Tuesday, 4 September 2012

An Easy Start to the Week with Plate Tectonics.

The weather here in Devizes is lovely at the moment, and everyone says it's about the best it has been during this dreadful summer of 2012.  How good to return home to some warm weather and no rain!  I feel a little lost at the moment, I'm not sure where I am, but after a week or so, I will feel back to normal.
I met friends in the Geology group on Tuesday morning, where J gave an interesting talk, with an animated map, about "plate tectonics," the science of the earth's plates, and their movement across the planet to form the present day continental land masses.  Millions of years ago, this land mass was one huge chunk called "Gondwana," and over the millenia this land mass has split apart along its plate lines, and moved  across the surface of the oceans to their most recent position.  The plate edges or fault lines are continually active, some forming new land, and some allowing one land mass to move underneath another.   
Two of the most famous fault lines are "The San Andreas Fault" which runs up and down the west coast of the USA,  where the Pacific Plate moves northwards against the North American Plate moving southwards, and the fault line that produces the "Mariana Trench" where the Pacific Plate slides underneath the smaller Mariana Plate.   All very interesting and somewhat complicated for my first day back, but it was good to meet old friends and drink hot chocolate.

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