The Earth’s continents drift at a speed of a few centimeters per year. Things get complicated when two landmasses collide, causing the crust to roll up, stretch, bend, and tear. The collisions add new land to existing continents and, most dramatically, create mountain ranges.
A new Nature paper, by Louis Moresi, Peter Betts, Meghan Miller, and Ross Cayley, explains in depth the chain of events following impact between continental fragments at subduction zones. Their models plug in geological data from Eastern Australia to recreate the collisions and their aftermaths. The simulations show the collisions causing the subduction zones to “stutter and recover,” as continents pick up new fragments of crust and throw them into a huge arc thousands of kilometers from where they once were.
The simulations could have a number of practical applications, such as in the search for buried mineral systems.
TODAY IN SLATE
False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Why Men Can Never Remember Anything
The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B
How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
The Other Huxtable Effect
Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.