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The Tectonic Plates are Moving!$
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Roy Livermore

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717867

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198717867.001.0001

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The Paving Stone Theory of World Tectonics

The Paving Stone Theory of World Tectonics

(p.39) 2 The Paving Stone Theory of World Tectonics
The Tectonic Plates are Moving!

Roy Livermore

Oxford University Press

Tuzo Wilson introduces the concept of transform faults, which has the effect of transforming Earth Science forever. Resistance to the new ideas is finally overcome in the late 1960s, as the theory of moving plates is established. Two scientists play a major role in quantifying the embryonic theory that is eventually dubbed ‘plate tectonics’. Dan McKenzie applies Euler’s theorem, used previously by Teddy Bullard to reconstruct the continents around the Atlantic, to the problem of plate rotations on a sphere and uses it to unravel the entire history of the Indian Ocean. Jason Morgan also wraps plate tectonics around a sphere. Tuzo Wilson introduces the idea of a fixed hotspot beneath Hawaii, an idea taken up by Jason Morgan to create an absolute reference frame for plate motions.

Keywords:   transform fault, plate boundary, hotspot, mantle plume, Euler rotation, Wilson Cycle

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