Geophysicists Prove 'Lost' Tectonic Plate Truly Existed in North America
Geophysicists may debate this one, but a lost tectonic plate has been reconstructed and scientists are pushing for it to be recognized.
The tectonic plate in question is called Resurrection, and lies under the Pacific Ocean. Some scientists claim it never existed, while others believe it was once part of the Earth's crust in what we know today as Canada.
New research carried out by scientists from the University of Houston has provided more evidence that Resurrection may well have existed, and several volcanoes now exist thanks to its turbulent activity some 60 million years ago, per LiveScience.
The findings were published in GSA Bulletin on October 19th.
The Resurrection tectonic plate has long disappeared, hence its debatable existence between geophysicists.
The scientists from the University of Houston place the tectonic plate at the edge of a rocky plate along a line of volcanoes in Canada.
"Volcanoes form at plate boundaries, and the more plates you have, the more volcanoes you have," Jonny Wu, a geologist at the University of Houston and co-author of the study, said in a statement.
"Volcanoes also affect climate change. So, when you are trying to model the Earth and understand how climate has changed ... you really want to know how many volcanoes there have been on Earth."
The way the researchers found Resurrection was by going back in time thanks to a computer model. It was essentially virtually lifted out of Earth's mantle, per Futurism's report. In doing so, the team discovered that it perfectly fit existing geological records in current-day Canada, near Alaska and Washington, per LiveScience.
The information isn't merely to prove a point that Resurrection existed for the sake of closing an old argument. It helps to explain how our planet will change in the future by understanding how climate change affects Earth.