Researcher Discover A Missing Tectonic Plate

Geology comes with its own mysteries and some controversial topics that have sparked heated debates among geologists. One of them was the potential existence of a tectonic plate known under the name of Resurrection.

Some researchers have argued that the tectonic plate was a mere myth and that it never existed in the first place. Others have argued that it was affected by subduction and found its way deep into the more than 40 million years ago, plunging downward and vanishing off the grid.

Plate tectonics

A team of researchers believes that the lost plate might be located in the northern part of Canada. The experts relied on mantle tomography images, which reveal what can be found inside Earth in a fashion similar to a CT scan. The new information could be quite useful for other geologists.

One of the geologists who contributed to the study argues that volcanoes tend to form near plate boundaries, and the presence of a large number of volcanoes signals the presence of a large number of geological plates. Since volcanoes release gases that can affect the climate, any climate model has to take them into account.

Reconstructing the past

During the study, the team used a novel technique called slab unfolding, which offered the opportunity to be able to learn the aspect and traits of tectonic plates during the Cenozoic Era. Kulla and Farallon are the two known plates in the Pacific Oceans, but it seems that there is another.

The combined use of 3-D mapping and slab unfolding offered the ability to track down the plates which have been subducted and reconstruct them to the original shape. Once the Ressurection tectonic plate was identified and reconstructed, researchers observed that it matches groups of volcanoes encountered in two American states, providing the answer to a dilemma related to the geology of North America.

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