Talk:Plate tectonics

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Former featured article Plate tectonics is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on August 12, 2004.
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Please understand that I believe that the plate tectonics theory is correct, and I understand quite well why the article is locked. :)

Shouldn't the 'See Also' in this article include links to WP articles about opposing views (such as Flood Geology)? That page has been the subject of inappropriate edits [1] [2] that are apparently because of objection to opposing viewpoints having no mention here. Revent (talk) 03:16, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

No, we don't need links to fringe articles just because some true believer objected there. Flood geology is not an opposing view - it's religious pseudoscience. Vsmith (talk) 15:28, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Regardless of it's status as religious pseudoscience, it is a set of opinions held by many people (hence it's worthiness for a WP article) that directly contradicts the content of this article. IMO, not at least mentioning it in the 'see also' (which is the least 'significant' way to mention it) is essentially inappropriate. The fact that a large number of people hold an opinion that contradicts this theory is itself notable, and a member of the public reading this article would probably be interested in that. If you read Flood Geology, you'll see that it is mentioned in the lead that the scientific community considers it to be pseudoscience.. History_of_geology also links to flood geology, and discusses that it's development as a 'theory' was a direct stimulus for the increased research into the Earth's age that led to the development of plate tectonics. Revent (talk) 20:41, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
To be more specific, from History_of_Geology, 'To prove the Bible’s authenticity, individuals felt the need to demonstrate with scientific evidence that the Great Flood had in fact occurred. With this enhanced desire for data came an increase in observations of the Earth’s composition, which in turn led to the discovery of fossils. Although theories that resulted from the heightened interest in the Earth’s composition were often manipulated to support the concept of the Deluge, a genuine outcome was a greater interest in the makeup of the Earth.' Revent (talk) 20:44, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Its not worth putting on the page, because the folks you talk about have no actual evidence, just opinion. Its the same reason we don't have a section devoted to Alchemy on the Chemistry page, or Astrology on the Astronomy page. (talk) 06:01, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Plate tectonics and rotation circa 2005[edit]

The main article in 2005 contained absolutely no details relating to a rotational mechanism for crustal evolution/motion even though this mechanism was being considered using specific reasoning in that year.The mechanism based on an uneven rotational gradient between equatorial and polar latitudes known commonly as differential rotation is almost a 100% certainty for all celestial objects with rotating fluid compositions so it is really no stretch of the imagination to apply it to the Earth's interior and look for clues on the surface crust and the 26 mile spherical deviation of the Earth relating to this mechanism.The Wikipedia article as in now stands amounts to flinging every assertion possible using rotation without the neat reasoning which actually requires researchers to consider fluid dynamics via the spherical deviation of the planet or the necessity to explain the Mid Atlantic Ridge using the global lag/advance mechanism arising from differential rotation where there is a symmetrical generation of crust either side of the Great Ridge.This is not a matter of priority or attribution,it is most certainly about wrecking an approach to a rotational mechanism in a measured and reasoned way as it was done long before rotation was inserted as wild and indiscriminate assertions years later. (talk) 05:34, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Without a source, it's difficult to comment on - not that I entirely understand what you're asking for. Mikenorton (talk) 07:11, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

You are fine,eventually they will discover that it is impossible to exempt the Earth rotating fluid interior from the 100% certainty of differential rotation and even if they do apply it to evolutionary geology and specifically oceanic crust generation/destruction without proper attribution they will sooner or later run into the spherical deviation of the planet from the same cause.How many times have they to repeat 'the debate is still open' when academics should be handling the rotational principles with confidence and competence.Orion216 (talk) 19:05, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

error in estimate of thickness of oceanic lithosphere?[edit]

The article currently states that "average oceanic lithosphere is typically 100 km (62 mi) thick; its thickness is a function of its age: as time passes, it conductively cools and become thicker." In general, things do not expand upon cooling (one exception is water from 0-4˚C), and I think the above statement, and possibly the thickness estimates, are not correct. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chouwawa (talkcontribs) 00:52, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

What could perhaps be made clearer is that the thickness increases as the lithosphere cools because more of the mantle becomes part of it - the base of the lithosphere is determined approximately by the temperature, as this affects the strength, with marked weakening at temperatures above about 1300°C. Mikenorton (talk) 06:53, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Reworded a bit "its thickness is a function of its age: as time passes, it conductively cools and subjacent cooling mantle is added to its base" to (hopefully) clarify the confusing wording. Vsmith (talk) 12:41, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Downward suction???[edit]

Lede claims downward suction is a significant force. Risible. (talk) 16:41, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 February 2014[edit]

Alfred Wegener's name should be linked to his wiki page in the summary of the development of the theory:


Detailed map showing the tectonic plates with their movement vectors. In line with other previous and contemporaneous proposals, in 1912 the meteorologist Alfred Wegener amply described what he called continental drift, expanded in his 1915 book The Origin of Continents and Oceans[28] and the scientific debate started that would end up fifty years later in the theory of plate tectonics. A low-carb high fat dieter (talk) 17:51, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done This would contravene WP:OVERLINK which states:-
Generally, a link should appear only once in an article, but if helpful for readers, links may be repeated in infoboxes, tables, image captions, footnotes, and at the first occurrence after the lead.
Alfred Wegener's name is already linked twice in the article - so for strict compliance, one of those links should be removed, but that is rather petty. - Arjayay (talk) 18:10, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Summary missing original text?[edit]

Looking at the summary section, I was somewhat surprised not to see Antonio Snider-Pellegrini's work as the original theoretical text behind plate tectonics. Is this an omission or was it specifically left out? Ckruschke (talk) 09:49, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke

He's mentioned in the Continental Drift section "Wegener was not the first to note this (Abraham Ortelius, Snider-Pellegrini, Eduard Suess, Roberto Mantovani and Frank Bursley Taylor preceded him just to mention a few)". The lead section just mentions that the theory "builds on the concepts of continental drift", which seems like a sufficient summary to me. Mikenorton (talk) 19:12, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Weak agreement - Wegener's work is the foundation and I guess it is ok if none of his predecessores are listed in the section summary para (it isn't the lede).
Follow-up question - this sentence is just following the sentence you cite above "but he was the first to marshal significant fossil and paleo-topographical and climatological evidence to support this simple observation." with italic emphasis on the statement that he was the first to note fossil evidence supporting his theory. Snider-Pellegrini's work also notes fossil evidence as the basic proof behind his theory. Is the hair that is being split here is the word "significant"? I have not read the works of the other authors (Suess, Mantovani, et al) so am unsure if Snider-Pelligrini is the only one that made the fossil - plate tectonics connection prior to Wegener's work. Ckruschke (talk) 02:47, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke

George Plafker and the '64 Alaska quake[edit]

There is a good article in the NY Times ("A ’64 Quake Still Reverberates". New York Times.  ) that has some material that might be worth incorporating here or in the article on earthquakes; apparently, before the '64 quake, the connection between plate tectonics and earthquakes was still controversial. Paulmlieberman (talk) 21:16, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Note: removed the reference tags and formatted as inline link. Vsmith (talk) 21:13, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

who is David Pratt?[edit]

I keep seeing websites by this geologist (?) who says that there are serious issues with plate tectonic theory, making it sound like there is a sizable voice in geology against plate tectonics. Why are they not included in the article? Givethemahug (talk) 03:05, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

He expresses a decidedly WP:FRINGE view. Most of his work is either self-published or appears in New Concepts in Global Tectonics, a newsletter whose editorial board he is on. His ideas have not been picked up by geologists in general and I see no reason to mention them here. Mikenorton (talk) 06:30, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Grand Canyon part[edit]

Hello everyone. I'm D011235813d. i would like to remove the "grand canyon" section from the page plate tectonics because I think it is not related, in any way, to plate tectonics. Please give any suggestions, answers, or tips to me as soon as possible. Thank you for your time. D011235813d (talk) 19:30, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

The "Grand Canyon" part is simply the illustration for the template Key topics in Geology and is not implying a relationship, altho' the development of the canyon is definitely related to the tectonics of western North America. (note: I've removed the template from this talk section.) Vsmith (talk) 21:08, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Fix for description of Types of Plate Boundaries: Convergent Boundaries[edit]

The text uses the phrase "continent-to-continent subduction ". Shouldn't this be "ocean-to-continent subduction", since the two examples given are of the Nazca oceanic plate subducting under the South American continental plate, and the Juan de Fuca oceanic plate subducting under the North American continental plate. Continental collision is described in a separate set of sentences. (talk) 18:27, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Done - thanks for pointing that out. Mikenorton (talk) 20:25, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Driving forces related to Earth rotation[edit]

For point #5, I suggest reference to the Earth ellipsoid, because more than 99% of georadial adjustments resulting from secular axial motion (i.e. polar drift) accrue from deviations of the reference ellipsoid from a sphere. Less than 1% accrue by gravitational differences from mass related variations. The change in emphasis is important as more is being accomplished, lately, by utilizing 'ellipsoidal demand'. Ref: Please select latest draft:

Thank you for your consideration, Douglas W. Zbikowski (talk) 23:07, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

When your work has been published in a peer reviewed journal and had a significant impact - then perhaps ... Vsmith (talk) 23:25, 19 January 2015 (UTC)