Tectonics. Planets, Moons & Rings 9/11/13 movements of the planet s crust

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1 Tectonics Planets, Moons & Rings 9/11/13 movements of the planet s crust

2 Planetary History Planets formed HOT Denser materials fall to center Planet cools by conduction, convection, radiation to space Radioactive heating declines Crust solidifies, moves on currents below: breaks, bends Volcanoes and impacts break surface Erosion from meteorites, wind, water

3 Planetary Processes Tectonics Volcanism Impact cratering Weathering and erosion

4 Simplest Tectonics: As planet cools Early - global volcanism Global expansion causes crust to crack lava leaks through Later - global contraction Mantle and core cool, compress the crust Compressional tectonics Mercury and Moon

5 Compression Extension Topography caused by mantle flows

6 Convection heats upper mantle -> raising lava towards surface - stresses crack the lithosphere - tectonism

7 Faults are where the crust fails, causing deformation Rock acts like silly putty flows slowly cracks when stressed quickly strongly effected by temperature Faults Normal (extension) Thrust (compression) Strike-slip (shearing)

8 Mercury shrinking as it cools

9 Horizontal Stresses

10 Graben Extension stress Rift valley Mars

11 7000 km long lava river - Baltis Vallis - longest river in the solar system Extensive cracking from: loading by mass of lava shrinking on cooling stresses from underlying convection

12

13 Stresses from underlying plume pushing up crust from below

14

15 Plate Tectonics = Extreme Tectonism Strong convection drives recycling of crust on time scale of ~100 MY

16

17 Colliding Sinking Spreading Compressing Spreading

18 Plate boundaries: Convergence Ocean-continent convergence

19 Shearing

20

21

22 Continents - Blocks of lighter crustal rock ("granite scum") moved around by convective motions Ocean ridges - volcanism making new oceanic crust (basalt) Plates collide -> mountain chains Plates subduct -> (ocean) trenches

23 Seafloor spreading

24 Mid-ocean spreading Rate measured from magnetic field reversal pattern

25 Colliding plates -> mountain ranges

26 Andes - Pacific ocean plate sinks under south american plate

27 Plate motions from GPS measurements

28 Plate motions measured with accurate GPS Typically cm / year

29 Plate tectonics shaped the Earth Seafloor recycling Keeps the seafloor young Ocean ridges and trenches Built and shaped the continents Mountain ranges Tectonic features (e.g. faults) Volcanoes Earthquakes

30 Are the plates pushed - or do they pull? PUSH - away from expanding mid-ocean ridge PULL - sinking, dense plate material "Eclogite engine": basalt + water -> eclogite denser, sinks, pulling plate lower melting point -> more volcanism

31

32 Breakup of Pangea 180 MY ago

33 Gondwanaland -

34 Saudi Arabian oil made here

35

36

37 Summary Tectonic movements are preserved on surface Contraction/compression early Mantle motions crack, move surface Ridges, faults, graben formed Earth geology shaped by plate tectonics Young seafloor, mid-ocean ridges, trenches, marginal mountains, subduction

38 Venus - Isolated mountain blocks, extensive volcanic plains. Plate tectonics? Why resurfaced ~600 million years ago?

39 Earth Mars Earth Continents Venus Little spread around average Sea floor

40 Is Earth just have more vigorous convection or is something else involved? Could liquid water be involved? Earth has lots, Venus has none

41 Differences in surface geology due to their atmospheres? Watery Earth: vigorous recycling of crust / upper mantle lubricated by water in the rocks Dry, hot Venus: static crustal lid holds in heat generated by radioactivity in mantle until erupts in (periodic?) episode(s?) of volcanic resurfacing

42

43 Venus completely re-surfaced by volcanism ~600 MY ago Mars - some volcanism, south heavily cratered Mercury - lots of craters, little volcanism Terrestrial Planets Earth - heavily re-worked surface Moon - volcanism stopped 3.2 BYago Lots of craters

44

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