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Lecture 3

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Nick Eyles

Earth history is all about history of the ocean How continents break up and oceans open o Continent creates a dome above a mantle rising underneath continent and pushed up because of warming (outward flow from plume) creating rifts in all directions of dome...and creates a triple junction-3 major fractions..(oceanic crust, ocean, failed rift) o Each of the arms is called a rift..area is going down (subsiding) o Evolution of the triple junction (only 1 rift opens up-develops into ocean) o Failed rifts-just sit there, fill up with sediments, sites for oil and gas, buried and cooked and develop hydrocarbons..petroleum geologists love it o One major rift system in atlantic that widened into an ocean o Failed rifts are preserved in modern continents from break up of pangea o Ottawa river valley, st Lawrence examples of failed rifts o Amazon, niger, panama, are all rivers now o Failed rifts important because they control where large rivers flow, generate quakes (old rifts become activated) Stage 1: East African rift o Most of Africa Stage 2: Red Sea o Diff btw sea and ocean is ocean has a mid ocean ridge along the center line..oceans widen all the time and seas sea is actually an embryonic ocean that widens Stage 3: Oceans East African rift is where African plate is torn apart..a plume (east African plume) Horn of Africa (sumalian plate) is gonna break away from Africa and become a little piece of continental crust Triple junction in East Africa : red sea, gulf of Aden, main rift coming down to africa
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