Saturday, May 30, 2015

Physics - The Very Large Carbon Cycle - Part 5

It's about this far in when my interest starts to fade.  Have you even started to read a novel series, and after number 4 or 5, you say "This guy is pushing it".   That's the way I feel, but I soldier on.

So, we had an incredible amount of carbon salted away.  How do the continents get this heat under them, and how does it hold up the Rocky Mountains?  Again, Plate Tectonics has surprises.

Here's our happy picture of a subduction zone.

Only the tiniest amount puffs up in smoke.  The rest goes 'somewhere', according to convention.  Ha!  It bounces off the lower mantle, which hates carbon, and piles up in great slabs.  We all know we can't fill up a garbage dump forever, so what happens?

Here's our grade-school picture of continent-continent collision, which formed the Rockies, and all of the really big mountain ranges.

Something is wrong with this picture.  The mountains have a cold slab underneath them.  They can't be that high, they'd sink 'like a rock'.  There has to be a big wad of heat under a mountain range to float it.


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