Dynamics of the Earth

Dynamics of the Earth's Evolution

This sixth volume in the monograph series Physics and Evolution of the Earth's Interior presents the problems of the mature evolution of the Earth's interior. It provides comprehensive coverage of the present state of the mantle convection theory. The relations between paleomagnetism, plate tectonics and mantle convection theory are discussed. A more general view of the evolution based on the thermodynamics of irreversible processes is also given. This book will interest geophysicists, geologists, geodesists and planetologists.

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Published: September 1993

Imprint: Elsevier

ISBN: 978-0-444-98662-7

Contents

  • Preface. 1. Plate Tectonics. Introduction. Fundamentals of plate tectonics. Kinematics of lithospheric plates. Oceanic ridges and spreading centres. 2. Paleomagnetic Clues to Plate Tectonics. Introduction. Continental drift and curves of apparent wandering of the pole. Linear oceanic magnetic anomalies. Hypothesis of an expanding Earth. 3. Mapping Mantle Convection. Basic ideas. Anisotropy of the mantle and the effects connected with it. Problem of inversion for a 3-dimensional structure. Geoid anomalies and convection. Results of seismic tomography. 4. Theoretical Approach to Mantle Convection. Equations of convection. Mathematical methods for mantle convection. Geometrical aspects. Effects of rheology and other properties of the mantle's material. Time-dependent convection and instabilities in the mantle. 5. The Evolving Earth and its Lithospheric Stresses. Monitory mechanism of evolution. Stress field due to the convection flow and the scalar representation theorem on the sphere. Stresses in the lithosphere. Lithospheric stresses and geoid anomalies. Faults and stress distribution. Thermal convection and surface features. Geoid anomalies and low mantle convection. Evolution and deep mass asymmetry. Evolution of a local stress field: simulation of earthquakes and creep events. 6. Stresses in the Lithosphere Induced by the Earth's Rotation. Introduction. Gravito-elastic approach. Two-dimensional approach. Secular variation of the rotation vector. Planetological and geophysical applications. General conclusions. Appendix A. Appendix B. 7. Thermodynamic Approach to Evolution. Evolution of the Earth as a thermodynamic non-equilibrium process. Difficulties involved in the transition from equilibrium to non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Cosmological implications of thermodynamics. Macroscopic aspects of the second law of thermodynamics. Entropy production. Local formulation of the second law of thermodynamics. Linear relations between the flows and the forces. The Onsager reciprocity relations. Theorem of minimum entropy production. Change in the entropy of a system in the course of an irreversible process. Evolution of the Universe and the Earth. Thermodynamic stability. Synergetics. The Prigogine-Glansdorff evolution criterion. The driving force of evolution. "Brusselator" and "Oregonator". Self-organization concept applied: galaxies. Statistical aspects of the formation of dissipative structures. Selection of dissipative structures in a weak gravitational field. Melting and solidification processes at the inner-outer core boundary in the Earth's interior. Diffusion and solution/precipitation processes at the core-mantle boundary. 8. Paleomagnetic Clues to Certain Aspects of the Behaviour of the Earth's Magnetic Field. Parameters of the geomagnetic field recorded by rocks. The time constants and sources of information about variation of the geomagnetic field. Paleosecular variation. Reversals of geomagnetic field. Variations of intensity. Subject Index.

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