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Title: Plate motion

Abstract

The motion of tectonic plates on the earth is characterized in a critical review of U.S. research from the period 1987-1990. Topics addressed include the NUVEL-1 global model of current plate motions, diffuse plate boundaries and the oceanic lithosphere, the relation between plate motions and distributed deformations, accelerations and the steadiness of plate motions, the distribution of current Pacific-North America motion across western North America and its margin, plate reconstructions and their uncertainties, hotspots, and plate dynamics. A comprehensive bibliography is provided. 126 refs.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. (USAF, Geophysics Laboratory, Hanscom AFB, MA (United States))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5105325
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 5105325
Report Number(s):
CONF-910878--
Journal ID: ISSN 0034-6853; CODEN: RGPSB
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Reviews of Geophysics and Space Physics; (United States); Journal Volume: 29; Conference: 20. general assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), Vienna (Austria), 11-24 Aug 1991; Related Information: Shea, M. A
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; PLATE TECTONICS; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; BIBLIOGRAPHIES; DEFORMATION; EARTH CRUST; GEODETIC SURVEYS; INTERFEROMETRY; MOTION; NORTH AMERICA; REVIEWS; DOCUMENT TYPES; GEOPHYSICAL SURVEYS; SURVEYS; TECTONICS 580000* -- Geosciences

Citation Formats

Gordon, R.G.. Plate motion. United States: N. p., 1991. Web.
Gordon, R.G.. Plate motion. United States.
Gordon, R.G.. Tue . "Plate motion". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_5105325,
title = {Plate motion},
author = {Gordon, R.G.},
abstractNote = {The motion of tectonic plates on the earth is characterized in a critical review of U.S. research from the period 1987-1990. Topics addressed include the NUVEL-1 global model of current plate motions, diffuse plate boundaries and the oceanic lithosphere, the relation between plate motions and distributed deformations, accelerations and the steadiness of plate motions, the distribution of current Pacific-North America motion across western North America and its margin, plate reconstructions and their uncertainties, hotspots, and plate dynamics. A comprehensive bibliography is provided. 126 refs.},
doi = {},
journal = {Reviews of Geophysics and Space Physics; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 29,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1991},
month = {Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1991}
}

Conference:
Other availability
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  • The trace of a transform fault commonly is assumed to be circular and concentric with the finite relative motion of the plates adjacent to the fault. These assumptions have led to controversy as the transform fault label has been applied to the San Andreas fault in California because the San Andreas fault is neither circular nor concentric with the motion of the Pacific plate relative to the North American plate. The assumption of circular relative plate motion over a finite time interval is not generally valid. When finite relative plate motion is not circular, the length and orientation of amore » transform fault must change through time. The length and orientation of ridge-ridge transform faults in oceanic crust evolve through the migration, propagation, and abandonment of ridge segments. Transform faults that bound continental crust evolve differently than do transform faults along mid-ocean ridges because continental transform faults typically do not have ridges at both ends and because of the rheological differences between oceanic and continental crust. Along continent-continent transform faults in which the initial displacement is entirely strike slip, later displacements will be progressively more divergent or convergent (i.e., transtensive or transpressive). Transtension can result in the development of deep basins with high heat flow. Transpression can result in folding, reverse faulting, and decoupling of the crust from its lower crustal or mantle lithosphere in the region adjacent to the transform fault. Regardless of whether the transform boundary becomes transtensional or transpressional, the boundary evolves from a discrete transform fault to a broader, structurally complex accommodation zone (sensu lato).« less
  • The Kane Fracture Zone in the North Atlantic Ocean offsets the present Mid-Atlantic Ridge axis by 150 km, and it has been a large-offset fracture zone during much of its history. Detailed structural analysis of the fracture zone in Upper Jurassic to Recent crust shows that major structural breaks in the form of fault-trace offsets and blockages by basement highs occur on both limbs of the fracture zone. There are also numerous changes in orientation of the fault trace, typically on the order of a few degrees. When placed in a time framework according to the age of the crustmore » on the younger side of the fracture zone, these structural perturbations (breaks and orientation changes) show a high degree of correlation between conjugate limbs of the western and eastern fracture zone. The perturbations are readily explained by a simple model wherein the active transform adjusts to sudden changes in relative plate motion, and the structure of the inactive fault trace is generated primarily by processes at the ridge-transform intersections. Structural perturbations in the Kane Fracture Zone indicate that, on average, these changes in relative plate motion occurred every 2 million years. These correlate with plate-motion changes that are well documented from magnetic-anomaly analyses in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Thus they provide a strong indication that the frequent structural readjustments of the Kane Fracture Zone are related to global changes in relative plate motion, and that the structure of large-offset fracture zones such as the Kane is a powerful predictor of such changes.« less
  • This paper is concerned with experimental procedures for studying the dynamic behavior of floating offshore structures subjected to seaquakes. Three experimental procedures have been presented as vibration tests on the dynamic behavior of floating offshore structures. The first experimental procedure is performed using a large-scaled experimental water tank fitted with a vertical vibrator in the tank floor. The second one is carried out by using a small-scaled experimental water tank fitted with a vertical vibrator in the tank floor. The third one, which is the most convenient experimental procedure, is vibration tests of the cylindrical vessel in which the modelmore » is contained. Based on the experimental results, discussion focuses on the change in the seaquake response of flexible floating plate due to the plate flexibility and anchor stiffness through a comparative study of three experimental procedures.« less
  • No abstract prepared.
  • Our goal is to understand the motions of the plates, the deformation along their boundaries and within their interiors, and the processes that control these tectonic phenomena. In the broadest terms, we must strive to understand the relationships of regional and local deformation to flow in the upper mantle and the rheological, thermal and density structure of the lithosphere. The essential data sets which we require to reach our goal consist of maps of current strain rates at the earth's surface and the distribution of integrated deformation through time as recorded in the geologic record. Our success will depend onmore » the effective synthesis of crustal kinematics with a variety of other geological and geophysical data, within a quantitative theoretical framework describing processes in the earth's interior. Only in this way can we relate the snapshot of current motions and earth structure provided by geodetic and geophysical data with long-term processes operating on the time scales relevant to most geological processes. The wide-spread use of space-based techniques, coupled with traditional geological and geophysical data, promises a revolution in our understanding of the kinematics and dynamics of plate motions over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales and in a variety of geologic settings. The space-based techniques that best address problems in plate motion and deformation are precise space-geodetic positioning -- on land and on the seafloor -- and satellite acquisition of detailed altimetric and remote sensing data in oceanic and continental areas. The overall science objectives for the NASA Solid Earth Science plan for the 1990's, are to Understand the motion and deformation of the lithosphere within and across plate boundaries'', and to understand the dynamics of the mantle, the structure and evolution of the lithosphere, and the landforms that result from local and regional deformation. 57 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.« less