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Article: Breaking Earth’s shell into a global plate network

TitleBreaking Earth’s shell into a global plate network
Authors
Keywordscontinuum mechanics
cooling
crack
lithosphere
plate tectonics
Issue Date2020
PublisherNature Research (part of Springer Nature): Fully open access journals. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.nature.com/ncomms/index.html
Citation
Nature Communications, 2020, v. 11 n. 1, p. article no. 3621 How to Cite?
AbstractThe initiation mechanism of Earth ’ s plate tectonic cooling system remains uncertain. A growing consensus suggests that multi-plate tectonics was preceded by cooling through a single-plate lithosphere, but models for how this lithosphere was first broken into plates have not converged on a mechanism or a typical early plate scale. A commonality among prior efforts is the use of continuum mechanics approximations to evaluate this solid mechanics problem. Here we use 3D spherical shell models to demonstrate a self-organized fracture mechanism analogous to thermal expansion-driven lithospheric uplift, in which globe-spanning rifting occurs as a consequence of horizontal extension. Resultant fracture spacing is a function of lithospheric thickness and rheology, wherein geometrically-regular, polygonal-shaped tessellation is an energetically favored solution because it minimizes total crack length. Therefore, warming of the early lithosphere itself — as anticipated by previous studies — should lead to failure, propagating fractures, and the conditions necessary for the onset of multi-plate tectonics.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/290900
ISSN
2020 Impact Factor: 14.919
2020 SCImago Journal Rankings: 5.559
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTang, CA-
dc.contributor.authorWebb, AAG-
dc.contributor.authorMoore, WB-
dc.contributor.authorWang, YY-
dc.contributor.authorMa, TH-
dc.contributor.authorChen, TT-
dc.date.accessioned2020-11-02T05:48:41Z-
dc.date.available2020-11-02T05:48:41Z-
dc.date.issued2020-
dc.identifier.citationNature Communications, 2020, v. 11 n. 1, p. article no. 3621-
dc.identifier.issn2041-1723-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/290900-
dc.description.abstractThe initiation mechanism of Earth ’ s plate tectonic cooling system remains uncertain. A growing consensus suggests that multi-plate tectonics was preceded by cooling through a single-plate lithosphere, but models for how this lithosphere was first broken into plates have not converged on a mechanism or a typical early plate scale. A commonality among prior efforts is the use of continuum mechanics approximations to evaluate this solid mechanics problem. Here we use 3D spherical shell models to demonstrate a self-organized fracture mechanism analogous to thermal expansion-driven lithospheric uplift, in which globe-spanning rifting occurs as a consequence of horizontal extension. Resultant fracture spacing is a function of lithospheric thickness and rheology, wherein geometrically-regular, polygonal-shaped tessellation is an energetically favored solution because it minimizes total crack length. Therefore, warming of the early lithosphere itself — as anticipated by previous studies — should lead to failure, propagating fractures, and the conditions necessary for the onset of multi-plate tectonics.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherNature Research (part of Springer Nature): Fully open access journals. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.nature.com/ncomms/index.html-
dc.relation.ispartofNature Communications-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subjectcontinuum mechanics-
dc.subjectcooling-
dc.subjectcrack-
dc.subjectlithosphere-
dc.subjectplate tectonics-
dc.titleBreaking Earth’s shell into a global plate network-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailWebb, AAG: aagwebb@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityWebb, AAG=rp02135-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1038/s41467-020-17480-2-
dc.identifier.pmid32681054-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-85088133952-
dc.identifier.hkuros318497-
dc.identifier.volume11-
dc.identifier.issue1-
dc.identifier.spagearticle no. 3621-
dc.identifier.epagearticle no. 3621-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000552423000040-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom-
dc.identifier.issnl2041-1723-

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