A new tectonic plate map

Terrestrial specificity, the crust of our planet is divided into many parts. tectonic plateswho have mobilityunder acceleration convection mantle and main tectonic processes: agglomeration ocean and extinction. One of both cutting main plates Although there is now a consensus, there are several models that elaborate many configuration variations at the plate boundary level.

Tectonic plates, still puzzle pieces with blurry contours

because Earth crust It can be likened to a puzzle whose outlines are not yet fully understood. However, the precise definition of plate boundaries is an important point for precise reconstruction of plate boundaries. movement understand plates and how they get it alternately welded and then separated, during the great tectonic cycles that the Earth has experienced. In addition, plate boundaries always represent areas of intense deformation associated with tectonic or magmatic processes. They can be extensive – and thus mark an oceanic accretion zone – compressive – in this case a subduction zone or a mountain range – or be associated with shear. A typical example of the latter situation is the San Andreas Fault in the United States, which is a region susceptible to very large earthquakes.

Knowing in detail the features of these different plate boundaries and fully describing the extent of the deformation zone is essential to predict the geohazard to the populations living in these regions.

New information finally integrated into tectonic maps

A research team from the University of Adelaide in Australia therefore build three new world maps: the configuration of tectonic plates, the configuration of major geological zones, and the configuration of mountain ranges (new or old). This is a database It is very complete and necessary to carry out many studies.

The map of tectonic plates has not been revised since 2003. However, many advances have been made since then, particularly in the definition of new microplates such as Macquarie’s in southern Tasmania. It separates the Indian and Australian plates. However, the major innovation will be found on the west coast side of North America, where the zone of active deformation attributed to the San Andreas and Queen Charlotte faults has been expanded compared to previous models. It currently stretches for over 1,500 km.

The new maps also more adequately show the region of great deformation affecting Central Asia and associated with India’s impact into the interior of the Eurasian continent. This great collision Origin of the Himalayan range and Everest, the world’s highest peak, indeed affects a very large area in Asia that is regularly subject to earthquakes.

Better integration of seismic and volcanic events

The results of the research were published in the journal Earth Science Studies. By integrating large amounts of data (GPSearthquakes, fault lines, anomalies of the Gravity and magnetic anomalies, geochronology, etc.), these new maps make it possible to better explain the distribution and origin of 90% of earthquakes and 80% of volcanoes in the last two million years. By comparison, older models were only able to detect 65% of earthquakes.

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