The History and Dynamics of Global Plate Motions
Copyright 2000 by the American Geophysical Union.
Editor(s): Mark A. Richards, Richard G. Gordon, Rob D. Van Der Hilst
Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
Print ISBN: 9780875909790
Online ISBN: 9781118668535
Book Series: Geophysical Monograph Series
About this Book
Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Geophysical Monograph Series, Volume 121.
The new global tectonics that emerged three decades ago profoundly changed our view of the Earth and its evolution. Although the theory of plate tectonics gives a kinematic description of much of Earth's surface motions, our dynamical understanding remains incomplete and unsatisfactory in many ways. Key remaining issues include the mechanics of plate boundaries and intraplate deformation, the relation between plate-scale dynamics and hotspot volcanism, vertical surface motions (dynamic topography) associated with subduction, and the origin of the plate-tectonic style of convection itself. The past two decades have seen fairly steady progress on a number of these problems, spurred in large part by the advent of 3-D seismic imaging of the Earth's interior. More recently, advances in high performance computing have provided long-needed 3-D geodynamic modeling tools that are yielding new insights into the relation between mantle convection and plate tectonics, and the interpretation of seismic heterogeneity structure.