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By Neville J Price

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Additional resources for Major impacts and plate tectonics: a model for the Phanerozoic evolution of the earth's lithosphere

Sample text

Because the zones, which define the oceanic crust, were initiated at the ridge and are continually transported from their site of origin, they extend, virtually unchanged in thickness, from the newest part of the ocean floor, currently being generated at the active ridges, to the oldest parts which are just about to be subducted. The rate of sedimentation in the open ocean areas, far distant from continental shores, will tend to be reasonably constant. Hence, the thickness of the superficial sediments will be related to the age of the ocean floor upon which they rest.

2, these ridges interconnect and, in total, extend for more than 60,000 km. The importance of these ridges was initially recognised because of the relatively high level of seismic activity associated with them. However, interpretation of the seismic data reveals that the majority of the individual events are the result of normal faulting. e. usually less than magnitude 5 on the Richter scale). One may infer from bathometric maps or charts of the oceans, that the ridge makes well-marked features several hundreds of kilometres in width.

They also held that these ‘impact epochs’ could be correlated with a wide range of disturbances around the world, such as the product of large igneous provinces (LIPs), variations in sea-levels and orogenies, to which one could add widespread devastation or even extinction of some species, such as the dinosaurs. Napier (1997) presented a time series analysis of impact craters, which indicates that such a periodicity does indeed seem to be present. It may be accounted for by the ticking of a well-known Galactic clock, whose mechanism has gradually become understood.

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