smoot, N.C. and Choi, D.R.,
edited by Meyerhoff-Hull, D., 1996. Surge tectonics: A new hypothesis of global geodynamics. Kluwer Academic
Publishers, Dordrecht. 323p.
Meyerhoff, A.A., Boucot, A.J., Meyerhoff-Hull, D. and Dickins, J.M., 1996. Phanerozoic faunal and floral realms of
the Earth: The intercalary relations of the Malvinokaffric and Gondwana faunal realms with the Tethyan faunal
realm. Geol. Soc. America Mem. 189, 69p.
Smoot, N.C. and Tucholke, B., 1986. Multi-beam sonar evidence for evolution of Corner Rise and Cruiser Seamount Groups, Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, v. 67, no. 44, p. 1221.
Storetvedt, K., 2010. Facts, mistaken beliefs, and the future of global tectonics. NCGT Newsletter, no. 57, p. 3-10.
James, P.M., 2010. New concepts and the paths ahead. NCGT Newsletter, no. 56, p. 3-5.
Suzuki, Y., 2001. A geotectonic model of South America referring to the intermediate-deep earthquake zone. NCGT Newsletter, no. 20, p. 17-24.
Tarakanov, R.Z., 2005. On the nature of seismic focal zone. NCGT Newsletter, no. 34, p. 6-20.
Tsunoda, F., 2009. Habits of earthquakes. Part 1: mechanism of earthquakes and lateral thermal seismic energy
transmigration. NCGT Newsletter, no. 53, p. 38-46.
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Choi NewMad Paper
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 08:53:38 pm »
NCGT Journal, v. 2, no. 1,March 2014. 61
Dong R. CHOI
International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center (IEVPC), Canberra, Australia
- Abstract: The strong M6.7 offshore Tarapacá earthquake in March 2014 was generated by the convergence of two seismo-electromagnetic energies at the junction of two major fault systems. The deep northwestward flow is proven by two precursory intermediate-depth quakes which are linked to the offshore Tarapacá mainshock by Blot’s energy transmigration law. Another energy flow, southward along the continental margin of South America, is verified by the latitude vs year plot of shallow (50 km or less) quakes from 1970 to 2014 (March).
The average speed of the shallow southward-flowing energy along the continental margin is 0.25 km/day (28-year average), whereas the northwestward energy speed (from 128 km to 35 km depths) was an average of 0.34 km/day. The convergence of two energies contributed to enhancing the magnitude of the shallow mainshock (6.7), which was larger than the two foreshocks: 6.4 at 128 km and 6.2 at 214 km. The increased magnitude of shallow mainshocks as compared to deeper foreshocks is observed in many of the past major quakes, which will help forecast future catastrophic earthquakes.
- Keywords: Offshore Tarapacá earthquake, energy transmigration, convergence and flow, surge tectonics
- Introduction
A conspicuous anomaly in total electron content (TEC) appeared in the coastal area of northern Chile in early March 2014 off Tarapacá, Chile. Based on IEVPC’s experience, we considered it to indicate an imminent strong earthquake. The author immediately examined other data: outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), sea surface temperature (SST), cloud images, geology, and earthquake archives. He also conducted Blot’s energy transmigration analysis (Blot, 1976; Grover, 1999) for two intermediate-depth earthquakes that occurred in the southeast of the Tarapacá area in 2009 and 2011. The results of the analysis convinced him of the imminence of a strong quake north of Antofagasta. Because the expected magnitude was around 6.4, which is below the threshold of what IVEPC classifies as a catastrophic geophysical event (CGE, M7.0 or greater), he notified only his IEVPC associates on 3 March without any public announcement.
- As expected, an M6.7 (originally 7.0) mainshock occurred off Tarapacá, about 400 km north of Antofagasta, on 16 March, 13 days after the announcement. The author’s prediction proved to be of almost pinpoint accuracy in terms of epicentre, time and magnitude. A post-mortem analysis of the quake revealed that two energy flows had converged in the offshore Tarapacá area where two major fracture systems meet. Energy flow is a particularly important concept when considering earthquake formation mechanisms and in earthquake prediction. The author briefly describes here some of the new findings, focusing on the energy flow observed in this particular quake.
- 2.Precursory signals and fracture systems
- Before discussing energy flow, I will first summarize some of the precursory signals that appeared prior to the Tarapacá mainshock (see Fig. 1). The OLR trend shows a clear NW-SE trending linear high anomaly, 10-30 W/m2 above average, from 2 to 8 March. The linear trend coincides with a deep fracture zone where two precursory shocks occurred in 2009 and 2011. The fracture zone extends northward into the ocean floor where a deep trench develops.
- Figure 1. Seismo-tectonic map (top), total electron content (lower right), sea surface temperature anomaly (middle left) and outgoing longwave radiation anomaly (bottom left). Anomalies are detected in total electron content and outgoing longwave radiation, but none in sea surface temperature. The offshore Tarapacá quake occurred at the junction of two fault systems. Note two energy flows converging at the mainshock.
- The most outstanding anomaly signal among others is seen in the TEC pattern. It appeared in late February, became conspicuous in early March, peaked on 10 to 11 March, then slightly decreased from 13 to 15 March, before the mainshock on 16 March.
- Sea surface temperature (SST) did not show any particular anomalies during the entire incubation period. This is the stark contrast with other large quakes such as the November 2012 Myanmar quake (NCGT Newsletter no. 65, Editorial, p. 2-4).
Clear earthquake clouds were observed on satellite images (Dundee Satellite Receiving Station; on 28 January at 1200 hrs from the nearby trench, 47 days prior to the mainshock. Some limited energy release features are observed beginning in early February, about one month to 40 days prior to the mainshock, mainly from the trench area. On the whole, however, relatively little activity was seen on the satellite images from the region.
- 3. Energy flow
- Two energy flow channels were identified in this prediction exercise. One of them is the northwestward deep flow along a deep-seated fracture system, and the second is a southward flow in the shallow Earth along the continental margin. The former is confirmed by three strong earthquakes lying on a NW-SE fault line: no. 1, M6.2 on 29 Nov. 2009 at 214 km depth; no. 2, M6.4 on 20 June 2011 at 128 km; and no. 3, main shallow shock on 16 March, M6.7 at 35 km (see Fig. 1). This fault is obviously a deep fault zone with its northern extension reaching the Chile Trench. The author (Choi, 2005, fig. 21) recognized a NW-SE trending structural high running through Antofagasta based on various data sources. The NW-SE fault in question is situated on the northern wing of this basement high.
- These three quakes are linked by the energy transmigration (ET) formula (Fig. 2). According to the formula, applied from Nos. 1 to 2, the No. 2 quake shows an approximately seven-month delay in its occurrence. This might be the result of inaccuracies in the depth and locality of quakes, a longer incubation time at the trap before release, or a longer travel distance due to the complex fault system through which the energy travels. On the other hand, the flow from No. 2 to No. 1 occurred almost exactly in conformity with the ET formula.
- The average speed from No. 1 (214 km depth) to No. 2 (128 km depth) quakes is 0.41 km/day, and from No. 2 to No. 3 (from 128 km to 35 km depth) 0.36 km/day.
The shallow southbound flow was calculated by plotting a latitude vs year diagram for M7+ shallow (50 km or shallower) quakes from 1970 to 2014 (Fig. 2). The average speed is 0.25 km/day. A similar trend is also seen in the M6.0+ quake trend in the same area. The energy flow can be disrupted by local energy trap structures which slow down the flow speed, but on the whole, the energy movement indicated in the shift of major quakes with time in a broad corridor is unmistakably traceable. The author also found the same fact in California earthquake patterns (Choi et al., in preparation). Tsunoda (2011) and Tsunoda et al. (2013) described the systematic northward energy flow along the Izu-Ogasawara Ridge to Japan. These observations confirm that constant energy movement is taking place under active tectonic belts, as proposed by surge tectonics (Meyerhoff et al., 1996).
64 NCGT Journal, v. 2, no. 1,March 2014.
- Figure 2. Latitude vs year plot of M7+ shallow quakes, 50 km or less. An overall southward flow is observed.
- 4. Discussion
- The most significant discovery during the analysis of the offshore Tarapacá quake is the convergence of two energy flows, and their enhancing effect on magnitude. Energy convergence and its magnitude-enhancing effect have been seen in many catastrophic earthquakes, including the 2004 Boxing Day earthquake in Sumatra (Blot and Choi, 2004) and the Great East Japan (Tohoku) Earthquake in March 2011 (Choi, 2011), to name only two. The same phenomenon was observed in the present offshore Tarapacá quake too. In this regard, Grover’s remark (1998) is noteworthy:
“Deep-focus shocks of magnitude 6+ appear to engender great earthquakes of magnitude 7+ and 8+ and accompanying seismic crises when their ‘phenomena’ converge….with convergence even quite small magnitude shocks could be boosted to produce much higher magnitude.”
- We are currently collating energy-transmigration and speed data for various geological and geographic settings. The general trend was discussed in Tsunoda et al. (2013). A comprehensive updated report will be published in the near future.
- 5. Conclusions
- This note presented observations on two energy flow patterns and their convergence, which generated a strong shock off Tarapacá, Chile, in March 2014. This convergence generated a quake of greater magnitude than the two deeper foreshocks that occurred five and three years earlier.
- The Tarapacá quake was predicted 13 days in advance with almost pinpoint accuracy. The prediction was based solely on publicly available data without local monitoring stations. This is mainly thanks to Blot’s ET concept, as well as the IEVPC’s comprehensive data analysis capability, augmented by accumulated know-how and acumen that allow strong quakes to be detected even several years before they occur, and based on an understanding of the significance of various short-term signals. If we had had local monitoring stations, the prediction would have been much more precise and accurate.
- Acknowledgements: The author thanks Fumio Tsunoda for his constructive comments on the manuscript, and other IEVPC associates who contributed to a better understanding of precursory signals. This paper is an outcome of IEVPC’s collective effort. The author also thanks David Pratt for English editing.
- References cited
Blot, C., 1976. Volcanisme et sismicité dans les arcs insulaires. Prévision de ces phénomènes. Géophysique,
v. 13, Orstom, Paris, 206p.
Blot, C. and Choi, D.R., 2004. Recent devastating earthquakes in Japan and Indonesia viewed from the seismic
energy transmigration concept. NCGT Newsletter, no. 33, p. 3-12.
Choi, D.R., 2005. Deep earthquakes and deep-seated tectonic zones: A new interpretation of the Wadati-Benioff
zone. Boll. Soc. Geol. It., vol. spec. 5, p. 79-118.
Choi, D.R., 2010. Blot’s energy transmigration concept applied for forecasting shallow earthquakes; a swarm of
strong deep earthquake in the northern Celebes Sea in July 2010. NCGT Newsletter, no. 56, p. 75-85.
Choi, D.R., 2011. Geological analysis of the Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011. NCGT Newsletter,
no. 59, p. 55-68.
Grover, J.C., 1998. Volcanic eruptions and great earthquakes. Advanced warning techniques to master the
deadly science. CopyRight Publishing Co. Pty Ltd., Brisbane. 272p.
Meyerhoff, A.A., Taner, I., Morris, A.E.L., Agocs, W.B., Kamen-Kaye, M., Bhat, M.I., Smoot, N.C. and Choi,
D.R. (Ed., Meyherhoff-Hull, D.), 1996. Surge tectonics: a new hypothesis of global geodynamics. Kluwer
Academic Publishers, 323p.
Tsunoda, F., 2011. The March 2011 Great Offshore Tohoku-Pacific Earthquake from the perspective of the VE
process. NCGT Newsletter, no. 59, p. 69-77.
Tsunoda, F., Choi, D.R. and Kawabe, T., 2013. Thermal energy transmigration and fluctuation. NCGT
Journal, v. 1, no. 2, p. 65-80.
- Postscript: When the new NCGT issue including this paper was just about to be aired, a gigantic M8.0 earthquake hit the same area on 1 April, 2014 with a small tsunami. This is the mainshock, and the 16 March M6.7 quake described in this article is now considered the foreshock. They occurred 15 days apart. After the 16 March foreshock, TEC remained high, SST became high from the late March, but OLR went low.
- The huge magnitude of the mainshock is considered the combined effect of energy convergence and a large trap structure (Precambrian structural high occupying the south of the NW-SE deep fault system). The southward flowing energy along the continental margin had been trapped in this structure, and stored a huge energy. Another energy flow arrived from the southeast along the deep fault played a role as a trigger. We have seen the similar pattern in the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Energy flow, trap structure, and energy convergence are the keys to understand the mechanism of gigantic earthquakes like the present off Tarapacá quake.


Re: MF 2/24 NuMadPapr « Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 03:38:28 pm »

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4. Paper by Dr. Dong Choi and Mr. John L. Casey

New Madrid Seismic Zone, central USA:
The great 1811-12 earthquakes, their relationship to solar cycles,
and tectonic settings
Dong R. CHOI
Raax Australia Pty Ltd.;
International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center.;
Space and Science Research Corporation,;
International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Center,;
Abstract: The 1811-1812 New Madrid series of earthquakes were the largest in magnitude (estimated to be M8.0 or greater) in the continental North America in the history. The quakes occurred in the midst of Dalton Solar Minimum (1793-1830). Other major historic earthquakes in the same region also occurred during major solar minimums, or “solar hibernations.” From a tectonic viewpoint, the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) is situated on the axis of the N-S American Geanticline or Super Anticline which is Archean in origin. It has been subject to repeated magmatic and tectonic activities in Proterozoic and Phanerozoic – the Caribbean dome (now oceanized to form the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico) has been the site for rising thermal energy from the outer core since the Mesozoic. Energy transmigrates northward along the anticlinal axis (or surge channel) and is trapped at the embayment bounded by less permeable Precambrian-Paleozoic basement highs in the north of the New Madrid area. The arrival of a major, prolonged solar low period or “hibernation” in the coming 30 years, which are considered comparable to the Dalton or even Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), increases the likelihood of repeating the 1811-12 class seismic events. Heightened awareness, monitoring of precursory signals, and disaster mitigation planning are required.
Keywords: 1811-12 New Madrid Earthquakes, Dalton Minimum, solar hibernation, N-S American Super Anticline, surge channel, seismic energy transmigration, earthquake-solar cycle anti-correlation
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The New Madrid area, mid-Mississippi River, central United State, was rocked by a spate of powerful earthquakes from 1811 to 1812 (Fig. 1). According to the USGS records, there were three main shocks, M7.5, 7.3 and 7.5, on 16 December 1811, 23 January 1812, and 7 February 1812, respectively, with a major aftershock M7.0 on the first day ( Other researchers, such as Nuttli (1987) listed six M7.0+ quakes that include two M8.0+ earthquakes. Of them, two largest quakes were considered the greatest earthquakes in continental North America (Johnston and Schweig, 1996).
The sequence of the great earthquakes in the NMSZ has a unique attribute – it occurred in the middle of a major solar low period, Dalton Minimum, 1793 to 1830 (Fig. 2). This prompted the authors to study seismic history of the NMSZ and their relation to solar cycles, together with geological settings of the surrounding region. The rationales of this study are, 1) the arrival of a prolonged solar low period as advocated by Casey (2008, 2012 and 2014), and 2) the well-established reversed correlation between the solar activity cycle and earthquake energy (Choi and Maslov, 2010), and 3) new interpretation of geological structure of the region and seismic energy transmigration mechanism in the Caribbean-Gulf of Mexico-Mississippi River (Choi, 2013; Choi, 2014; Choi et al., 2014).
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Fig. 1. Map of the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12. Base map cited from Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. ( Wabash Valley Seismic Zone is added.
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Seismic activity in the NMSZ and solar cycles
Historic records show that the New Madrid region has been subject to repeated seismic activities. Based on artifacts found buried by sand blow deposits and from carbon-14 studies, previous large earthquakes like those of 1811-1812 appear to have happened around 4800BC, 3500BC, 2350 BC, AD300, AD900 and AD1450. In addition, the first known written record of an earthquake felt in the New Madrid Seismic Zone occurred on Christmas Day of 1699. An M6.6 earthquake in 1895 has also been registered (Wikipedia,
Most of the years listed above belong to solar low periods (Figs. 2 and 3): The years 1811-1812 is in the midst of a major solar low period, Dalton Minimum. The year 1699 sits in another major solar low period, Maunder Minimum, 1645-1715. AD1450 corresponds to the lowering period of Spörer Minimum, and another one in 1895, centennial low cycle (1885-1915; Casey, 2008; Fig. 2).
Importantly, all major Earthquakes in the NMSZ since 1400 AD have occurred during these solar low points or solar hibernations.
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Fig. 2. Solar cycle and world volcanic/seismic activities. All of the NMSZ quakes occurred around the middle of the solar low periods. Cited from Choi and Tsunoda, 2011 and Choi, 2013b.
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Fig. 3. History of New Madrid earthquakes compared to solar minimums or “solar hibernations” from 1400-1950 AD. Solar activity deduced from C14 proxy variation. The years of major New Madrid earthquakes are shown in red stars with dates. Source: Casey, Data: Reimar et al., INTCAL04.
The NMSZ quakes and solar cycles indicate their reversed correlation. The anti-correlation between solar cycles and seismic/volcanic activities has been well established by the senior author of this paper with co-workers (Fig. 4; Choi and Maslov, 2010; Choi and Tsunoda, 2011). Casey (2010) also noted that the catastrophic volcanic eruptions had taken place during the solar low periods.
Fig. 4. Anti-correlation between the solar and earthquake cycles (Choi and Maslov, 2010).
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The cause of this anti-correlation awaits further study. One of the feasible explanations was presented by Gregori (2002) who attributed to the Earth’s core being a leaky capacitor or a battery; when solar activity is high, the Earth’s core is charged, whereas when the Sun’s activity is in low phase, the core in turn discharges energy.

1) Geological structures responsible for the NMSZ earthquakes

The earthquakes occurred in the NMSZ come from the unique tectonic settings. It is strongly related to the global-scale geological structure; North-South American Geanticline or Super Anticline that runs from South America, via the Caribbean and Mississippi Valley, to the Canadian Shield (Choi, 2013; Figs. 5 and 6). It is a fundamental geological structure formed in the early stage of the Earth’s formation – in Archean. There is another antipodal super anticline that extends from SW Pacific, via SE Asia and South China, to Siberia. These anticlinal structures have influenced the subsequent development of the Earth by repeated magmatic and tectonic activities throughout the Phanerozoic, especially since Mesozoic.
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Fig. 5. Earth’s fundamental structures; two antipodal super anticlines (Choi, 2013a). Note that the Caribbean Sea and the Mississippi Valley are situated on the axis of the anticline. Base map, World magnetic anomaly map, by Korhonen et al., 2007.
In his 2010 and 2014 papers, the senior author argued the origin of the Caribbean - Gulf of Mexico, which developed in the axial part of the anticline and formed the Caribbean dome; the crust in the site where energy rose from the outer core has been oceanized since Mesozoic. The initial basin formation however may go back to Paleozoic time (Pratch, 2008 and 2010). The axial area, being highly fractured and permeable, became a channel of energy flow, or surge channel (Meyerhoff et al., 1996). The thermal seismic energy, derived from the outer core through the Caribbean dome and transmigrated along the surge channel developed under the Mississippi Valley, is responsible for the NMSZ earthquakes (Fig. 6). This assertion is supported by the fact that, along the Pacific coast of Central America, the seismo-volcanic energy which was originated from the deep Caribbean was found to transmigrate northward during the solar low cycles but southward during the rising cycles (Choi, 2014). The energy from the outer core was stronger during the time of solar low phase, as evidenced by the well-established solar cycle-earthquake anti-correlation (Fig. 4).
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Fig. 6. N-S American Geanticline, the NMSZ and deep structure of the North America represented by Precambrian structures (Kosygin et al., 1970). Energy flow direction along the N-S American Geanticlinal axis from Choi (2014), and for California-Mexico from Choi et al. (2014). Note the prevailing NE-SW deep structural trends which seemingly continue into the Pacific Ocean.
A geological map, Fig. 7, well illustrates a Mesozoic embayment developed along the Mississippi Valley. The NMSZ area is the northern end of the Mesozoic basin that covers the present Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. The NMSZ region is surrounded by older, less permeable, Precambrian-Paleozoic rocks – which form a trap structure for thermal seismic energy in the form of liquid and gas. The trap structures were controlled by deep fault systems, which are NE-SW and NW-SE in direction (Johnson and Schweig, 1996).
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3) Arrival of a major, prolonged, solar low period, or solar hibernation.
The correlation of major earthquakes and solar activity, while relatively recently discussed, is nonetheless one of the strongest in terms of climate change and geophysical associations. The initial paper (Casey, 2008) on the regular pattern of climate oscillations linked to solar activity using the Relational Cycle Theory (RC Theory) has demonstrated itself to be among the most successful in climate prediction underscoring the basic reliability of the theory and its associated seven elements of climate change. Subsequently (Casey, 2010) in a preliminary paper, proposed the connection between the RC Theory and major earthquakes and volcanic activity. Others noted above (Choi, Maslov, et al.), have also found the strong relationship between solar activity lows and increased seismic and volcanic activities.
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Fig. 7. Geologic map by Jatskevich et al. (2000) superimposed by tectonic elements and the NMSZ which is located at the northern end of the Mesozoic-Paleogene basin (labelled as K, K1, K2 and ).
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This study revealed several important factual data regarding the strong earthquakes in the NMSZ and their relation to solar cycle. It also presented new interpretation of tectonic settings of the region. They are summarized as follows:
1. The NMSZ developed on the major Precambrian-origin geanticlinal axis where magmatic, thermal, and tectonic activities have been concentrated, particularly since Mesozoic when the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean have started to form. This activity is still continuing today.
2. The historic record clearly shows that large seismic events in the NMSZ have occurred during the Sun’s inactive periods. The sequence of 1811-12 quakes is one of them.
3. In the light of the now confirmed start of a prolonged, solar hibernation for the coming 30 years or so, which are comparable to Dalton Minimum or worst case, a Maunder Minimum (“Little Ice Age”), a repeat of the 1811-12 earthquakes should be expected.
4. The window of highest risk for another major New Madrid zone earthquake is between 2017 and 2038.
5. Planning for a repeat of the 1811-1812 series of earthquakes that devastated the region back then should begin immediately. Considerations should include:

a. A US nationwide plan is required based on one or more M8.0+ earthquakes in the NMSZ on the assumption that substantial regional loss of life and massive infrastructure damage will take place on a scale never before witnessed in the USA.
b. This plan should include heightened levels of public education, monitoring of the seismic precursory signals, federal, state and local emergency management exercises and damage mitigation where practicable.
c. Planning should address the real possibility of complete loss of major ground and air
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transportation nodes and routes including substantial long term damage to airport facilities and runways and interstate and city highway systems especially across the Mississippi River.
d. Planning should also include the assumption that major aftershocks will prevent meaningful rebuilding of permanent structures over several months to a year.
e. Should a repeat of a series of quakes take place similar to the 1811-1812 events or even a repeat of the 1895 M6.6 earthquake, the power grid in the central Mississippi region may be unavailable for essential needs of radio and TV communications, emergency management, search and rescue etc for several months to a half year or more.
f. In the case where there may be NMSZ nuclear facilities not designed to withstand a series of M7.5 to M8.0+ earthquakes, a new added risk may exist. All nuclear facilities must be reviewed (if not already done so) to insure they and their back-up power systems for coolant systems etc., can withstand a worst case series of major quakes. Failure to do so could result in multiple instances of the March 11, 2011 Japanese, Fukushima nuclear reactor style catastrophes in the middle of the United States. This could directly affect the safety of all citizens east of the central Mississippi River subject to prevailing winds during the time of the year such a scenario might happen.
Cahill, R.T., 2014. Solar flare five-day predictions from quantum detectors of dynamical space
fractal flow turbulence: Gravitational wave diminution and Earth climate cooling. Progress in
Physics, v. 10, Issue 4 (October), p. 236-242. (
Casey, J.L., 2008. The existence of ‘relational cycles’ of solar activity on a multi-decadal to
centennial scale, as significant models of climate change on Earth. Space and Science
Research Center, Research Report 1-2008 – The RC Theory. p. 1-8.
Casey, J.L., 2010. Correlation of solar activity minimums and large magnitude geophysical
events. Space and Science Research Center, Research Report 1-2010 (Preliminary), p. 1-5.
The Global Climate Status Report (GCSR)© is a product of the Space and Science Research Corporation, (SSRC), P.O. Box 607841, Orlando, Florida, 32860, USA. Tel: (407) 985-3509 This publication is intended only for those who have purchased it from the SSRC for individual use. Copying or reproducing this publication or any portion thereof is prohibited without the permission of the SSRC. Page 29
Casey, J.L., 2012. Cold Sun. Trafford Publishing, 167p.
Casey, J.L., 2014. Dark winter: How the Sun is causing a 30-year cold spell. Humanix Books.
Choi, D.R., 2010. The January 2010 Haiti seismic disaster viewed from the perspective of the
energy transmigration concept and block tectonics. NCGT Newsletter (, v. 54,
p. 36-44.
Choi, D.R., 2013a. An Archean geanticline stretching from the South Pacific to Siberia. NCGT
Journal (, v. 1, no. 3, p. 45-55.
Choi, D.R., 2013b. Earthquake/volcanic activities and solar cycles. The Global Climate Status Report.
Edition 3–2013, September, p. 10-19. Space and Science Research Corporation. Orlando.
Choi, D.R., 2014. Seismo-volcanic energy propagation trends in the Central America and their
relationship to solar cycles. NCGT Journal, v. 2, no. 1, p. 19-28.
Choi, D.R. and Maslov, L., 2010. Earthquakes and solar activity cycles. NCGT Newsletter, no. 54,
p. 36-44.
Choi, D.R. and Tsunoda, F., 2011. Volcanic and seismic activities during the solar hibernation periods.
NCGT Newsletter, no.61, p. 78-87.
Choi, D.R., Tsunoda, F. and Maslov, L., 2014. Seismo-volcanic energy propagation trends in the Aleutian
Islands and North America. NCGT Journal, v. 2, no. 2, p. 13-22.
Greogry, G.P., 2002. Galaxy-Sun-Earth relations. Beiträge zur Geoschichte der Geophysik und
Kosmischen Physik, Band 3, Heft 4, 471p.
Iyengar, R.N., Sharma, D. and Siddiqui, J.M., 1999. Earthquake history of India in Medieval times.
Indian Journal of History of Science, v. 34, no. 3, p. 181-237.
Jatskevich, B.A. (ed.), 2000. Geological Map of the World. 1:15,000,000 scale. Ministry of Natural
Resources of Russian Federation, RAS.
Johnston, A.C. and Schweig, E.S., 1996. The enigma of the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812.
Anna. Rev.Planet. Sci., v. 24, p. 339-384.
Korhonen, J.V., Fairhead, J.D., Hamoudi, M, Hemant, K., Lesur, V., Mandea, M., Maus, S., Purucker, M.
Ravat, D., Sazonova, T. and Thebault, E., 2007. Magnetic anomaly map of the World (and associated
DVD), Scale, 1:50,000,000, 1st edition, Commission for the Geological Map of the World, Paris,
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L.M., Chikov, B.M. and Schmidt, E.K., 1970. Structural and Material Complexes of the World.
1:15,000,000 scale. Compiled by Laboratory of Geotectonics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics,
Siberian Branch, Academy of Science of USSR.
Meyerhoff, A.A., Taner, I., Morris, A.E.L., Agocs, W.B., Kamen-Kaye, M., Bhat, M.I., Smoot, N.C.,
Choi, D.R. and Meyerhoff-Hull, D. (ed.), 1996. Surge tectonics: a new hypothesis of global
geodynamics. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 323p.
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Consort. Memphis TN: Fed. Emerg. Manage. Agency, 33p.
Pratsch, J.C., 2008. Letter to the Editor. NCGT Newsletter, no. 47, p. 4.
Pratsch, J.C., 2010. Gulf of Mexico Basin – a collapsed Late Carbonifers mantle dome? NCGT
Newsletter, no. 55, p. 74-76.
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Re: Choi
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Plate Tectonics: A Paradigm Under Threat
David Pratt © 2000
(First published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 307-352, 2000)

_-- This paper looks at the challenges confronting plate tectonics -- the ruling paradigm in the earth sciences.
_The classical model of thin lithospheric plates moving over a global asthenosphere is shown to be implausible.
_Evidence is presented that appears to contradict continental drift, seafloor spreading and subduction, and the claim that the oceanic crust is relatively young.
_The problems posed by vertical tectonic movements are reviewed, including evidence for large areas of submerged continental crust in today's oceans.
_It is concluded that the fundamental tenets of plate tectonics might be wrong.


_The idea of large-scale continental drift has been around for some 200 years, but the first detailed theory was proposed by Alfred Wegener in 1912.
_It met with widespread rejection, largely because the mechanism he suggested was inadequate -- the continents supposedly plowed slowly through the denser oceanic crust under the influence of gravitational and rotational forces.
_Interest was revived in the early 1950s with the rise of the new science of paleomagnetism, which seemed to provide strong support for continental drift.
_In the early 1960s new data from ocean exploration led to the idea of seafloor spreading.
_A few years later, these and other concepts were synthesized into the model of plate tectonics, which was originally called "the new global tectonics."
_According to the orthodox model of plate tectonics, the earth's outer shell, or lithosphere, is divided into a number of large, rigid plates that move over a soft layer of the mantle known as the asthenosphere, and interact at their boundaries, where they converge, diverge, or slide past one another.
_Such interactions are believed to be responsible for most of the seismic and volcanic activity of the earth.
_Plates cause mountains to rise where they push together, and continents to fracture and oceans to form where they rift apart.
_The continents, sitting passively on the backs of the plates, drift with them, at the rate of a few centimeters a year.
_At the end of the Permian, some 250 million years ago, all the present continents are said to have been gathered together in a single supercontinent, Pangaea, consisting of two major landmasses: Laurasia in the north, and Gondwanaland in the south.
_Pangaea is widely believed to have started fragmenting in the early Jurassic -- though this is sometimes said to have begun earlier, in the Triassic, or even as late as the Cretaceous -- resulting in the configuration of oceans and continents observed today.
_It has been said that "A hypothesis that is appealing for its unity or simplicity acts as a filter, accepting reinforcement with ease but tending to reject evidence that does not seem to fit" (Grad, 1971, p. 636). Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff (1974b, p. 411) argued that this is "an admirable description of what has happened in the field of earth dynamics, where one hypothesis -- the new global tectonics -- has been permitted to override and overrule all other hypotheses."
_ Nitecki et al. (1978) reported that in 1961 only 27% of western geologists accepted plate tectonics, but that during the mid-1960s a "chain reaction" took place and by 1977 it was embraced by as many as 87%.
_Some proponents of plate tectonics have admitted that a bandwagon atmosphere developed, and that data that did not fit into the model were not given sufficient consideration (e.g. Wyllie, 1976), resulting in "a somewhat disturbing dogmatism" (Dott and Batten, 1981, p. 151).
_McGeary and Plummer (1998, p. 97) acknowledge that "Geologists, like other people, are susceptible to fads."
_Maxwell (1974) stated that many earth-science papers were concerned with demonstrating that some particular feature or process may be explained by plate tectonics, but that such papers were of limited value in any unbiased assessment of the scientific validity of the hypothesis.
_Van Andel (1984) conceded that plate tectonics had serious flaws, and that the need for a growing number of ad hoc modifications cast doubt on its claim to be the ultimate unifying global theory.
_Lowman (1992a) argued that geology has largely become "a bland mixture of descriptive research and interpretive papers in which the interpretation is a facile cookbook application of plate-tectonics concepts ... used as confidently as trigonometric functions" (p. 3).
_Lyttleton and Bondi (1992) held that the difficulties facing plate tectonics and the lack of study of alternative explanations for seemingly supportive evidence reduced the plausibility of the theory.
_Saull (1986) pointed out that no global tectonic model should ever be considered definitive, since geological and geophysical observations are nearly always open to alternative explanations.
_He also stated that even if plate tectonics were false, it would be difficult to refute and replace, for the following reasons: the processes supposed to be responsible for plate dynamics are rooted in regions of the earth so poorly known that it is hard to prove or disprove any particular model of them; the hard core of belief in plate tectonics is protected from direct assault by auxiliary hypotheses that are still being generated; and the plate model is so widely believed to be correct that it is difficult to get alternative interpretations published in the scientific literature.
_When plate tectonics was first elaborated in the 1960s, less than 0.0001% of the deep ocean had been explored and less than 20% of the land area had been mapped in meaningful detail.
_Even by the mid-1990s, only about 3 to 5% of the deep ocean basins had been explored in any kind of detail, and not much more than 25 to 30% of the land area could be said to be truly known (Meyerhoff et al., 1996a).
_Scientific understanding of the earth's surface features is clearly still in its infancy, to say nothing of the earth's interior.
_Beloussov (1980, 1990) held that plate tectonics was a premature generalization of still very inadequate data on the structure of the ocean floor, and had proven to be far removed from geological reality.
_He wrote: It is ... quite understandable that attempts to employ this conception to explain concrete structural situations in a local rather than a global scale lead to increasingly complicated schemes in which it is suggested that local axes of spreading develop here and there, that they shift their position, die out, and reappear, that the rate of spreading alters repeatedly and often ceases altogether, and that lithospheric plates are broken up into an even greater number of secondary and tertiary plates.
_All these schemes are characterised by a complete absence of logic, and of patterns of any kind.
_The impression is given that certain rules of the game have been invented, and that the aim is to fit reality into these rules somehow or other. (1980, p. 303)
_Criticism of plate tectonics has increased in line with the growing number of observational anomalies.
_This paper outlines some of the main problems facing the theory.

Plates in Motion?
_According to the classical model of plate tectonics, lithospheric plates creep over a relatively plastic layer of partly molten rock known as the asthenosphere (or low-velocity zone).
_According to a modern geological textbook (McGeary and Plummer, 1998), the lithosphere, which comprises the earth's crust and uppermost mantle, averages about 70 km thick beneath oceans and is at least 125 km thick beneath continents, while the asthenosphere extends to a depth of perhaps 200 km.
_It points out that some geologists think that the lithosphere beneath continents is at least 250 km thick.
_Seismic tomography, which produces three-dimensional images of the earth's interior, appears to show that the oldest parts of the continents have deep roots extending to depths of 400 to 600 km, and that the asthenosphere is essentially absent beneath them.
_McGeary and Plummer (1998) say that these findings cast doubt on the original, simple lithosphere-asthenosphere model of plate behavior.
_They do not, however, consider any alternatives.

_Despite the compelling seismotomographic evidence for deep continental roots (Dziewonski and Anderson, 1984; Dziewonski and Woodhouse, 1987; Grand, 1987; Lerner-Lam, 1988; Forte, Dziewonski, and O'Connell, 1995; Gossler and Kind, 1996), some plate tectonicists have suggested that we just happen to live at a time when the continents have drifted over colder mantle (Anderson, Tanimoto, and Zhang, 1992), or that continental roots are really no more than about 200 km thick, but that they induce the downwelling of cold mantle material beneath them, giving the illusion of much deeper roots (Polet and Anderson, 1995).
_However, evidence from seismic-velocity, heat-flow, and gravity studies has been building up for several decades, showing that ancient continental shields have very deep roots and that the low-velocity asthenosphere is very thin or absent beneath them (e.g. MacDonald, 1963; Jordan, 1975, 1978; Pollack and Chapman, 1977).
_Seismic tomography has merely reinforced the message that continental cratons, especially those of Archean and Early Proterozoic age, are "welded" to the underlying mantle, and that the concept of thin (less than 250-km-thick) lithospheric plates moving thousands of kilometers over a global asthenosphere is unrealistic.
_Nevertheless, many textbooks continue to propagate the simplistic lithosphere-asthenosphere model, and fail to give the slightest indication that it faces any problems (e.g. McLeish, 1992; Skinner and Porter, 1995; Wicander and Monroe, 1999).
_Geophysical data show that, far from the asthenosphere being a continuous layer, there are disconnected lenses (asthenolenses), which are observed only in regions of tectonic activation and high heat flow.
_Although surface-wave observations suggested that the asthenosphere was universally present beneath the oceans, detailed seismic studies show that here, too, there are only asthenospheric lenses.
_Seismic research has revealed complicated zoning and inhomogeneity in the upper mantle, and the alternation of layers with higher and lower velocities and layers of different quality.
_Individual low-velocity layers are bedded at different depths in different regions and do not compose a single layer.
_This renders the very concept of the lithosphere ambiguous, at least that of its base.
_Indeed, the definition of the lithosphere and asthenosphere has become increasingly blurred with time (Pavlenkova, 1990, 1995, 1996).
_Thus, the lithosphere has a highly complex and irregular structure.
_Far from being homogeneous, "plates" are actually "a megabreccia, a 'pudding' of inhomogeneities whose nature, size and properties vary widely" (Chekunov, Gordienko, and Guterman, 1990, p. 404).
_The crust and uppermost mantle are divided by faults into a mosaic of separate, jostling blocks of different shapes and sizes, generally a few hundred kilometers across, and of varying internal structure and strength.
_Pavlenkova (1990, p. 78) concludes: "This means that the movement of lithospheric plates over long distances, as single rigid bodies, is hardly possible.
_Moreover, if we take into account the absence of the asthenosphere as a single continuous zone, then this movement seems utterly impossible."
_ She states that this is further confirmed by the strong evidence that regional geological features, too, are connected with deep (more than 400 km) inhomogeneities and that these connections remain stable during long periods of geologic time; considerable movement between the lithosphere and asthenosphere would detach near-surface structures from their deep mantle roots.
_Plate tectonicists who accept the evidence for deep continental roots have proposed that plates may extend to and glide along the 400-km or even 670-km seismic discontinuity (Seyfert, 1998; Jordan, 1975, 1978, 1979).
_Jordan, for instance, suggested that the oceanic lithosphere moves on the classical low-velocity zone, while the continental lithosphere moves along the 400-km discontinuity.
_However, there is no certainty that a superplastic zone exists at this discontinuity, and no evidence has been found of a shear zone connecting the two decoupling layers along the trailing edge of continents (Lowman, 1985).
_Moreover, even under the oceans there appears to be no continuous asthenosphere.
_Finally, the movement of such thick "plates" poses an even greater problem than that of thin lithospheric plates.
_The driving force of plate movements was initially claimed to be mantle-deep convection currents welling up beneath midocean ridges, with downwelling occurring beneath ocean trenches.
_Since the existence of layering in the mantle was considered to render whole-mantle convection unlikely, two-layer convection models were also proposed.
_Jeffreys (1974) argued that convection cannot take place because it is a self-damping process, as described by the Lomnitz law.
_Plate tectonicists expected seismic tomography to provide clear evidence of a well-organized convection-cell pattern, but it has actually provided strong evidence against the existence of large, plate-propelling convection cells in the upper mantle (Anderson, Tanimoto, and Zhang, 1992).
_Many geologists now think that mantle convection is a result of plate motion rather than its cause, and that it is shallow rather than mantle deep (McGeary and Plummer, 1998).
_The favored plate-driving mechanisms at present are "ridge-push" and "slab-pull," though their adequacy is very much in doubt.
_Slab-pull is believed to be the dominant mechanism, and refers to the gravitational subsidence of subducted slabs.
_However, it will not work for plates that are largely continental, or that have leading edges that are continental, because continental crust cannot be bodily subducted due to its low density, and it seems utterly unrealistic to imagine that ridge-push from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge alone could move the 120°-wide Eurasian plate (Lowman, 1986).
_Moreover, evidence for the long-term weakness of large rock masses casts doubt on the idea that edge forces can be transmitted from one margin of a "plate" to its interior or opposite margin (Keith, 1993).
_Thirteen major plates are currently recognized, ranging in size from about 400 by 2500 km to 10,000 by 10,000 km, together with a proliferating number of microplates (over 100 so far).
_Van Andel (1998) writes: Where plate boundaries adjoin continents, matters often become very complex and have demanded an ever denser thicket of ad hoc modifications and amendments to the theory and practice of plate tectonics in the form of microplates, obscure plate boundaries, and exotic terranes.
_A good example is the Mediterranean, where the collisions between Africa and a swarm of microcontinents have produced a tectonic nightmare that is far from resolved.
_More disturbingly, some of the present plate boundaries, especially in the eastern Mediterranean, appear to be so diffuse and so anomalous that they cannot be compared to the three types of plate boundaries of the basic theory.
_Plate boundaries are identified and defined mainly on the basis of earthquake and volcanic activity.
_The close correspondence between plate edges and belts of earthquakes and volcanoes is therefore to be expected and can hardly be regarded as one of the "successes" of plate tectonics (McGeary and Plummer, 1998).
_Moreover, the simple pattern of earthquakes around the Pacific Basin on which plate-tectonics models have hitherto been based has been seriously undermined by more recent studies showing a surprisingly large number of earthquakes in deep-sea regions previously thought to be aseismic (Storetvedt, 1997).
_Another major problem is that several "plate boundaries" are purely theoretical and appear to be nonexistent, including the northwest Pacific boundary of the Pacific, North American, and Eurasian plates, the southern boundary of the Philippine plate, part of the southern boundary of the Pacific plate, and most of the northern and southern boundaries of the South American plate (Stanley, 1989).

Continental Drift
_Geological field mapping provides evidence for horizontal crustal movements of up to several hundred kilometers (Jeffreys, 1976).
_Plate tectonics, however, claims that continents have moved up to 7000 km or more since the alleged breakup of Pangaea.
_Measurements using space-geodetic techniques -- very long baseline interferometry (VLBI), satellite laser-ranging (SLR), and the global positioning system (GPS) -- have been hailed by some workers as having proved plate tectonics.
_Such measurements provide a guide to crustal strains, but do not provide evidence for plate motions of the kind predicted by plate tectonics unless the relative motions predicted among all plates are observed.
_However, many of the results have shown no definite pattern, and have been confusing and contradictory, giving rise to a variety of ad-hoc hypotheses (Fallon and Dillinger, 1992; Gordon and Stein, 1992; Smith et al., 1994).
_Japan and North America appear, as predicted, to be approaching each other, but distances from the Central South American Andes to Japan or Hawaii are more or less constant, whereas plate tectonics predicts significant separation (Storetvedt, 1997).
_Trans-Atlantic drift has not been demonstrated, because baselines within North America and western Europe have failed to establish that the plates are moving as rigid units; they suggest in fact significant intraplate deformation (Lowman, 1992b; James, 1994).
_Space-geodetic measurements to date have therefore not confirmed plate tectonics.
_Moreover, they are open to alternative explanations (e.g. Meyerhoff et al., 1996a; Storetvedt, 1997; Carey, 1994).
_It is clearly a hazardous exercise to extrapolate present crustal movements tens or hundreds of millions of years into the past or future.
_Indeed, geodetic surveys across "rift" zones (e.g. in Iceland and East Africa) have failed to detect any consistent and systematic widening as postulated by plate tectonics (Keith, 1993).

Fits and Misfits
_A "compelling" piece of evidence that all the continents were once united in one large landmass is said to be the fact that they can be fitted together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
_Many reconstructions have been attempted (e.g. Bullard, Everett, and Smith, 1965; Nafe and Drake, 1969; Dietz and Holden, 1970; Smith and Hallam, 1970; Tarling, 1971; Barron, Harrison, and Hay, 1978; Smith, Hurley, and Briden, 1981; Scotese, Gagahan, and Larson, 1988), but none are entirely acceptable.
_In the Bullard, Everett, and Smith (1965) computer-generated fit, for example, there are a number of glaring omissions.
_The whole of Central America and much of southern Mexico are left out, despite the fact that extensive areas of Paleozoic and Precambrian continental rocks occur there.
_This region of some 2,100,000 km² overlaps South America in a region consisting of a craton at least 2 billion years old.
_The entire West Indian archipelago has also been omitted.
_In fact, much of the Caribbean is underlain by ancient continental crust, and the total area involved, 300,000 km², overlaps Africa (Meyerhoff and Hatten, 1974).
_The Cape Verde Islands-Senegal basin, too, is underlain by ancient continental crust, creating an additional overlap of 800,000 km².
_Several major submarine structures that appear to be of continental origin are ignored in the Bullard, Everett, and Smith fit, including the Faeroe-Iceland-Greenland Ridge, Jan Mayen Ridge, Walvis Ridge, Rio Grande Rise, and the Falkland Plateau.
_However, the Rockall Plateau was included for the sole reason that it could be "slotted in."
_The Bullard fit postulates an east-west shear zone through the present Mediterranean and requires a rotation of Spain, but field geology does not support either of these suppositions (Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1974a).
_Even the celebrated fit of South America and Africa is problematic as it is impossible to match all parts of the coastlines simultaneously; for instance, there is a gap between Guyana and Guinea (Eyles and Eyles, 1993).
_Like the Bullard, Everett, and Smith (1965) fit, the Smith and Hallam (1970) reconstruction of the Gondwanaland continents is based on the 500-fathom depth contour.
_The South Orkneys and South Georgia are omitted, as is Kerguelen Island in the Indian Ocean, and there is a large gap west of Australia.
_Fitting India against Australia, as in other fits, leaves a corresponding gap in the western Indian Ocean (Hallam, 1976).
_Dietz and Holden (1970) based their fit on the 1000-fathom (2-km) contour, but they still had to omit the Florida-Bahamas platform, ignoring the evidence that it predates the alleged commencement of drift.
_In many regions the boundary between continental and oceanic crust appears to occur beneath oceanic depths of 2-4 km or more (Hallam, 1979), and in some places the ocean-continent transition zone is several hundred kilometers wide (Van der Linden, 1977).
_This means that any reconstructions based on arbitrarily selected depth contours are flawed.
_Given the liberties that drifters have had to take to obtain the desired continental matches, their computer-generated fits may well be a case of "garbage in, garbage out" (Le Grand, 1988).
_The similarities of rock types and geological structures on coasts that were supposedly once juxtaposed are hailed by drifters as further evidence that the continents were once joined together.
_However, they rarely mention the many geological dissimilarities.
_For instance, western Africa and northern Brazil were supposedly once in contact, yet the structural trends of the former run N-S, while those of the latter run E-W (Storetvedt, 1997).
_Some predrift reconstructions show peninsular India against western Antarctica, yet Permian Indian basins do not correspond geographically or in sequence to the western Australian basins (Dickins and Choi, 1997).
_Gregory (1929) held that the geological resemblances of opposing Atlantic coastlines are due to the areas having belonged to the same tectonic belt, but that the differences are sufficient to show that the areas were situated in distant parts of the belt.
_Bucher (1933) showed that the paleontological and geological similarities between the eastern Alps and central Himalayas, 4000 miles apart, are just as remarkable as those between the Argentine and South Africa, separated by the same distance.
_The approximate parallelism of the coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean may be due to the boundaries between the continents and oceans having been formed by deep faults, which tend to be grouped into parallel systems (Beloussov, 1980).
_Moreover, the curvature of continental contours is often so similar that many of them can be joined together if they are given the necessary rotation.
_Lyustikh (1967) gave examples of 15 shorelines that can be fitted together quite well even though they can never have been in juxtaposition.
_Voisey (1958) showed that eastern Australia fits well with eastern North America if Cape York is placed next to Florida.
_He pointed out that the geological and paleontological similarities are remarkable, probably due to the similar tectonic backgrounds of the two regions.

Paleomagnetic Pitfalls
_One of the main props of continental drift is paleomagnetism -- the study of the magnetism of ancient rocks and sediments.
_The inclination and declination of fossil magnetism can be used to infer the location of a virtual magnetic pole relative to the location of the sample in question.
_When virtual poles are determined from progressively older rocks from the same continent, the poles appear to wander with time.
_Joining the former, averaged pole positions generates an apparent polar wander path.
_Different continents yield different polar wander paths, and from this it has been concluded that the apparent wandering of the magnetic poles is caused by the actual wandering of the continents over the earth's surface.
_The possibility that there has been some degree of true polar wander -- i.e. a shift of the whole earth relative to the rotation axis (the axial tilt remaining the same) -- has not, however, been ruled out.
_That paleomagnetism can be unreliable is well established (Barron, Harrison, and Hay, 1978; Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1972).
_For instance, paleomagnetic data imply that during the mid-Cretaceous Azerbaijan and Japan were in the same place (Meyerhoff, 1970a)! The literature is in fact bursting with inconsistencies (Storetvedt, 1997).
_Paleomagnetic studies of rocks of different ages suggest a different polar wander path not only for each continent, but also for different parts of each continent.
_When individual paleomagnetic pole positions, rather than averaged curves, are plotted on world maps, the scatter is huge, often wider than the Atlantic.
_Furthermore, paleomagnetism can determine only paleolatitude, not paleolongitude.
_Consequently, it cannot be used to prove continental drift.
_Paleomagnetism is plagued with uncertainties.
_Merrill, McElhinny, and McFadden (1996, p. 69) state: "there are numerous pitfalls that await the unwary: first, in sorting out the primary magnetization from secondary magnetizations (acquired subsequent to formation), and second, in extrapolating the properties of the primary magnetization to those of the earth's magnetic field."
_The interpretation of paleomagnetic data is founded on two basic assumptions:
1. when rocks are formed, they are magnetized in the direction of the geomagnetic field existing at the time and place of their formation, and the acquired magnetization is retained in the rocks at least partially over geologic time;
2. the geomagnetic field averaged for any time period of the order of 105 years (except magnetic-reversal epochs) is a dipole field oriented along the earth's rotation axis.
_Both these assumptions are questionable.
_The gradual northward shift of paleopole "scatter ellipses" through time and the gradual reduction in the diameters of the ellipses suggest that remanent magnetism becomes less stable with time.
_Rock magnetism is subject to modification by later magnetism, weathering, metamorphism, tectonic deformation, and chemical changes.
_Moreover, the geomagnetic field at the present time deviates substantially from that of a geocentric axial dipole.
_The magnetic axis is tilted by about 11° to the rotation axis, and on some planets much greater offsets are found: 46.8° in the case of Neptune, and 58.6° in the case of Uranus (Merrill, McElhinny, and McFadden, 1996).
_Nevertheless, because earth's magnetic field undergoes significant long-term secular variation (e.g.
_a westward drift), it is thought that the time-averaged field will closely approximate a geocentric axial dipole.
_However, there is strong evidence that the geomagnetic field had long-term nondipole components in the past, though they have largely been neglected (Van der Voo, 1998; Kent and Smethurst, 1998).
_To test the axial nature of the geomagnetic field in the past, paleoclimatic data have to be used.
_However, several major paleoclimatic indicators, along with paleontological data, provide powerful evidence against continental-drift models, and therefore against the current interpretation of paleomagnetic data (see below).
_It is possible that the magnetic poles have wandered considerably with respect to the geographic poles in former times.
_Also, if in past geological periods there were stable magnetic anomalies of the same intensity as the present-day East Asian anomaly (or slightly more intensive), this would render the geocentric axial dipole hypothesis invalid (Beloussov, 1990).
_Regional or semi-global magnetic fields might be generated by vortex-like cells of thermal-magmatic energy, rising and falling in the earth's mantle (Pratsch, 1990).
_Another important factor may be magnetostriction -- the alteration of the direction of magnetization by directed stress (Jeffreys, 1976; Munk and MacDonald, 1975).
_Some workers have shown that certain discordant paleomagnetic results that could be explained by large horizontal movements can be explained equally well by vertical block rotations and tilts and by inclination shallowing resulting from sediment compaction (Butler et al., 1989; Dickinson and Butler, 1998; Irving and Archibald, 1990; Hodych and Bijaksana, 1993).
_Storetvedt (1992, 1997) has developed a model known as global wrench tectonics in which paleomagnetic data are explained by in-situ horizontal rotations of continental blocks, together with true polar wander.
_The possibility that a combination of these factors could be at work simultaneously significantly undermines the use of paleomagnetism to support continental drift.

Drift versus Geology
_The opening of the Atlantic Ocean allegedly began in the Cretaceous by the rifting apart of the Eurasian and American plates.
_However, on the other side of the globe, northeastern Eurasia is joined to North America by the Bering-Chukotsk shelf, which is underlain by Precambrian continental crust that is continuous and unbroken from Alaska to Siberia.
_Geologically these regions constitute a single unit, and it is unrealistic to suppose that they were formerly divided by an ocean several thousand kilometers wide, which closed to compensate for the opening of the Atlantic.
_If a suture is absent there, one ought to be found in Eurasia or North America, but no such suture appears to exist (Beloussov, 1990; Shapiro, 1990).
_If Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea had formed by Greenland and North America drifting apart, this would have produced hundreds of kilometers of lateral offset across the Nares Strait between Greenland and Ellesmere Island, but geological field studies reveal no such offset (Grant, 1980, 1992).
_Greenland is separated from Europe west of Spitsbergen by only 50-75 km at the 1000-fathom depth contour, and it is joined to Europe by the continental Faeroe-Iceland-Greenland Ridge (Meyerhoff, 1974).
_All these facts rule out the possibility of east-west drift in the northern hemisphere.
_Geology indicates that there has been a direct tectonic connection between Europe and Africa across the zones of Gibraltar and Rif on the one hand, and Calabria and Sicily on the other, at least since the end of the Paleozoic, contradicting plate-tectonic claims of significant displacement between Europe and Africa during this period (Beloussov, 1990).
_Plate tectonicists hold widely varying opinions on the Middle East region.
_Some advocate the former presence of two or more plates, some postulate several microplates, others support island-arc interpretations, and a majority favor the existence of at least one suture zone that marks the location of a continent-continent collision.
_Kashfi (1992, p. 119) comments: "Nearly all of these hypotheses are mutually exclusive.
_Most would cease to exist if the field data were honored.
_These data show that there is nothing in the geologic record to support a past separation of Arabia-Africa from the remainder of the Middle East."
_India supposedly detached itself from Antarctica sometime during the Mesozoic, and then drifted northeastward up to 9000 km, over a period of up to 200 million years, until it finally collided with Asia in the mid-Tertiary, pushing up the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau.
_That Asia happened to have an indentation of approximately the correct shape and size and in exactly the right place for India to "dock" into would amount to a remarkable coincidence (Mantura, 1972).
_There is, however, overwhelming geological and paleontological evidence that India has been an integral part of Asia since Proterozoic or earlier time (Chatterjee and Hotton, 1986; Ahmad, 1990; Saxena and Gupta, 1990; Meyerhoff et al., 1991).
_There is also abundant evidence that the Tethys Sea in the region of the present Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt was never a deep, wide ocean but rather a narrow, predominantly shallow, intracontinental seaway (Bhat, 1987; Dickins, 1987, 1994c; McKenzie, 1987; Stöcklin, 1989).
_If the long journey of India had actually occurred, it would have been an isolated island-continent for millions of years -- sufficient time to have evolved a highly distinct endemic fauna.
_However, the Mesozoic and Tertiary faunas show no such endemism, but indicate instead that India lay very close to Asia throughout this period, and not to Australia and Antarctica (Chatterjee and Hotton, 1986).
_The stratigraphic, structural, and paleontological continuity of India with Asia and Arabia means that the supposed "flight of India" is no more than a flight of fancy.
_A striking feature of the oceans and continents today is that they are arranged antipodally: the Arctic Ocean is precisely antipodal to Antarctica; North America is exactly antipodal to the Indian Ocean; Europe and Africa are antipodal to the central area of the Pacific Ocean; Australia is antipodal to the small basin of the North Atlantic; and the South Atlantic corresponds -- though less exactly -- to the eastern half of Asia (Gregory, 1899, 1901; Bucher, 1933; Steers, 1950).
_Only 7% of the earth's surface does not obey the antipodal rule.
_If the continents had slowly drifted thousands of kilometers to their present positions, the antipodal arrangement of land and water would have to be regarded as purely coincidental.
_Harrison et al. (1983) calculated that there is 1 chance in 7 that this arrangement is the result of a random process.

_The paleoclimatic record is preserved from Proterozoic time to the present in the geographic distribution of evaporites, carbonate rocks, coals, and tillites.
_The locations of these paleoclimatic indicators are best explained by stable rather than shifting continents, and by periodic changes in climate, from globally warm or hot to globally cool (Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1974a; Meyerhoff et al., 1996b).
_For instance, 95% of all evaporites -- a dry-climate indicator -- from the Proterozoic to the present lie in regions that now receive less than 100 cm of rainfall per year, i.e. in today's dry-wind belts.
_The evaporite and coal zones show a pronounced northward offset similar to today's northward offset of the thermal equator.
_Shifting the continents succeeds at best in explaining local or regional paleoclimatic features for a particular period, and invariably fails to explain the global climate for the same period.
_In the Carboniferous and Permian, glaciers covered parts of Antarctica, South Africa, South America, India, and Australia.
_Drifters claim that this glaciation can be explained in terms of Gondwanaland, which was then situated near the south pole.
_However, the Gondwanaland hypothesis defeats itself in this respect because large areas that were glaciated during this period would be removed too far inland for moist ocean-air currents to reach them.
_Glaciers would have formed only at its margins, while the interior would have been a vast, frigid desert (Meyerhoff, 1970a; Meyerhoff and Teichert, 1971).
_Shallow epicontinental seas within Pangaea could not have provided the required moisture because they would have been frozen during the winter months.
_This glaciation is easier to explain in terms of the continents' present positions: nearly all the continental ice centers were adjacent to or near present coastlines, or in high plateaus and/or mountainlands not far from present coasts.
_Drifters say that the continents have shifted little since the start of the Cenozoic (some 65 million years ago), yet this period has seen significant alterations in climatic conditions.
_Even since Early Pliocene time the width of the temperate zone has changed by more than 15° (1650 km) in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
_The uplift of the Rocky Mountains and Tibetan Plateau appears to have been a key factor in the Late Cenozoic climatic deterioration (Ruddiman and Kutzbach, 1989; Manabe and Broccoli, 1990).
_To decide whether past climates are compatible with the present latitudes of the regions concerned, it is clearly essential to take account of vertical crustal movements, which can bring about significant changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns by altering the topography of the continents and ocean floor, and the distribution of land and sea (Dickins, 1994a; Meyerhoff, 1970b; Brooks, 1949).

_Meyerhoff et al. (1996b) showed in a detailed study that most major biogeographical boundaries, based on floral and faunal distributions, do not coincide with the partly computer-generated plate boundaries postulated by plate tectonics.
_Nor do the proposed movements of continents correspond with the known, or necessary, migration routes and directions of biogeographical boundaries.
_In most cases, the discrepancies are very large, and not even an approximate match can be claimed.
_The authors comment: "What is puzzling is that such major inconsistencies between plate tectonic postulates and field data, involving as they do boundaries that extend for thousands of kilometers, are permitted to stand unnoticed, unacknowledged, and unstudied" (p. 3).
_The known distributions of fossil organisms are more consistent with an earth model like that of today than with continental-drift models, and more migration problems are raised by joining the continents in the past than by keeping them separated (Smiley, 1974, 1976, 1992; Teichert, 1974; Khudoley, 1974; Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1974a; Teichert and Meyerhoff, 1972).
_It is unscientific to select a few faunal identities and ignore the vastly greater number of faunal dissimilarities from different continents which were supposedly once joined.
_The widespread distribution of the Glossopteris flora in the southern continents is frequently claimed to support the former existence of Gondwanaland, but it is rarely pointed out that this flora has also been found in northeast Asia (Smiley, 1976).
_Some of the paleontological evidence appears to require the alternate emergence and submergence of land dispersal routes only after the supposed breakup of Pangaea.
_For example, mammal distribution indicates that there were no direct physical connections between Europe and North America during Late Cretaceous and Paleocene times, but suggests a temporary connection with Europe during the Eocene (Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1974a).
_Continental drift, on the other hand, would have resulted in an initial disconnection with no subsequent reconnection.
_A few drifters have recognized the need for intermittent land bridges after the supposed separation of the continents (e.g. Tarling, 1982; Briggs, 1987).
_Various oceanic ridges, rises, and plateaus could have served as land bridges, as many are known to have been partly above water at various times in the past.
_It is also possible that these land bridges formed part of larger former landmasses in the present oceans (see below).

Seafloor Spreading and Subduction
_According to the seafloor-spreading hypothesis, new oceanic lithosphere is generated at midocean ridges ("divergent plate boundaries") by the upwelling of molten material from the earth's mantle, and as the magma cools it spreads away from the flanks of the ridges.
_The horizontally moving plates are said to plunge back into the mantle at ocean trenches or "subduction zones" ("convergent plate boundaries").
_The melting of the descending slab is believed to give rise to the magmatic-volcanic arcs that lie adjacent to certain trenches.

Seafloor Spreading
_The ocean floor is far from having the uniform characteristics that conveyor-type spreading would imply (Keith, 1993).
_Although averaged surface-wave data seemed to confirm that the oceanic lithosphere was symmetrical in relation to the ridge axis and increased in thickness with distance from the axial zone, more detailed seismic research has contradicted this simple model.
_It has shown that the mantle is asymmetrical in relation to the midocean ridges and has a complicated mosaic structure independent of the strike of the ridge.
_Several low-velocity zones (asthenolenses) occur in the oceanic mantle, but it is difficult to establish any regularity between the depth of the zones and their distance from the midocean ridge (Pavlenkova, 1990).
_Boreholes drilled in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans have shown the extensive distribution of shallow-water sediments ranging from Triassic to Quaternary.
_The spatial distribution of shallow-water sediments and their vertical arrangement in some of the sections refute the spreading mechanism for the formation of oceanic lithosphere (Ruditch, 1990).
_The evidence implies that since the Jurassic, the present oceans have undergone large-amplitude subsidences, and that this occurred mosaically rather than showing a systematic relationship with distance from the ocean ridges.
_Younger, shallow-water sediments are often located farther from the axial zones of the ridges than older ones -- the opposite of what is required by the plate-tectonics model, which postulates that as newly-formed oceanic lithosphere moves away from the spreading axis and cools, it gradually subsides to greater depths.
_Furthermore, some areas of the oceans appear to have undergone continuous subsidence, whereas others underwent alternating subsidence and elevation.
_The height of the ridge along the Romanche fracture zone in the equatorial Atlantic is 1 to 4 km above that expected by seafloor-spreading models.
_Large segments of it were close to or above sea level only 5 million years ago, and subsequent subsidence has been one order of magnitude faster than that predicted by plate tectonics (Bonatti and Chermak, 1981).
_According to the seafloor-spreading model, heat flow should be highest along ocean ridges and fall off steadily with increasing distance from the ridge crests.
_Actual measurements, however, contradict this simple picture: ridge crests show a very large scatter in heat-flow magnitudes, and there is generally little difference in thermal flux between the ridge and the rest of the ocean (Storetvedt, 1997; Keith, 1993).
_All parts of the Indian Ocean display a cold and rather featureless heat-flow picture except the Central Indian Basin.
_The broad region of intense tectonic deformation in this basin indicates that the basement has a block structure, and presents a major puzzle for plate tectonics, especially since it is located in a "midplate" setting.
_Smoot and Meyerhoff (1995) have shown that nearly all published charts of the world's ocean floors have been drawn deliberately to reflect the predictions of the plate-tectonics hypothesis.
_For example, the Atlantic Ocean floor is unvaryingly shown to be dominated by a sinuous, north-south midocean ridge, flanked on either side by abyssal plains, cleft at its crest by a rift valley, and offset at more or less regular 40- to 60-km intervals by east-west-striking fracture zones.
_New, detailed bathymetric surveys indicate that this oversimplified portrayal of the Atlantic Basin is largely wrong, yet the most accurate charts now available are widely ignored because they do not conform to plate-tectonic preconceptions.
_According to plate tectonics, the offset segments of "spreading" oceanic ridges should be connected by "transform fault" plate boundaries.
_Since the late 1960s, it has been claimed that first-motion studies in ocean fracture zones provide overwhelming support for the concept of transform faults.
_The results of these seismic surveys, however, were never clear-cut, and contradictory evidence and alternative explanations have been ignored (Storetvedt, 1997; Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1974a).
_Instead of being continuous and approximately parallel across the full width of each ridge, ridge-transverse fracture zones tend to be discontinuous, with many unpredicted bends, bifurcations, and changes in strike.
_In places, the fractures are diagonal rather than perpendicular to the ridge, and several parts of the ridge have no important fracture zones or even traces of them.
_For instance, they are absent from a 700-km-long portion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between the Atlantis and Kane fracture zones.
_There is a growing recognition that the fracture patterns in the Atlantic "show anomalies that are neither predicted by nor ... yet built into plate tectonic understanding" (Shirley, 1998a, b).
_Side-scanning radar images show that the midocean ridges are cut by thousands of long, linear, ridge-parallel fissures, fractures, and faults.
_This strongly suggests that the ridges are underlain at shallow depth by interconnected magma channels, in which semi-fluid lava moves horizontally and parallel with the ridges rather than at right-angles to them.
_The fault pattern observed is therefore totally different from that predicted by plate tectonics, and it cannot be explained by upwelling mantle diapirs as some plate tectonicists have proposed (Meyerhoff et al., 1992a).
_A zone of thrust faults, 300-400 km wide, has been discovered flanking the Mid-Atlantic Ridge over a length of 1000 km (Antipov et al., 1990).
_Since it was produced under conditions of compression, it contradicts the plate-tectonic hypothesis that midocean ridges are dominated by tension.
_In Iceland, the largest landmass astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the predominant stresses in the axial zone are likewise compressive rather than extensional (Keith, 1993).
_Earthquake data compiled by Zoback et al. (1989) provide further evidence that ocean ridges are characterized by widespread compression, whereas recorded tensional earthquake activity associated with these ridges is rarer.
_The rough topography and strong tectonic deformation of much of the ocean ridges, especially in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, suggest that, instead of being "spreading centers," they are a type of foldbelt (Storetvedt, 1997).
_The continents and oceans are covered with a network of major structures or lineaments, many dating from the Precambrian, along which tectonic and magmatic activity and associated mineralization take place (Gay, 1973; Katterfeld and Charushin, 1973; O'Driscoll, 1980; Wezel, 1992; Anfiloff, 1992; Dickins and Choi, 1997).
_The oceanic lineaments are not readily compatible with seafloor spreading and subduction, and plate tectonics shows little interest in them.
_GEOSAT data and SASS multibeam sonar data show that there are NNW-SSE and WSW-ENE megatrends in the Pacific Ocean, composed primarily of fracture zones and linear seamount chains, and these orthogonal lineaments naturally intersect (Smoot, 1997b, 1998a, b, 1999).
_This is a physical impossibility in plate tectonics, as seamount chains supposedly indicate the direction of plate movement, and plates would therefore have to move in two directions at once! No satisfactory plate-tectonic explanation of any of these megatrends has been proposed outside the realm of ad-hoc "microplates," and they are largely ignored.
_The orthogonal lineaments in the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Tasmanian Sea are also ignored (Choi, 1997, 1999a, c).

Age of the Seafloor
_The oldest known rocks from the continents are just under 4 billion years old, whereas -- according to plate tectonics -- none of the ocean crust is older than 200 million years (Jurassic).
_This is cited as conclusive evidence that oceanic lithosphere is constantly being created at midocean ridges and consumed in subduction zones.
_There is in fact abundant evidence against the alleged youth of the ocean floor, though geological textbooks tend to pass over it in silence.
_The oceanic crust is commonly divided into three main layers: layer 1 consists of ocean floor sediments and averages 0.5 km in thickness; layer 2 consists largely of basalt and is 1.0 to 2.5 km thick; and layer 3 is assumed to consist of gabbro and is about 5 km thick.
_Scientists involved in the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) have given the impression that the basalt (layer 2) found at the base of many deep-sea drillholes is basement, and that there are no further, older sediments below it.
_However, the DSDP scientists were apparently motivated by a strong desire to confirm seafloor spreading (Storetvedt, 1997).
_Of the first 429 sites drilled (1968-77), only 165 (38%) reached basalt, and some penetrated more than one basalt.
_All but 12 of the 165 basalt penetrations were called basement, including 19 sites where the upper contact of the basalt with the sediments was baked (Meyerhoff et al., 1992a).
_Baked contacts suggest that the basalt is an intrusive sill, and in some cases this has been confirmed, as the basalts turned out to have radiometric dates younger than the overlying sediments (e.g. Macdougall, 1971).
_101 sediment-basalt contacts were never recovered in cores, and therefore never actually seen, yet they were still assumed to be depositional contacts.
_In 33 cases depositional contacts were observed, but the basalt sometimes contained sedimentary clasts, suggesting that there might be older sediments below.
_Indeed, boreholes that have penetrated layer 2 to some depth have revealed an alternation of basalts and sedimentary rocks (Hall and Robinson, 1979; Anderson et al., 1982).
_Kamen-Kaye (1970) warned that before drawing conclusions on the youth of the ocean floor, rocks must be penetrated to depths of up to 5 km to see whether there are Triassic, Paleozoic, or Precambrian sediments below the so-called basement.
_Plate tectonics predicts that the age of the oceanic crust should increase systematically with distance from the midocean ridge crests.
_Claims by DSDP scientists to have confirmed this are not supported by a detailed review of the drilling results.
_The dates exhibit a very large scatter, which becomes even larger if dredge hauls are included.
_On some marine magnetic anomalies the age scatter is tens of millions of years (Meyerhoff et al., 1992a).
_On one seamount just west of the crest of the East Pacific Rise, the radiometric dates range from 2.4 to 96 million years.
_Although a general trend is discernible from younger sediments at ridge crests to older sediments away from them, this is in fact to be expected, since the crest is the highest and most active part of the ridge; older sediments are likely to be buried beneath younger volcanic rocks.
_The basalt layer in the ocean crust suggests that magma flooding was once ocean-wide, but volcanism was subsequently restricted to an increasingly narrow zone centered on the ridge crests.
_Such magma floods were accompanied by progressive crustal subsidence in large sectors of the present oceans, beginning in the Jurassic (Keith, 1993; Beloussov, 1980).
_The numerous finds in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans of rocks far older than 200 million years, many of them continental in nature, provide strong evidence against the alleged youth of the underlying crust.
_In the Atlantic, rock and sediment age should range from Cretaceous (120 million years) adjacent to the continents to very recent at the ridge crest.
_During legs 37 and 43 of the DSDP, Paleozoic and Proterozoic igneous rocks were recovered in cores on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Bermuda Rise, yet not one of these occurrences of ancient rocks was mentioned in the Cruise Site Reports or Cruise Synthesis Reports (Meyerhoff et al., 1996a).
_Aumento and Loncarevic (1969) reported that 75% of 84 rock samples dredged from the Bald Mountain region just west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge crest at 45°N consisted of continental-type rocks, and commented that this was a "remarkable phenomenon" -- so remarkable, in fact, that they decided to classify these rocks as "glacial erratics" and to give them no further consideration.
_Another way of dealing with "anomalous" rock finds is to dismiss them as ship ballast.
_However, the Bald Mountain locality has an estimated volume of 80 km³, so it is hardly likely to have been rafted out to sea on an iceberg or dumped by a ship! It consists of granitic and silicic metamorphic rocks ranging in age from 1690 to 1550 million years, and is intruded by 785-million-year mafic rocks (Wanless et al., 1968).
_Ozima et al. (1976) found basalts of Middle Jurassic age (169 million years) at the junction of the rift valley of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Atlantis fracture zone (30°N), an area where basalt should theoretically be extremely young, and stated that they were unlikely to be ice-rafted rocks.
_Van Hinte and Ruffman (1995) concluded that Paleozoic limestones dredged from Orphan Knoll in the northwest Atlantic were in situ and not ice rafted.
_In another attempt to explain away anomalously old rocks and anomalously shallow or emergent crust in certain parts of the ridges, some plate tectonicists have argued that "nonspreading blocks" can be left behind during rifting, and that the spreading axis and related transform faults can jump from place to place (e.g. Bonatti and Honnorez, 1971; Bonatti and Crane, 1982; Bonatti, 1990).
_This hypothesis was invoked by Pilot et al. (1998) to explain the presence of zircons with ages of 330 and 1600 million years in gabbros beneath the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near the Kane fracture zone.
_Yet another way of dealing with anomalous rock ages is to reject them as unreliable.
_For instance, Reynolds and Clay (1977), reporting on a Proterozoic date (635 million years) near the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, wrote that the age must be wrong because the theoretical age of the site was only about 10 million years.
_Paleozoic trilobites and graptolites have been dredged from the King's Trough area, on the opposite side of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to Bald Mountain, and at several localities near the Azores (Furon, 1949; Smoot and Meyerhoff, 1995).
_Detailed surveys of the equatorial segment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge have provided a wide variety of data contradicting the seafloor-spreading model, including numerous shallow-water and continental rocks, with ages up to 3.74 billion years (Udintsev, 1996; Udintsev et al., 1993; Timofeyev et al., 1992).
_Melson, Hart, and Thompson (1972), studying St. Peter and Paul's Rocks at the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge just north of the equator, found an 835-million-year rock associated with other rocks giving 350-, 450-, and 2000-million-year ages, whereas according to the seafloor-spreading model the rock should have been 35 million years.
_Numerous igneous and metamorphic rocks giving late Precambrian and Paleozoic radiometric ages have been dredged from the crests of the southern Mid-Atlantic, Mid-Indian, and Carlsberg ridges (Afanas'yev et al., 1967).
_Precambrian and Paleozoic granites have been found in several "oceanic" plateaus and islands with anomalously thick crusts, including Rockall Plateau, Agulhas Plateau, the Seychelles, the Obruchev Rise, Papua New Guinea, and the Paracel Islands (Ben-Avraham et al., 1981; Sanchez Cela, 1999).
_In many cases, structural and petrological continuity exists between continents and anomalous "oceanic" crusts -- a fact incompatible with seafloor spreading; this applies, for example, in the North Atlantic, where there is a continuous sialic basement, partly of Precambrian age, from North America to Europe.
_Major Precambrian lineaments in Australia and South America continue into the ocean floors, implying that the "oceanic" crust is at least partly composed of Precambrian rocks, and this has been confirmed by deep-sea dredging, drilling, and seismic data, and by evidence for submerged continental crust (ancient paleolands) in the present southeast and northwest Pacific (Choi, 1997, 1998; see below).

Marine Magnetic Anomalies
_Powerful support for seafloor spreading is said to be provided by marine magnetic anomalies -- approximately parallel stripes of alternating high and low magnetic intensity that characterize much of the world's midocean ridges.
_According to the Morley-Vine-Matthews hypothesis, first proposed in 1963, as the fluid basalt welling up along the midocean ridges spreads horizontally and cools, it is magnetized by the earth's magnetic field.
_Bands of high intensity are believed to have formed during periods of normal magnetic polarity, and bands of low intensity during periods of reversed polarity.
_They are therefore regarded as time lines or isochrons.
_As plate tectonics became accepted, attempts to test this hypothesis or to find alternative hypotheses ceased.
_Correlations have been made between linear magnetic anomalies on either side of a ridge, in different parts of the oceans, and with radiometrically-dated magnetic events on land.
_The results have been used to produce maps showing how the age of the ocean floor increases steadily with increasing distance from the ridge axis (McGeary and Plummer, 1998, Fig. 4.19).
_As shown above, this simple picture can be sustained only by dismissing the possibility of older sediments beneath the basalt "basement" and by ignoring numerous "anomalously" old rock ages.
_The claimed correlations have been largely qualitative and subjective, and are therefore highly suspect; virtually no effort has been made to test them quantitatively by transforming them to the pole (i.e. recalculating each magnetic profile to a common latitude).
_In one instance where transformation to the pole was carried out, the plate-tectonic interpretation of the magnetic anomalies in the Bay of Biscay was seriously undermined (Storetvedt, 1997).
_Agocs, Meyerhoff, and Kis (1992) applied the same technique in their detailed, quantitative study of the magnetic anomalies of the Reykjanes Ridge near Iceland, and found that the correlations were very poor; the correlation coefficient along strike averaged 0.31 and that across the ridge 0.17, with limits of +1 to -1.
_Linear anomalies are known from only 70% of the seismically active midocean ridges.
_Moreover, the diagrams of symmetrical, parallel, linear bands of anomalies displayed in many plate-tectonics publications bear little resemblance to reality (Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1974b; Beloussov, 1970).
_The anomalies are symmetrical to the ridge axis in less than 50% of the ridge system where they are present, and in about 21% of it they are oblique to the trend of the ridge.
_In some areas, linear anomalies are present where a ridge system is completely absent.
_Magnetic measurements by instruments towed near the sea bottom have indicated that magnetic bands actually consist of many isolated ovals that may be joined together in different ways.
_The initial, highly simplistic seafloor-spreading model for the origin of magnetic anomalies has been disproven by ocean drilling (Pratsch, 1986; Hall and Robinson, 1979).
_First, the hypothesis that the anomalies are produced in the upper 500 meters of oceanic crust has had to be abandoned.
_Magnetic intensities, general polarization directions, and often the existence of different polarity zones at different depths suggest that the source for oceanic magnetic anomalies lies in deeper levels of oceanic crust not yet drilled (or dated).
_Second, the vertically alternating layers of opposing magnetic polarization directions disprove the theory that the oceanic crust was magnetized entirely as it spread laterally from the magmatic center, and strongly indicate that oceanic crustal sequences represent longer geologic times than is now believed.
_A more likely explanation of marine magnetic anomalies is that they are caused by fault-related bands of rock of different magnetic properties and have nothing to do with seafloor spreading (Morris et al., 1990; Choi, Vasil'yev, and Tuezov, 1990; Pratsch, 1986; Grant, 1980).
_The fact that not all the charted magnetic anomalies are formed of oceanic crustal materials further undermines the plate-tectonic explanation.
_In the Labrador Sea some anomalies occur in an area of continental crust that had previously been defined as oceanic (Grant, 1980).
_In the northwestern Pacific some magnetic anomalies are likewise located within an area of continental crust -- a submerged paleoland (Choi, Vasil'yev, and Tuezov, 1990; Choi, Vasil'yev, and Bhat, 1992).
_Magnetic-anomaly bands strike into the continents in at least 15 places and "dive" beneath Proterozoic or younger rocks.
_Furthermore, they are approximately concentric with respect to Archean continental shields (Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1972, 1974b).
_These facts imply that instead of being a "taped record" of seafloor spreading and geomagnetic field reversals during the past 200 million years, most oceanic magnetic anomalies are the sites of ancient fractures, which partly formed during the Proterozoic and have been rejuvenated since.
_The evidence also suggests that Archean continental nuclei have held approximately the same positions with respect to one another since their formation -- which is utterly at variance with continental drift.

_Benioff zones are distinct earthquake zones that begin at an ocean trench and slope landward and downward into the earth.
_In plate tectonics, these deep-rooted fault zones are interpreted as "subduction zones" where plates descend into the mantle.
_They are generally depicted as 100-km-thick slabs descending into the earth either at a constant angle, or at a shallow angle near the earth's surface and gradually curving around to an angle of between 60° and 75°.
_Neither representation is correct.
_Benioff zones often consist of two separate sections: an upper zone with an average dip of 33° extending to a depth of 70-400 km, and a lower zone with an average dip of 60° extending to a depth of up to 700 km (Benioff, 1954; Isacks and Barazangi, 1977).
_The upper and lower segments are sometimes offset by 100-200 km, and in one case by 350 km (Benioff, 1954, Smoot, 1997a).
_Furthermore, deep earthquakes are disconnected from shallow ones; very few intermediate earthquakes exist (Smoot, 1997a).
_Many studies have found transverse as well as vertical discontinuities and segmentation in Benioff zones (e.g. Carr, Stoiber, and Drake, 1973; Swift and Carr, 1974; Teisseyre et al., 1974; Carr, 1976; Spence, 1977; Ranneft, 1979).
_The evidence therefore does not favor the notion of a continuous, downgoing slab.
_Plate tectonicists insist that the volume of crust generated at midocean ridges is equaled by the volume subducted.
_But whereas 80,000 km of midocean ridges are supposedly producing new crust, only 30,500 km of trenches exist.
_Even if we add the 9000 km of "collision zones," the figure is still only half that of the "spreading centers" (Smoot, 1997a).
_With two minor exceptions (the Scotia and Lesser Antilles trench/arc systems), Benioff zones are absent from the margins of the Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Southern Oceans.
_Many geological facts demonstrate that subduction is not taking place in the Lesser Antilles arc; if it were, the continental Barbados Ridge should now be 200-400 km beneath the Lesser Antilles (Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1974a).
_Kiskyras (1990) presented geological, volcanological, petrochemical, and seismological data contradicting the belief that the African plate is being subducted under the Aegean Sea.
_Africa is allegedly being converged on by plates spreading from the east, south, and west, yet it exhibits no evidence whatsoever for the existence of subduction zones or orogenic belts.
_Antarctica, too, is almost entirely surrounded by alleged "spreading" ridges without any corresponding subduction zones, but fails to show any signs of being crushed.
_It has been suggested that Africa and Antarctica may remain stationary while the surrounding ridge system migrates away from them, but this would require the ridge marking the "plate boundary" between Africa and Antarctica to move in opposite directions simultaneously (Storetvedt, 1997)!
_If up to 13,000 kilometers of lithosphere had really been subducted in circum-Pacific deep-sea trenches, vast amounts of oceanic sediments should have been scraped off the ocean floor and piled up against the landward margin of the trenches.
_However, sediments in the trenches are generally not present in the volumes required, nor do they display the expected degree of deformation (Storetvedt, 1997; Choi, 1999b; Gnibidenko, Krasny, and Popov, 1978; Suzuki et al., 1997).
_Scholl and Marlow (1974), who support plate tectonics, admitted to being "genuinely perplexed as to why evidence for subduction or offscraping of trench deposits is not glaringly apparent" (p. 268).
_Plate tectonicists have had to resort to the highly dubious notion that unconsolidated deep-ocean sediments can slide smoothly into a Benioff zone without leaving any significant trace.
_Moreover, fore-arc sediments, where they have been analyzed, have generally been found to be derived from the volcanic arc and the adjacent continental block, not from the oceanic region (Pratsch, 1990; Wezel, 1986).
_The very low level of seismicity, the lack of a megathrust, and the existence of flat-lying sediments at the base of oceanic trenches contradict the alleged presence of a downgoing slab (Dickins and Choi, 1998).
_Attempts by Murdock (1997), who accepts many elements of plate tectonics, to publicize the lack of a megathrust in the Aleutian trench (i.e. a million or more meters of displacement of the Pacific plate as it supposedly underthrusts the North American plate) have met with vigorous resistance and suppression by the plate-tectonics establishment.
_Subduction along Pacific trenches is also refuted by the fact that the Benioff zone often lies 80 to 150 km landward from the trench; by the evidence that Precambrian continental structures continue into the ocean floor; and by the evidence for submerged continental crust under the northwestern and southeastern Pacific, where there are now deep abyssal plains and trenches (Choi, 1987, 1998, 1999c; Smoot 1998b; Tuezov, 1998).
_If the "Pacific plate" is colliding with and diving under the "North American plate", there should be a stress buildup along the San Andreas Fault.
_The deep Cajon Pass drillhole was intended to confirm this but showed instead that no such stress is present (C. W. Hunt, 1992).
_In the active island-arc complexes of southeast Asia, the arcs bend back on themselves, forming hairpin-like shapes that sometimes involve full 180° changes in direction.
_This also applies to the postulated subduction zone around India.
_How plate collisions could produce such a geometry remains a mystery (Meyerhoff, 1995; H. A. Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1977).
_Rather than being continuous curves, trenches tend to consist of a row of straight segments, which sometimes differ in depth by more than 4 km.
_Aseismic buoyant features (e.g. seamounts), which are frequently found at the juncture of these segments, are connected with increased deep-earthquake and volcanic activity on the landward side of the trench, whereas theoretically their "arrival" at a subduction zone should reduce or halt such activity (Smoot, 1997a).
_Plate tectonicists admit that it is hard to see how the subduction of a cold slab could result in the high heat flow or arc volcanism in back-arc regions or how plate convergence could give rise to back-arc spreading (Uyeda, 1986).
_Evidence suggests that oceanic, continental, and back-arc rifts are actually tensional structures developed to relieve stress in a strong compressional stress system, and therefore have nothing to do with seafloor spreading (Dickins, 1997).
_An alternative view of Benioff zones is that they are very ancient contraction fractures produced by the cooling of the earth (Meyerhoff et al., 1992b, 1996a).
_The fact that the upper part of the Benioff zones usually dips at less than 45° and the lower part at more than 45° suggests that the lithosphere is under compression and the lower mantle under tension.
_Furthermore, since a contracting sphere fractures along great circles (Bucher, 1956), this would account for the fact that both the circum-Pacific seismotectonic belt and the Alpine-Himalayan (Tethyan) belt lie on approximate circles.
_Finally, instead of oceanic crust being absorbed beneath the continents along ocean trenches, continents may actually be overriding adjacent oceanic areas to a limited extent, as is indicated by the historical geology of China, Indonesia, and the western Americas (Storetvedt, 1997; Pratsch, 1986; Krebs, 1975).

Uplift and Subsidence
Vertical Tectonics
_Classical plate tectonics seeks to explain all geologic structures primarily in terms of simple lateral movements of lithospheric plates -- their rifting, extension, collision, and subduction.
_But random plate interactions are unable to explain the periodic character of geological processes, i.e. the geotectonic cycle, which sometimes operates on a global scale (Wezel, 1992).
_Nor can they explain the large-scale uplifts and subsidences that have characterized the evolution of the earth's crust, especially those occurring far from "plate boundaries" such as in continental interiors, and vertical oscillatory motions involving vast regions (Ilich, 1972; Beloussov, 1980, 1990; Chekunov, Gordienko, and Guterman, 1990; Genshaft and Saltykowski, 1990).
_The presence of marine strata thousands of meters above sea level (e.g. near the summit of Mount Everest) and the great thicknesses of shallow-water sediment in some old basins indicate that vertical crustal movements of at least 9 km above sea level and 10-15 km below sea level have taken place (Spencer, 1977).
_Major vertical movements have also taken place along continental margins.
_For example, the Atlantic continental margin of North America has subsided by up to 12 km since the Jurassic (Sheridan, 1974).
_In Barbados, Tertiary coals representing a shallow-water, tropical environment occur beneath deep-sea oozes, indicating that during the last 12 million years, the crust sank to over 4-5 km depth for the deposition of the ooze and was then raised again.
_A similar situation occurs in Indonesia, where deep-sea oozes occur above sea level, sandwiched between shallow-water Tertiary sediments (James, 1994).
_The primary mountain-building mechanism in plate tectonics is lateral compression caused by collisions -- of continents, island arcs, oceanic plateaus, seamounts, and ridges.
_In this model, subduction proceeds without mountain building until collision occurs, whereas in the noncollision model subduction alone is supposed to cause mountain building.
_As well as being mutually contradictory, both models are inadequate, as several supporters of plate tectonics have pointed out (e.g. Cebull and Shurbet, 1990, 1992; Van Andel, 1998).
_The noncollision model fails to explain how continuous subduction can give rise to discontinuous orogeny, while the collision model is challenged by occurrences of mountain building where no continental collision can be assumed, and it fails to explain contemporary mountain-building activity along such chains as the Andes and around much of the rest of the Pacific rim.
_Asia supposedly collided with Europe in the late Paleozoic, producing the Ural mountains, but abundant geological field data demonstrate that the Siberian and East European (Russian) platforms have formed a single continent since Precambrian times (Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, 1974a).
_McGeary and Plummer (1998) state that the plate-tectonic reconstruction of the formation of the Appalachians in terms of three successive collisions of North America seems "too implausible even for a science fiction plot" (p. 114), but add that an understanding of plate tectonics makes the theory more palatable.
_Ollier (1990), on the other hand, states that fanciful plate-tectonic explanations ignore all the geomorphology and much of the known geological history of the Appalachians.
_He also says that of all the possible mechanisms that might account for the Alps, the collision of the African and European plates is the most naive.
_The Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau were supposedly uplifted by the collision of the Indian plate with the Asian plate.
_However, this fails to explain why the beds on either side of the supposed collision zone remain comparatively undisturbed and low-dipping, whereas the Himalayas have been uplifted, supposedly as a consequence, some 100 km away, along with the Kunlun mountains to the north of the Tibetan Plateau.
_River terraces in various parts of the Himalayas are almost perfectly horizontal and untilted, suggesting that the Himalayas were uplifted vertically, rather than as the result of horizontal compression (Ahmad, 1990).
_Collision models generally assume that the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau began during or after the early Eocene (post-50 million years), but paleontological, paleoclimatological, paleoecological, and sedimentological data conclusively show that major uplift could not have occurred before earliest Pliocene time (5 million years ago) (Meyerhoff, 1995).
_There is ample evidence that mantle heat flow and material transport can cause significant changes in crustal thickness, composition, and density, resulting in substantial uplifts and subsidences.
_This is emphasized in many of the alternative hypotheses to plate tectonics (for an overview, see Yano and Suzuki, 1999), such as the model of endogenous regimes (Beloussov, 1980, 1981, 1990, 1992; Pavlenkova, 1995, 1998).
_Plate tectonicists, too, increasingly invoke mantle diapirism as a mechanism for generating or promoting tectogenesis; there is now abundant evidence that shallow magma chambers are ubiquitous beneath active tectonic belts.
_The popular hypothesis that crustal stretching was the main cause of the formation of deep sedimentary basins on continental crust has been contradicted by numerous studies; mantle upwelling processes and lithospheric density increases are increasingly being recognized as an alternative mechanism (Pavlenkova, 1998; Artyushkov 1992; Artyushkov and Baer, 1983; Anfiloff, 1992; Zorin and Lepina, 1989).
_This may involve gabbro-eclogite phase transformations in the lower crust (Artyushkov 1992; Haxby, Turcotte, and Bird, 1976; Joyner, 1967), a process that has also been proposed as a possible explanation for the continuing subsidence of the North Sea Basin, where there is likewise no evidence of large-scale stretching (Collette, 1968).
_Plate tectonics predicts simple heat-flow patterns around the earth.
_There should be a broad band of high heat flow beneath the full length of the midocean rift system, and parallel bands of high and low heat flow along the Benioff zones.
_Intraplate regions are predicted to have low heat flow.
_The pattern actually observed is quite different.
_There are criss-crossing bands of high heat flow covering the entire surface of the earth (Meyerhoff et al., 1996a).
_Intra-plate volcanism is usually attributed to "mantle plumes" -- upwellings of hot material from deep in the mantle, presumably the core-mantle boundary.
_The movement of plates over the plumes is said to give rise to hotspot trails (chains of volcanic islands and seamounts).
_Such trails should therefore show an age progression from one end to the other, but a large majority show little or no age progression (Keith, 1993; Baksi, 1999).
_On the basis of geological, geochemical, and geophysical evidence, Sheth (1999) argued that the plume hypothesis is ill-founded, artificial, and invalid, and has led earth scientists up a blind alley.
_Active tectonic belts are located in bands of high heat flow, which are also characterized by several other phenomena that do not readily fit in with the plate-tectonics hypothesis.
_These include: bands of microearthquakes (including "diffuse plate boundaries") that do not coincide with plate-tectonic predicted locations; segmented belts of linear faults, fractures, and fissures; segmented belts of mantle upwellings and diapirs; vortical geological structures; linear lenses of anomalous (low-velocity) upper mantle that are commonly overlain by shallower, smaller low-velocity zones; the existence of bisymmetrical deformation in all foldbelts, with coexisting states of compression and tension; strike-slip zones and similar tectonic lines ranging from simple rifts to Verschluckungszonen ("engulfment zones"); eastward-shifting tectonic-magmatic belts; and geothermal zones.
_Investigation of these phenomena has led to the development of a major new hypothesis of geodynamics, known as surge tectonics, which rejects both seafloor spreading and continental drift (Meyerhoff et al., 1992b, 1996a; Meyerhoff, 1995).
_Surge tectonics postulates that all the major features of the earth's surface, including rifts, foldbelts, metamorphic belts, and strike-slip zones, are underlain by shallow (less than 80 km) magma chambers and channels (known as "surge channels").
_Seismotomographic data suggest that surge channels form an interconnected worldwide network, which has been dubbed "the earth's cardiovascular system."
_Surge channels coincide with the lenses of anomalous mantle and associated low-velocity zones referred to above, and active channels are also characterized by high heat flow and microseismicity.
_Magma from the asthenosphere flows slowly through active channels at the rate of a few centimeters a year.
_Horizontal flow is demonstrated by two major surface features: linear, belt-parallel faults, fractures, and fissures; and the division of tectonic belts into fairly uniform segments.
_The same features characterize all lava flows and tunnels, and have also been observed on Mars, Venus, and several moons of the outer planets.
_Surge tectonics postulates that the main cause of geodynamics is lithosphere compression, generated by the cooling and contraction of the earth.
_As compression increases during a geotectonic cycle, it causes the magma to move through a channel in pulsed surges and eventually to rupture it, so that the contents of the channel surge bilaterally upward and outward to initiate tectogenesis.
_The asthenosphere (in regions where it is present) alternately contracts during periods of tectonic activity and expands during periods of tectonic quiescence.
_The earth's rotation, combined with differential lag between the more rigid lithosphere above and the more fluid asthenosphere below, causes the fluid or semifluid materials to move predominantly eastward.
_This explains the eastward migration through time of many magmatic or volcanic arcs, batholiths, rifts, depocenters, and foldbelts.

The Continents
_It is a striking fact that nearly all the sedimentary rocks composing the continents were laid down under the sea.
_The continents have suffered repeated marine inundations, but because sediments were mostly deposited in shallow water (less than 250 m), the seas are described as "epicontinental."
_Marine transgressions and regressions are usually attributed mainly to eustatic changes of sea level caused by alterations in the volume of midocean ridges.
_Van Andel (1994) points out that this explanation cannot account for the 100 or so briefer cycles of sea-level changes, especially since transgressions and regressions are not always simultaneous all over the globe.
_He proposes that large regions or whole continents must undergo slow vertical, epeirogenic movements, which he attributes to an uneven distribution of temperature and density in the mantle, combined with convective flow.
_Some workers have linked marine inundations and withdrawals to a global thermal cycle, bringing about continental uplift and subsidence (Rutland, 1982; Sloss and Speed, 1974).
_Van Andel (1994) admits that epeirogenic movements "fit poorly into plate tectonics" (p. 170), and are therefore largely ignored.
_Van Andel (1994) asserts that "plates" rise or fall by no more than a few hundred meters -- this being the maximum depth of most "epicontinental" seas.
_However, this overlooks an elementary fact: huge thicknesses of sediments were often deposited during marine incursions, often requiring vertical crustal movements of many kilometers.
_Sediments accumulate in regions of subsidence, and their thickness is usually close to the degree of downwarping.
_In the unstable, mobile belts bordering stable continental platforms, many geosynclinal troughs and circular depressions have accumulated sedimentary thicknesses of 10 to 14 km, and in some cases of 20 km.
_Although the sedimentary cover on the platforms themselves is often less than 1.5 km thick, basins with sedimentary thicknesses of 10 km and even 20 km are not unknown (C. B. Hunt, 1992; Dillon, 1974; Beloussov, 1981; Pavlenkova, 1998).
_Subsidence cannot be attributed solely to the weight of the accumulating sediments because the density of sedimentary rocks is much lower than that of the subcrustal material; for instance, the deposition of 1 km of marine sediment will cause only half a kilometer or so of subsidence (Holmes, 1965; Jeffreys, 1976).
_Moreover, sedimentary basins require not only continual depression of the base of the basin to accommodate more sediments, but also continuous uplift of adjacent land to provide a source for the sediments.
_In geosynclines, subsidence has commonly been followed by uplift and folding to produce mountain ranges, and this can obviously not be accounted for by changes in surface loading.
_The complex history of the oscillating uplift and subsidence of the crust appears to require deep-seated changes in lithospheric composition and density, and vertical and horizontal movements of mantle material.
_That density is not the only factor involved is shown by the fact that in regions of tectonic activity vertical movements often intensify gravity anomalies rather than acting to restore isostatic equilibrium.
_For example, the Greater Caucasus is overloaded, yet it is rising rather than subsiding (Beloussov, 1980; Jeffreys, 1976).
_In regions where all the sediments were laid down in shallow water, subsidence must somehow have kept pace with sedimentation.
_In eugeosynclines, on the other hand, subsidence proceeded faster than sedimentation, resulting in a marine basin several kilometers deep.
_Examples of eugeosynclines prior to the uplift stage are the Sayans in the Early Paleozoic, the eastern slope of the Urals in the Early and Middle Paleozoic, the Alps in the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, and the Sierra Nevada in the Triassic (Beloussov, 1980).
_Plate tectonicists often claim that geosynclines are formed solely at plate margins at the boundaries between continents and oceans.
_However, there are many examples of geosynclines having formed in intracontinental settings (Holmes, 1965), and the belief that the ophiolites found in certain geosynclinal areas are invariably remnants of oceanic crust is contradicted by a large volume of evidence (Beloussov, 1981; Bhat, 1987; Luts, 1990; Sheth, 1997).

The Oceans
_In the past, sialic clastic material has been transported to today's continents from the direction of the present-day oceans, where there must have been considerable areas of land that underwent erosion (Dickins, Choi, and Yeates, 1992; Beloussov, 1962).
_For instance, the Paleozoic geosyncline along the seaboard of eastern North America, an area now occupied by the Appalachian mountains, was fed by sialic clasts from a borderland ("Appalachia") in the adjacent Atlantic.
_Other submerged borderlands include the North Atlantic Continent or Scandia (west of Spitsbergen and Scotland), Cascadia (west of the Sierra Nevada), and Melanesia (southeast of Asia and east of Australia) (Umbgrove, 1947; Gilluly, 1955; Holmes, 1965).
_A million cubic kilometers of Devonian micaceous sediments from Bolivia to Argentina imply an extensive continental source to the west where there is now the deep Pacific Ocean (Carey, 1994).
_During Paleozoic-Mesozoic-Paleogene times, the Japanese geosyncline was supplied with sediments from land areas in the Pacific (Choi, 1984, 1987).
_When trying to explain sediment sources, plate tectonicists sometimes argue that sediments were derived from the existing continents during periods when they were supposedly closer together (Bahlburg, 1993; Dickins, 1994a; Holmes, 1965).
_Where necessary, they postulate small former land areas (microcontinents or island arcs), which have since been either subducted or accreted against continental margins as "exotic terranes" (Nur and Ben-Avraham, 1982; Kumon et al., 1988; Choi, 1984).
_However, mounting evidence is being uncovered that favors the foundering of sizable continental landmasses, whose remnants are still present under the ocean floor (see below).
_Oceanic crust is regarded as much thinner and denser than continental crust: the crust beneath oceans is said to average about 7 km thick and to be composed largely of basalt and gabbro, whereas continental crust averages about 35 km thick and consists chiefly of granitic rock capped by sedimentary rocks.
_However, ancient continental rocks and crustal types intermediate between standard "continental" and "oceanic" crust are increasingly being discovered in the oceans (Sanchez Cela, 1999), and this is a serious embarrassment for plate tectonics.
_The traditional picture of the crust beneath oceans being universally thin and graniteless may well be further undermined in the future, as oceanic drilling and seismic research continue.
_One difficulty is to distinguish the boundary between the lower oceanic crust and upper mantle in areas where high- and low-velocity layers alternate (Orlenok, 1986; Choi, Vasil'yev, and Bhat, 1992).
_For example, the crust under the Kuril deep-sea basin is 8 km thick if the 7.9 km/s velocity layer is taken as the crust-mantle boundary (Moho), but 20-30 km thick if the 8.2 or 8.4 km/s layer is taken as the Moho (Tuezov, 1998).
_Small ocean basins cover an area equal to about 5% of that of the continents, and are characterized by transitional types of crust (Menard, 1967).
_This applies to the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the Japan Sea, the Okhotsk Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Mediterranean, the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay, and the marginal (back-arc) basins along the western side of the Pacific (Beloussov and Ruditch, 1961; Ross, 1974; Sheridan, 1974; Choi, 1984; Grant, 1992).
_In plate tectonics, the origin of marginal basins, with their complex crustal structure, has remained an enigma, and there is no basis for the assumption that some kind of seafloor spreading must be involved; rather, they appear to have originated by vertical tectonics (Storetvedt, 1997; Wezel, 1986).
_Some plate tectonicists have tried to explain the transitional crust of the Caribbean in terms of the continentalization of a former deep ocean area, thereby ignoring the stratigraphic evidence that the Caribbean was a land area in the Early Mesozoic (Van Bemmelen, 1972).
_There are over 100 submarine plateaus and aseismic ridges scattered throughout the oceans, many of which were once subaerially exposed (Nur and Ben-Avraham, 1982; Dickins, Choi, and Yeates, 1992; Storetvedt, 1997).
_They make up about 10% of the ocean floor.
_Many appear to be composed of modified continental crust 20-40 km thick -- far thicker than "normal" oceanic crust.
_They often have an upper 10-15 km crust with compressional-wave velocities typical of granitic rocks in continental crust.
_They have remained obstacles to predrift continental fits, and have therefore been interpreted as extinct spreading ridges, anomalously thickened oceanic crust, or subsided continental fragments carried along by the "migrating" seafloor.
_If seafloor spreading is rejected, they cease to be anomalous and can be interpreted as submerged, in-situ continental fragments that have not been completely "oceanized."
_Shallow-water deposits ranging in age from mid-Jurassic to Miocene, as well as igneous rocks showing evidence of subaerial weathering, were found in 149 of the first 493 boreholes drilled in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.
_These shallow-water deposits are now found at depths ranging from 1 to 7 km, demonstrating that many parts of the present ocean floor were once shallow seas, shallow marshes, or land areas (Orlenok, 1986; Timofeyev and Kholodov, 1984).
_From a study of 402 oceanic boreholes in which shallow-water or relatively shallow-water sediments were found, Ruditch (1990) concluded that there is no systematic correlation between the age of shallow-water accumulations and their distance from the axes of the midoceanic ridges, thereby disproving the seafloor-spreading model.
_Some areas of the oceans appear to have undergone continuous subsidence, whereas others experienced alternating episodes of subsidence and elevation.
_The Pacific Ocean appears to have formed mainly from the Late Jurassic to the Miocene, the Atlantic Ocean from the Late Cretaceous to the end of the Eocene, and the Indian Ocean during the Paleocene and Eocene.
_In the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, modified continental crust (mostly 10-20 km thick) underlies not only ridges and plateaus but most of the ocean floor; only in deep-water depressions is typical oceanic crust found.
_Since deep-sea drilling has shown that large areas of the North Atlantic were previously covered with shallow seas, it is possible that much of the North Atlantic was continental crust before its rapid subsidence (Pavlenkova, 1995, 1998; Sanchez Cela, 1999).
_Lower Paleozoic continental rocks with trilobite fossils have been dredged from seamounts scattered over a large area northeast of the Azores.
_Furon (1949) concluded that the continental cobbles had not been carried there by icebergs and that the area concerned was a submerged continental zone.
_Bald Mountain, from which a variety of ancient continental material has been dredged, could certainly be a foundered continental fragment.
_In the equatorial Atlantic, shallow-water and continental rocks are ubiquitous (Timofeyev et al., 1992; Udintsev, 1996).
_There is evidence that the midocean ridge system was shallow or partially emergent in Cretaceous to Early Tertiary time.
_For instance, in the Atlantic subaerial deposits have been found on the North Brazilian Ridge (Bader et al., 1971), near the Romanche and Vema fracture zones adjacent to equatorial sectors of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Bonatti and Chermak, 1981; Bonatti and Honnorez, 1971), on the crest of the Reykjanes Ridge, and in the Faeroe-Shetland region (Keith, 1993).
_Oceanographic and geological data suggest that a large part of the Indian Ocean, especially the eastern part, was land ("Lemuria") from the Jurassic until the Miocene.
_The evidence includes seismic and palynological data and subaerial weathering which suggest that the Broken and Ninety East Ridges were part of an extensive, now sunken landmass; extensive drilling, seismic, magnetic, and gravity data pointing to the existence an Alpine-Himalayan foldbelt in the northwestern Indian Ocean, associated with a foundered continental basement; data that continental basement underlies the Scott, Exmouth, and Naturaliste plateaus west of Australia; and thick Triassic and Jurassic sedimentation on the western and northwestern shelves of the Australian continent which shows progradation and current direction indicating a western source (Dickins, 1994a; Udintsev, Illarionov, and Kalinin, 1990; Udintsev and Koreneva, 1982; Wezel, 1988).
_Geological, geophysical, and dredging data provide strong evidence for the presence of Precambrian and younger continental crust under the deep abyssal plains of the present northwest Pacific (Choi, Vasil'yev, and Tuezov, 1990; Choi, Vasil'yev, and Bhat, 1992).
_Most of this region was either subaerially exposed or very shallow sea during the Paleozoic to Early Mesozoic, and first became deep sea about the end of the Jurassic.
_Paleolands apparently existed on both sides of the Japanese islands.
_They were largely emergent during the Paleozoic-Mesozoic-Paleogene, but were totally submerged during Paleogene to Miocene times.
_Those on the Pacific side included the great Oyashio paleoland and the Kuroshio paleoland.
_The latter, which was as large as the present Japanese islands and occupied the present Nankai Trough area, subsided in the Miocene, at the same time as the upheaval of the Shimanto geosyncline, to which it had supplied vast amounts of sediments (Choi, 1984, 1987; Harata et al., 1978; Kumon et al., 1988).
_There is also evidence of paleolands in the southwest Pacific around Australia (Choi, 1997) and in the southeast Pacific during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic (Choi, 1998; Isaacson, 1975; Bahlburg, 1993; Isaacson and Martinez, 1995).
_After surveying the extensive evidence for former continental land areas in the present oceans, Dickins, Choi, and Yeates (1992) concluded:
_We are surprised and concerned for the objectivity and honesty of science that such data can be overlooked or ignored. ...
_There is a vast need for future Ocean Drilling Program initiatives to drill below the base of the basaltic ocean floor crust to confirm the real composition of what is currently designated oceanic crust.
_(p. 198)

_Plate tectonics -- the reigning paradigm in the earth sciences -- faces some very severe and apparently fatal problems.
_Far from being a simple, elegant, all-embracing global theory, it is confronted with a multitude of observational anomalies, and has had to be patched up with a complex variety of ad-hoc modifications and auxiliary hypotheses.
_The existence of deep continental roots and the absence of a continuous, global asthenosphere to "lubricate" plate motions, have rendered the classical model of plate movements untenable.
_There is no consensus on the thickness of the "plates" and no certainty as to the forces responsible for their supposed movement.
_The hypotheses of large-scale continental movements, seafloor spreading and subduction, and the relative youth of the oceanic crust are contradicted by a substantial volume of data.
_Evidence for significant amounts of submerged continental crust in the present-day oceans provides another major challenge to plate tectonics.
_The fundamental principles of plate tectonics therefore require critical reexamination, revision, or rejection.
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