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Lecture 3

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Environmental Science
Nick Eyles

Lecture 3 EESA06 Modern planet Earth evolving as we speak, plates moving and stuff like that Earth history all about history of the oceans Examine how oceans form How Continents Break Up Diagrams A. Doming (inflation), like Pangea Dome because there is a plume of hot mantle plastic rock rising underneath supercontinent, it is being pushed up because of warming and develops a triple junction B. Triple junction- 3 major fractions Each arms is called a rift Along the floor of the rift is usually going down, called subsiding C. The evolution of the triple junction, only one rift opens up- only one rift develops into an ocean, we called the others failed rifts. Usually fill up in sediments, they have fine organic materials Failed Rifts Failed rifts are preserved in modern continents from the breakup of Pangea The Ottawa river valley, the St. Lawrence river valley, both are examples of failed rifts They control where large rivers flow They generate earthquakes Ottawa (rock and roll of Canada) because there are earthquakes there (diagram) Stage 1: East African Rift Rift that is widening and is growing along centre what will become a mid ocean ridge Most of East Africa is at stage 1 Stage 2: Red Sea Along Egypt Difference between a sea and an ocean is that ocean has a mid ocean ridge along its centre line. Oceans are widening all the time and seas dont Red sea is a little embryonic ocean that one day will widen East African Rift System Where African plate is being torn apart and there is the East African plume underneath that is impacting base of crust and pulling it apart Horn of African which is called the Somalian plate is going to break away from Africa and become a little continental crust Triple junction is the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden o One of those will become an ocean and the others will be the failed arms Location of major triple junction Red box on map Plates If we are opening up a new ocean, focusing plates apart The Arabian plate o If open up Red sea, Arabian plate being pushed north o The dark black line with teeth on it are big mountains being pushed up by Arabian plates moving northwards and colliding with Europe By opening oceans, we are moving plates around
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