Tectonophysics

Tectonophysics, a branch of geophysics, is the study of the physical processes that underlie tectonic deformation. The field encompasses the spatial patterns of stress, strain, and differing rheologies in the lithosphere and asthenosphere of the Earth; and the relationships between these patterns and the observed patterns of deformation due to plate tectonics.

Overview

Tectonophysics is concerned with movements in the Earth's crust and deformations over scales from meters to thousands of kilometers.[1] Examples of such processes include mountain building, the formation of sedimentary basins, postglacial rebound of regions such as Fennoscandia, plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes.[2] This involves the measurement of a hierarchy of strains in rocks and plates as well as deformation rates; the study of laboratory analogues of natural systems; and the construction of models for the history of deformation.

History

Tectonophysics was adopted as the name of a new section of AGU on April 19, 1940 at AGU's 21st Annual Meeting. According to the AGU website (https://tectonophysics.agu.org/agu-100/section-history/), using the words from Norman Bowen, the main goal of the tectonophysics section was to “designate this new borderline field between geophysics, physics and geology … for the solution of problems of tectonics.” Consequently the claim below that the term was defined in 1954 by Gzolvskii is clearly incorrect. Since 1940 members of AGU had been presenting papers at AGU meetings, the contents of which defined the meaning of the field.

Tectonophysics was defined as a field in 1954 when Mikhail Vladimirovich Gzovskii published three papers in the journal Izvestiya Akad. Nauk SSSR, Sireya Geofizicheskaya: "On the tasks and content of tectonophysics", "Tectonic stress fields", and "Modeling of tectonic stress fields". He defined the main goals of tectonophysical research to be study of the mechanisms of folding and faulting as well as large structural units of the Earth's crust. He later created the Laboratory of Tectonophysics at the Institute of Physics of the Earth, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Moscow.[3]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Rebetsky 2009
  2. ^ Whitcomb 1979
  3. ^ Mikhailova et al. 2001

References

  • Rebetsky, Yu. L. (2009). "Modern problems of tectonophysics". Izvestiya, Physics of the Solid Earth. 45 (11): 933–937. Bibcode:2009IzPSE..45..933R. doi:10.1134/S1069351309110019.
  • Mikhailova, A. V.; Nikonov, A. A.; Osokina, D. N.; Rebetsky, Yu. L.; Yakovlev, F. L. (2001). Translated from Fizika Zemli, No. 2, 2001, pp. 103–111. "Mikhail V. Gzovskii and Creation of Tectonophysics (On the 80th Anniversary of His Birth)" (PDF). Izvestiya, Physics of the Solid Earth. 37 (2): 183–190.
  • Whitcomb, James H. (1979). "Impact of technology on tectonophysics". Impact of technology on geophysics. National Academies. pp. 70–80.

External links

Chevron (geology)

Chevron folds are a structural feature characterized by repeated well behaved folded beds with straight limbs and sharp hinges. Well developed, these folds develop repeated set of v-shaped beds. They develop in response to regional or local compressive stress. Inter-limb angles are generally 60 degrees or less. Chevron folding preferentially occurs when the bedding regularly alternates between contrasting competences. Turbidites, characterized by alternating high-competence sandstones and low-competence shales, provide the typical geological setting for chevron folds to occurs.

Perpetuation of the fold structure is not geometrically limited. Given a proper stratigraphy, chevrons can persist almost indefinitely.

Cocos Plate

The Cocos Plate is a young oceanic tectonic plate beneath the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Central America, named for Cocos Island, which rides upon it. The Cocos Plate was created approximately 23 million years ago when the Farallon Plate broke into two pieces, which also created the Nazca Plate. The Cocos Plate also broke into two pieces, creating the small Rivera Plate. The Cocos Plate is bounded by several different plates. To the northeast it is bounded by the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate. To the west it is bounded by the Pacific Plate and to the south by the Nazca Plate.

Dead Sea Transform

The Dead Sea Transform (DST) fault system, also sometimes referred to as the Dead Sea Rift, is a series of faults that run from the Maras Triple Junction (a junction with the East Anatolian Fault in southeastern Turkey) to the northern end of the Red Sea Rift (just offshore of the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula). The fault system forms the transform boundary between the African Plate to the west and the Arabian Plate to the east. It is a zone of left lateral displacement, signifying the relative motions of the two plates. Both plates are moving in a general north-northeast direction, but the Arabian Plate is moving faster, resulting in the observed left lateral motions along the fault of approximately 107 km. A component of extension is also present in the southern part of the transform, which has contributed to a series of depressions, or pull-apart basins, forming the Gulf of Aqaba, Dead Sea, Sea of Galilee, and Hula basins.

Earthquake prediction

Earthquake prediction is a branch of the science of seismology concerned with the specification of the time, location, and magnitude of future earthquakes within stated limits, and particularly "the determination of parameters for the next strong earthquake to occur in a region. Earthquake prediction is sometimes distinguished from earthquake forecasting, which can be defined as the probabilistic assessment of general earthquake hazard, including the frequency and magnitude of damaging earthquakes in a given area over years or decades. Prediction can be further distinguished from earthquake warning systems, which upon detection of an earthquake, provide a real-time warning of seconds to neighboring regions that might be affected.

In the 1970s, scientists were optimistic that a practical method for predicting earthquakes would soon be found, but by the 1990s continuing failure led many to question whether it was even possible. Demonstrably successful predictions of large earthquakes have not occurred and the few claims of success are controversial. For example, the most famous claim of a successful prediction is that alleged for the 1975 Haicheng earthquake. A later study said that there was no valid short-term prediction. Extensive searches have reported many possible earthquake precursors, but, so far, such precursors have not been reliably identified across significant spatial and temporal scales. While part of the scientific community hold that, taking into account non-seismic precursors and given enough resources to study them extensively, prediction might be possible, most scientists are pessimistic and some maintain that earthquake prediction is inherently impossible.

Geology of Russia

The geology of Russia, the world's largest country, which extends over much of northern Eurasia, consists of several stable cratons and sedimentary platforms bounded by orogenic (mountain) belts.

European Russia is on the East European craton, at the heart of which is a complex of igneous and metamorphic rocks dating back to the Precambrian. The craton is bounded on the east by the long tract of compressed and highly deformed rock that constitutes the Ural orogen. In Asiatic Russia, the area between the Ural Mountains and the Yenisei River is the young West Siberian Plain. East of the Yenisei River is the ancient Central Siberian Plateau, extending to the Lena River. East of the Lena River there is the Verhoyansk-Chukotka collision zone, stretching to the Chukchi Peninsula.

The orogens within Russia belong to the Baltic Shield, the Timanides, the Urals, the Altai Mountains, the Ural-Mongolian epipaleozoic orogen and the northwestern part of the Pacific orogeny. The country's highest mountains, the Caucasus, are confined to younger orogens.

Geology of Sicily

The geology of Sicily (a large island located at Italy's southwestern end) records the collision of the Eurasian and the African plates during westward-dipping subduction of the African slab since late Oligocene. Major tectonic units are the Hyblean foreland, the Gela foredeep, the Apenninic-Maghrebian orogen, and the Calabrian Arc. The orogen represents a fold-thrust belt that folds Mesozoic carbonates, while a major volcanic unit (Mt Etna) is found in an eastern portion of the island. The collision of Africa and Eurasia is a retreating subduction system, such that the descending Africa is falling away from Eurasia, and Eurasia extends and fills the space as the African plate falls into the mantle, resulting in volcanic activity in Sicily and the formation of Tyrrhenian slab to the north.

Iberian Plate

The Iberian Plate with the microcontinent Iberia encompassed not only the Iberian Peninsula but also Corsica, Sardinia, the Balearic Islands, and the Briançonnais zone of the Penninic nappes of the Alps. Nowadays, the Iberian plate is a part of the Eurasian plate.

Igneous petrology

Igneous petrology is the study of igneous rocks—those that are formed from magma. As a branch of geology, igneous petrology is closely related to volcanology, tectonophysics, and petrology in general. The modern study of igneous rocks utilizes a number of techniques, some of them developed in the fields of chemistry, physics, or other earth sciences. Petrography, crystallography, and isotopic studies are common methods used in igneous petrology.

Indian Geophysical Union

The Indian Geophysical Union is the Government of India's scientific body responsible for all activities related with Earth Science System such as seismology, magnetism, meteorology, geodesy, volcanology, oceanography, hydrology and tectonophysics and to encourage the study of and research in geophysical problems and to provide media for publication of the results. It is situated near another Geophysical Centre Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad.

Japan Trench

The Japan Trench is an oceanic trench part of the Pacific Ring of Fire off northeast Japan. It extends from the Kuril Islands to the northern end of the Izu Islands, and is 8,046 meters (26,398 ft) at its deepest. It links the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench to the north and the Izu-Ogasawara Trench to its south with a length of 800 km (500 miles). This trench is created as the oceanic Pacific plate subducts beneath the continental Okhotsk Plate (a microplate formerly a part of the North American Plate). The subduction process causes bending of the down going plate, creating a deep trench. Continuing movement on the subduction zone associated with the Japan Trench is one of the main causes of tsunamis and earthquakes in northern Japan, including the megathrust Tōhoku earthquake and resulting tsunami that occurred on 11 March 2011. The rate of subduction associated with the Japan Trench has been recorded at about 7.9-9.2 cm/yr.

Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory

The Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) is a research unit of Columbia University located on a 157-acre (64 ha) campus in Palisades, N.Y., 18 miles (29 km) north of Manhattan on the Hudson River.

Nappe

In geology, a nappe or thrust sheet is a large sheetlike body of rock that has been moved more than 2 km (1.2 mi) or 5 km (3.1 mi) above a thrust fault from its original position. Nappes form in compressional tectonic settings like continental collision zones or on the overriding plate in active subduction zones. Nappes form when a mass of rock is forced (or "thrust") over another rock mass, typically on a low angle fault plane. The resulting structure may include large-scale recumbent folds, shearing along the fault plane, imbricate thrust stacks, fensters and klippe.

The term stems from the French word for tablecloth in allusion to a rumpled tablecloth being pushed across a table.

Slab window

In geology, a slab window is a gap that forms in a subducted oceanic plate when a mid-ocean ridge meets with a subduction zone and plate divergence at the ridge and convergence at the subduction zone continue, causing the ridge to be subducted. Formation of a slab window produces an area where the crust of the over-riding plate is lacking a rigid lithospheric mantle component and thus is exposed to hot asthenospheric mantle (for a diagram of this, see the link below). This produces anomalous thermal, chemical and physical effects in the mantle that can dramatically change the over-riding plate by interrupting the established tectonic and magmatic regimes. In general, the data used to identify possible slab windows comes from seismic tomography and heat flow studies.

Solimana (volcano)

Solimana is a volcanic massif in the Andes of Peru, South America, that is approximately 6,093 metres (19,990 ft) high. It is considered an extinct stratovolcano that is part of the Central Volcanic Zone, one of the volcanic belts of the Andes. It features a caldera as well as traces of a sector collapse and subsequent erosion. The volcano is glaciated.

Tectonics

Tectonics (from Latin tectonicus; from Ancient Greek τεκτονικός (tektonikos), meaning 'pertaining to building') is the process that controls the structure and properties of the Earth's crust and its evolution through time. In particular, it describes the processes of mountain building, the growth and behavior of the strong, old cores of continents known as cratons, and the ways in which the relatively rigid plates that constitute the Earth's outer shell interact with each other. Tectonics also provides a framework for understanding the earthquake and volcanic belts that directly affect much of the global population. Tectonic studies are important as guides for economic geologists searching for fossil fuels and ore deposits of metallic and nonmetallic resources. An understanding of tectonic principles is essential to geomorphologists to explain erosion patterns and other Earth surface features.

Tectonophysics (journal)

Tectonophysics, The International Journal of Geotectonics and the Geology and Physics of the Interior of the Earth is a weekly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Elsevier. It was established in 1964 and covers the field of tectonophysics, including kinematics, structure, composition, and dynamics of the solid Earth at all scales.

Thrust fault

A thrust fault is a break in the Earth's crust, across which older rocks are pushed above younger rocks.

Timeline of the development of tectonophysics (after 1952)

The evolution of tectonophysics is closely linked to the history of the continental drift and plate tectonics hypotheses. The continental drift/ Airy-Heiskanen isostasy hypothesis had many flaws and scarce data. The fixist/ Pratt-Hayford isostasy, the contracting Earth and the expanding Earth concepts had many flaws as well.

The idea of continents with a permanent location, the geosyncline theory, the Pratt-Hayford isostasy, the extrapolation of the age of the Earth by Lord Kelvin as a black body cooling down, the contracting Earth, the Earth as a solid and crystalline body, is one school of thought. A lithosphere creeping over the asthenosphere is a logical consequence of an Earth with internal heat by radioactivity decay, the Airy-Heiskanen isostasy, thrust faults and Niskanen's mantle viscosity determinations.

Timeline of the development of tectonophysics (before 1954)

The evolution of tectonophysics is closely linked to the history of the continental drift and plate tectonics hypotheses. The continental drift/ Airy-Heiskanen isostasy hypothesis had many flaws and scarce data. The fixist/ Pratt-Hayford isostasy, the contracting Earth and the expanding Earth concepts had many flaws as well.

The idea of continents with a permanent location, the geosyncline theory, the Pratt-Hayford isostasy, the extrapolation of the age of the Earth by Lord Kelvin as a black body cooling down, the contracting Earth, the Earth as a solid and crystalline body, is one school of thought. A lithosphere creeping over the asthenosphere is a logical consequence of an Earth with internal heat by radioactivity decay, the Airy-Heiskanen isostasy, thrust faults and Niskanen's mantle viscosity determinations.

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