What Drives Plate Motions?

Authors: Yongfeng Yang

Plate motion is a remarkable Earth process and is widely ascribed to several driving forces: ridge push, slab pull, and basal drag. However, an in-depth investigation demonstrates that these forces are incomplete. Here, we propose that deep oceans generate pressure and that the application of this pressure against the walls of ocean basins, which are the sides of continents, may yield enormous horizontal forces (i.e., ocean-generated forces). The net effects of these forces provide lateral push to the continents and may cause them to move horizontally; further, the moving continents drag the crusts connected to them, which gives rise to plate motion. The estimate shows that ocean-generated forces may impel South America, Africa, India, and Australia to move 2.8, 4.2, 5.7, and 6.3 cm/yr, respectively, and the movement of the Pacific Plate may reach 8.9 cm/yr.

Comments: 36 Pages. Significant improvements are made in this version.

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Submission history

[v1] 2017-05-18 03:55:34
[v2] 2017-05-19 03:12:42
[v3] 2017-06-20 02:07:58
[v4] 2017-11-14 15:05:52
[v5] 2018-01-13 06:42:58
[v6] 2018-03-28 12:46:32
[v7] 2018-07-20 03:57:13
[v8] 2019-01-18 04:38:37
[v9] 2019-03-29 05:33:42
[vA] 2019-08-29 05:01:51

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