The Rotating Earth
and Planet Tectonics
The shaping of Planet Earth by its Rotational Velocity
This project aims to explore the movement of continental masses as they break away from a splitting supercontinent, to re-congregate later as a new supercontinental mass. It explores the breakup of Pangaea from about 200Ma in detail and analyses the forces responsible for driving plate tectonics, the movement of both continental and oceanic lithosphere.
The analysis seeks to demonstrate that the forces responsible for tectonic plate movements are closely related to the unbalanced rotational velocity of the Earth, which is dependent on the Sun's gravitational pull on the asymmetrical positioning of the Earth's Centre of Mass.
The resultant unbalanced rotation causes the Earth to wobble on its axis and generates significant circumferential forces, sufficient to move continental masses and an essential component of the mechanics of plate tectonics. It is this which drives the movement of lithospheric plates, shaping and recycling the lithosphere as continents split and recombine.
It also seeks to demonstrate that the model of 'Slab Pull - Ridge Push' to drive plate tectonics is not a satisfactory explanation and that slab pull is not sufficient to maintain continuous plate movement.
Furthermore, the offset centre of mass gives rise to the tilted axis of rotation common to all the planets and offers an explanation of the reason why all the planets, excepting Venus, rotate in the same direction as the Sun.
This article postulates that the unrelenting upwards and outwards movement of Pangea from the early Jurassic period c.200 Mya ago and which continues to the present day can be explained as a function of the estimated circumferential and centripetal forces associated with the rotating unbalanced planet Earth. To date, the magnitude of these often incorrectly termed ‘inertial forces’ have been generally considered to be negligible in the context of tectonic movements on the basis that the Earth is a freely rotating body about its centre of mass (COM). The analysis given in this paper shows that the Earth alongside the other planets require an ‘offset centre of mass’ to allow the mutually gravitational pull between the Sun and the planets to establish an N-S axis around which the planets are caused to rotate. The circumferential forces developed within the lithosphere due to the rotating ‘unbalanced’ or ‘wobbly’ planet are considered primarily responsible for the perpetual movement of the tectonic plates around the surface of the Earth thus allowing the continuous recycling of the lithosphere. By implication, it is considered that the complex circulatory system of heated convection currents within the mantle has a passive rather than an active role in tectonic plate movements. Furthermore, it can be demonstrated that subduction of the oceanic plates is a consequence of the momentum of the moving continental plates as distinct from being the cause. This approach also allows for an alternative cycle of lithosphere regeneration to be proposed.
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