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Lecture 9

Lecture 9

Environmental Science
Course Code
Nick Eyles

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The plate tectonic future of planet earth: alpine Himalayan orogeny (the building of
the next supercontinent), obduction processes as Indian sub-continent collides with
asia, destruction of the Tethys ocean, uplift of the Himalayas and climate change
Tectonic plates can change climate on much longer time scales, we would not be
sitting here today if it wasnt for this major orogenic belt because its formation
basically changed global climate and it let to the cooling of the planet
History doesnt repeat itself but it often rhymes
Plates are headed to south east Asia, therefore that will be the locus of the next
super continent
Indian subcontinent before it collided with Asia but when it did it buckled and
created the Himalaya mountains
India was pushing into the Asian continent and also spreading it and therefore we
have little rift basins developing as well; the effects of India being driven up as
wedge is that the effcts are felt over a very large area for example some middle
eastern continents are escaping are heading opposite of the path of India
Mediterranean is a remnant of the ocean that lay between Africa and Europe that is
closing and it will be gone as Africa continues its northern movement, the Swiss alps
are a result of this northern movement
Granite is much more acidic then basalt therefore granite has a higher content of
Rhyolite is produced highly volcanic
We dont see volcanoes in obduction zones therefore there are none in the Himalyas
Fold and thrust belts is where the cover rocks sitting on top of the continental rocks
have been shoved and have been squeezed basically
In terms of resources, oil and gas will be in fold and thrust belts
Ophiolite is the remnants of oceanic crust from the ocean that previously separated
the two continents
Green stone belts are same thing as above
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Igneous rocks that erupted under water is basalt and its characteristic is that its got
pillows which are also remnants of the ocean that got squeezed, destroyed
People can actually build pieces of equipment and model what happens during
obduction which shows whats happening
Earthquakes in China are a result of India moving north
Western Alps and Tibetan Plateau are the Alpine-Himalayan Orogeny (describes the
process of mountain building)
Orogeny is process going on and orogeny is the name given to the rocks that result
Southern part of Pangea was called Gondwana; the oceanic part in the middle of
Pangea is called Neotethys
India separated from Antarctica by opening rifts and developing mid-oceans ridges
along the center line
Subduction because subducting the ocean floor, ocean floor being more dense
subducts below the continents
Super collision finally collides with continental crust and we get the main obduction
No more subduction and there is shearing and thrusting on a huge scale
Fallen basin: when we have huge mountains its a considerable load on the softer
rocks (Asthenosphere) and a result it depresses it and you get these broad fallen
When you look at high mountains you always have fallen basins in front of them they
are very important because we have shallow sea waves and what accumulates there
are plants which then decay into oil, gas and coal
Western interior sedimentary basin are east of the rockies and thats where we
Canadians get most of our oil and gas from
Just below mount Everest there is sedimentary rocks, limestones with fossils that
once flourished on the sea floor
Erratic cooling takes place over the past 55-60 million
Onset of North Atlantic deep water production, and the modern oceans started 30
million years ago when the earth started cooling
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