Lecture 9

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31 Mar 2011
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EESA06 Lecture 9 Page 1
EESA06 Lecture 9
The Plate Tectonic Future of Planet Earth t Where are we headed?
1) Alpine-Himalayan Orogeny: The building of the next supercontinent (Pangea II) - obduction
2) Obduction processes as Indian sub-continent collides with Asia
3) Destruction of the Tethys Ocean
4) Uplift of the Himalayas and Climate Change t in
Africa created humans
- Orogenic belt t cooling temperatures
^,]}Ç}v[Z/o(Wµ]K(vZu_
- Earth History tells us of the future
- On the cusp of a resource boom
- Pacific is closing, Atlantic could be closing
- Everything is heading in the Japan direction
- Locus of next super continent = south east asia
Obduction t process where continents collide together =
earthquakes
- India colliding into Asia creating Himalayans
- Effects are felt over a very large area t China,
Pakistan experience major earthquakes
- Started around 20 million years ago
- Mediterranean is a remnant of the ocean that laid
between Africa and Europe
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EESA06 Lecture 9 Page 2
Obduction (Fig 2.29)
- Compression zone
- most common type of rock is gneiss t high grade
metamorphic rock, high pressure, high temperature
- Ex: Canadian shield t used to be high mountains
- Granite pluton t is more acidic, high content of silica
- Rhyolite t produced from high explosive volcanism,
local melting no subduction
- No volcanoes in Himalayans
- Fold and thrust belts - Cover rocks t dominantly
sedimentary rocks in high pressure
o High contents of resources: oil + gas
- Ophiolite t remnants of oceanic crust
o Green rocks result from basalts
China Seismic Zones: Epicenters of Major Earthquakes
- Indenter Model - India wedge into China
- Occur in linear belts, major faults
Alpine-Himalayan Orogeny
- Orogeny t the process of mountain building
- Orogen t name given to the folded rocks that results
o Ex: Western Alps, Tibetan Plateau
Closure of the Tethys Ocean as Pangea breaks up
- Southern Continents = Gondawana
- dZÇ[Kvt destroyed
- Northern Continent = Mega Laurasia
- India separated by a mid-ocean ridge (Dark Blue)
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