Monday, June 17, 2013

Cat Tectonics

Years ago, I had a pair of feline roomies for about eight months.  Not being a cat person I generally ignored them, but one day I noticed they were nicely arranged on the carpet next to the wood stove.  What was their intent?  At the time I thought it was nothing more than a simple yin/yang posture, but now that I’m familiar with cat tectonics, I realize they were making a bold philosophical statement about continental crust -- that the interplay of creation and destruction maintains a balance overall, contrary to the widely-held opinion that crustal volume has increased with time.  In other words,
“The yin– yang creation–destruction balance changes over a supercontinent cycle, with crustal growth being greatest during supercontinent break-up due to high magmatic flux at new arcs and crustal destruction being greatest during supercontinent amalgamation due to subduction of continental material and increased sediment flux due to orogenic uplift.” (Stern and Scholl 2010).
Thesis of Stern and Scholl 2010 ...
... was presaged by Jazz and Spring in 2004.  Cats are amazing!
[This is my contribution to the June Accretionary Wedge (#57) hosted by Evelyn at Georneys.  The topic is Seeing Geology Everywhere, with a bit of an emphasis on geokittehs.]

Literature Cited

Stern, RJ and Scholl, DW.  2010.  Yin and yang of continental crust creation and destruction by plate tectonic processes.  Int. Geol. Rev. 52:1-31.  PDF here