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New Atlantic Subduction Zone Forming


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#1    Arbenol

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 04:28 AM

http://www.newscient...ml#.Ub_bTKxadrY

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The Atlantic is a relatively young ocean and contains almost no subduction zones, and so it is geologically quiet. Yet a couple of huge earthquakes hit Portugal in 1755 and 1969, fuelling suspicion that something unusual is going on under the waves.
Duarte and his colleagues have spent eight years mapping geological activity off the Portuguese coast. "Slowly we started to realise that our data suggested a new subduction system is forming," he says.
It was already clear that the region is riddled with a series of thrust faults, small segments where rocks are forced beneath others. What Duarte's team has added is evidence that these thrusts are linked by "transform faults", where rocks grind past each other at the same level. Together, they create a large fault system hundreds of kilometres long – a subduction zone in the making, according to Duarte and his colleagues.
Most importantly, the new work reveals why this new subduction zone is forming. It lies only 400 kilometres west of the Gibraltar Arc, a pre-existing subduction zone in the western Mediterranean Sea – a former ocean now in its death throes as Africa collides with Eurasia. Duarte's team found transform faults linking the Gibraltar Arc with the new subduction zone. They say subduction appears to have spread from the dying Mediterranean into the relatively youthful Atlantic.
"We can say with some confidence that this is an example of subduction invasion," says Duarte. The Mediterranean in turn may have "caught" subduction from an even older ocean, and so on back through time. "Subduction can behave as an infectious disease," he says.



#2    Merc14

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 12:51 PM

Interesting theory but change is inevitable for the surface of this planet.  In 100 million years teh Atlantic may be a big swamp.

Believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake.  The idea is to withhold belief until there is compelling evidence and if the universe does not comply with our predispositions, okay, then we have the wrenching obligation to accommodate to the way the universe really is.  - Carl Sagan

Who is more humble, the scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us or somebody who says everything in this book should be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of the human beings involved in the writing of this legend - Carl Sagan

#3    Raptor Witness

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:27 AM

Nice piece ...

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#4    Abramelin

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:51 AM

View PostArbenol68, on 18 June 2013 - 04:28 AM, said:


From a link on the webpage you linked to:

If Columbus had waited 220 million years, the trip to the New World could have been little more than a swim.

http://www.abc.net.a...tm#.UcKl8dg06Vs

Lol.





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