Plate Tectonics: How it Works

Plate Tectonics: How it Works


By (author) Allan Cox, By (author) Robert Brian Hart


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  • Publisher: Blackwell Science Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 190mm x 230mm x 24mm | 762g
  • Publication date: 8 January 1991
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 086542313X
  • ISBN 13: 9780865423138
  • Illustrations note: 163
  • Sales rank: 514,829

Product description

Palaeomagnetism, plates, hot spots, trenches and ridges are the subject of this unusual book. Plate Tectonics is a book of exercises and background information that introduces and demonstrates the basics of the subject. In a lively and lucid manner, it brings together a great deal of material in spherical trigonometry that is necessary to understand plate tectonics and the research literature written about it. It is intended for use in first year graduate courses in geophysics and tectonics, and provides a guide to the quantitative understanding of plate tectonics.

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Back cover copy

This book is intended for the reader whose imagination has been captured by reading a popular account about the plate tectonics and would like to know more. It concentrates on the quantitative side of the plate tectonics because most scientifically literate people are already familiar with the quantitative side. The book will enable the reader to answer questions like the following: How fast is London moving away from New York? How fast was Los Angeles moving toward San Francisco 50 million years ago? How are the motions of the plates described in mathematical terms? What geophysical observations are used to determine plate motions? How are earthquakes related to plates motions? What drives the plates? The guiding philosophy of this book is that in plate tectonics, as in chess, more insight comes from playing the game than from talking or reading about it. This is a hands-on, how-to-do-it book. Most students find that through learning the nuts and bolts of plate tectonics, they gain new insight into its power and limitations.

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; Basics of a revolution; Plates in velocity space; Getting round on a sphere; Wrapping plate tectonics around a globe; Plotting planes and vectors in local coordinates; Earthquakes and plates; Finite rotations; Magnetism and isochrons; Paleomagnetic poles; Putting it all together; Absolute Plate Motion; Problems; Suggested Reading; Index; Index of References.