Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dance of the Plates

Now, I'm thinking out loud for my next talk.  I want to do the Precambrian geology of Ontario, which has every type of geological excitement, unlike that flat stuff on top.....

The Geology Play

Fish:  We start at the beginning, the Earth forms in a ring of rocks around a young star.  Gravity starts to pull in the chunks, like throwing together a big dough ball (these ladies know their cooking!).  We think it was hot, and a big glob of molten taffy, but it could have been cold and stony.  Nevertheless, this glob had a big dose of hot sauce -- radioactivity, and soon became very hot.

Lady:  Was that Red Hot hot sauce?

Fish:  Ok, Well the heavy stuff went down to the bottom, and the light stuff rose to the top, like boiling soup, or oatmeal.  At the surface, the oatmeal hardened to a scummy crust, and floated around.  Here is where we have the plate dance.  (The volunteers come up, young Tanya, and very old Gram)  (I need to figure out some good plates, maybe I can borrow some seat cushions).

Fish:  With the plates facing you, Tan and Gram approach each other, and she is then repulsed by his great age.  Once again, attracted by his money, they continue this back and forth dance.   Over the billions of years, North American and Europe have done this dance.  They are currently separating.  Sometimes, they go all the way around the earth, and meet on the Pacific side, and we get the great Rockies.

Fish:  Now, we hold the plates over their heads, and we have a vertical cross-section.  They come together again, but this time Tanya is young, fresh and hot Japan, and Gram is the old, droopy Pacific plate.  He dips into Japan, and enters underneath.  That feels good, and there are fireworks, volcanoes, and earthquakes!  Woo Woo!

-to be continued.

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