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CAN CONTINENTS SINK?

Poll
Question: Can continents sink?
Yes - 4 (66.7%)
No - 2 (33.3%)
Total Voters: 6

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Author Topic: CAN CONTINENTS SINK?  (Read 2173 times)
mdsungate
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« on: January 13, 2010, 05:58:46 pm »

 Smiley 
Can continents sink?
 

Can a continent sink?  While that ought to be a given in a forum dedicated to Atlantis, I’ve encountered several threads and a growing number of people who claim that this is an “impossibility” according to modern science.

So I thought it might be fun to take a poll here.  “Modern science” taught me as a child that it is “impossible” for continents to move, and that South America seeming to fit neatly into Africa like a puzzle was just a coincidence.  Then they reversed their mandate with the advent of plate tectonics.  So I maintain that our non-degreed laymen’s theories may be just as valid, as those of the degreed scientists.
What do you think?  Can continents sink?
 Wink
Mike
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mdsungate
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 06:14:58 pm »

 Smiley 
At the risk of being accused of “trolling” I thought I’d reprint a response of mine in answer to someone’s assertion that it’s impossible for continents to sink.  Here’s what I had to say:

So continents can’t sink, huh?  You say there is no evidence of a continent ever sinking or so many here seem to believe? There seems to be a rampant misunderstanding spreading throughout the forum that this is a scientific fact.  First of all, the science of geology offers little “facts”.  It is really all theories, and those theories change like a popularity contest, (one in which fortunes are made and prestigious reputations lost).
Read this then and get your “facts” straight comrades before talking in absolutes, as there are none in geology. There is only a geological record and the evidence in that record is oft times contradictory.


TAKEN FROM:

http://www.cprm.gov.br/33IGC/1342562.html

Quote
THE INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGICAL CONGRESS OSLO 2008 AUGUST 6 – 14TH

To sink a continent: Exploring the implications of Zealandia's fate

Hamish Campbell, GNS Science (New Zealand)
John Begg, GNS Science (New Zealand)
Dallas Mildenhall, GNS Science (New Zealand)
Charles Landis, Otago University (New Zealand)
Adrian Paterson, Lincoln University (New Zealand)
Steve Trewick, Massey University (New Zealand)
 

In crustal terms, New Zealand and New Caledonia are continental islands. They are the biggest remnants of a much larger tract of continental crust that is below sea level. They are emergent parts of a largely submerged eighth continent, Zealandia.

In terms of surface area, the 2,500metre isobath is a proxy for defining the limits of Zealandia. On this basis, the continental crust of Zealandia is almost half the size of Australia, or about the size of India. New Zealand and New Caledonia represent less than 7% of this area, thus almost 93% of Zealandia is under the sea.

What happened? The implication is that Zealandia was a continent that has subsequently sunk, and indeed the geological record strongly supports this idea. Why did it sink and when? And why are New Zealand and New Caledonia emergent? Why are they too not submerged?

These questions were brought into sharp focus during research exploring the antiquity of the land surface in the Chatham Islands (176° W, 44° S) located c.850 kilometres due east of Christchurch (South Island of New Zealand), on the Pacific Plate, well in-board of the active Australia-Pacific plate boundary that runs through mainland New Zealand.

This research shows that the Chatham Islands became emergent less than 3 Ma. The mechanism for uplift is as yet uncertain but active mantle inflation of regional extent is suspected rather than a localised volcanic effect or far-field plate boundary tectonic collision effect. For all that, the Chatham Islands have been the locus of dominantly terrestrial intra-plate basaltic volcanism during Late Cretaceous time, and much smaller scale largely submarine intra-plate basaltic volcanism during Paleocene to Eocene and Miocene to Pleistocene time.

More importantly, our investigations in the Chatham Islands have led to the realisation that they offer a unique subaerial glimpse of undeformed Zealandia. By contrast, New Zealand and New Caledonia are highly deformed.

Subsequent research in mainland New Zealand has shown that the geological evidence for continual presence of land since Zealandia rifted away from Gondwanaland c.85 Ma is inconclusive. Furthermore, a reasonably compelling geological argument can be made for maximum submergence c.23 Ma and acknowledges the possibility of total submergence. Though unproven one way or the other, we encourage the scientific community to explore logically the idea that the New Zealand region of Zealandia may have been totally submerged c.23 Ma. Seminal to this idea is the recognition and significance of a regional marine-cut geomorphic feature within the New Zealand landscape, the Waipounamu Erosion Surface.

This idea, the drowning of Zealandia, sets a new paradigm for understanding the antiquity and origins of native biotas of New Zealand and New Caledonia. The potential implications are profound and the sinking of a continent during Late Cretaceous to Miocene time represents a geological phenomenon of global significance.[/
quote]
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Tom Hebert
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2010, 04:15:47 am »

Yes, I believe continents can sink.  And, of course, if they can sink, they can rise.  How come we find seashells on top of mountains?
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mdsungate
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2010, 10:25:39 pm »

 Smiley  Exactly, Tom.  One estimation of geologists is that this is the third set of Rocky Mountains, and they have risen and subsequently sunk to the bottom of the ocean that many times.  The Hopi Indians have it as "the land and the sea are always trading places". 
 Wink
Mike
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010, 10:43:18 pm »

We know so little as absolute but one thing for certain is that what we think we know anything for certain, it changes. I would say yes, it is very possible for continents to sink. When we see it happen, we will ‘know’.

ILAL

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mdsungate
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010, 11:12:00 pm »

 Smiley Of course we'll know provided we're not on the continent in question, LOL.
 Wink
Mike
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Mario Dantas
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2010, 11:51:21 am »

Dear mdsungate,

http://www.mathworks.co.jp/access/helpdesk/help/toolbox/map/worldmap-geoid.gif
 
The right question perhaps should be: can continental pieces sink? from what i read, it does seem that bits of continental plates can submerge partially or even completely in geologic time. When Continental plates "drfited", during Atlantis end, it is very likely that large parts of it (continental plates) got submerged in the process. The whole continental plate can probably dislocate as the hull of a ship...

http://principles.ou.edu/earth_figure_gravity/geoid/ocean_geoid.jpg

South America performed a grand dislocation, leaving Australia and New Zealand behind. I am sure that in the nearby sunken areas, there is evidence that the landmass traveled east, breaking, each at its length, until the current configuration amplitude was reached, and it was forced to stop, continentally...

regards,
Mario Dantas
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 12:05:40 pm by Mario Dantas » Report Spam   Logged

Ceneca
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2010, 07:04:15 pm »

Hi Mike,

Hope you don't mind, but I added an actual poll to this topic.  It would be interesting to see the results.

Ceneca
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mdsungate
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2010, 11:57:25 pm »

 Smiley  Mind?  Quite the contrary.  Tnanks, Ceneca.  I didn't know how to do that.

Mike Wink
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mdsungate
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 12:25:33 am »

 Smiley  Thanks for those links Mario.  I never realized that part of the tectonic plate theory had it that Australia was once connected to South America.  It makes sense to me that as the great continents pulled apart, they may have left pieces behind that as time drew on were unstable and no longer capable of standing on their own.

You can sort of see the trail left behind by the continents in the maps on those links.

I don’t think even Plato was implying that Atlantis was as large a continent as let’s say North America.  When he referred to Libya and Asia combined, he was referring to Asia Minor, (or so I have been led to believe).  And Cayce’s readings refer to Atlantis sinking in several stages over thousands of years.  The last and final demise of Atlantis is apparently the one that Plato is referring to in my opinion.  So Mario’s comment on only parts of continents sinking is well taken.

Of course there is another theory worth mentioning about the Super glaciers pressing down on the European and North American plates.  As I understand it the idea is that the presence of all those tons of ice pressing down on the two plates on each end of the Mid Atlantic plate, kept that land mass pressed up.  That is until they melted and released the pressure, causing the Mid Atlantic plate to sink.
 Wink
Mike
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Mario Dantas
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2010, 06:03:07 pm »

Dear mdsungate,

you said:

"I never realized that part of the tectonic plate theory had it that Australia was once connected to South America."

I don't know how you got that idea from what i said... at least i don't know of any tectonic plate theory that states that. What i said had to do with my theory, that's all.

Your interest in this post is to prove that "perhaps" continents can sink... and that maybe Atlantis sank?
I read your justifications:

quote:

"Of course there is another theory worth mentioning about the Super glaciers pressing down on the European and North American plates.  As I understand it the idea is that the presence of all those tons of ice pressing down on the two plates on each end of the Mid Atlantic plate, kept that land mass pressed up.  That is until they melted and released the pressure, causing the Mid Atlantic plate to sink."

I did not see any change in the densities of the crust or upper mantle. How can you justify that a less dense material can sink into a more dense one? Continental buoyancy cannot be reversed that easily, for plates buoy upon the upper mantle like a cork on water. Can corks sink?

It is true that there must be many geological events in which the sinking of parts of the crust occurred, but, those are exceptions to the rule. The sheer continental mass that you speak of is "unsinkable". Nevertheless, something that could simulate a continental sinking is a meteoric impact, like the Shiva impact crater in India:




regards,
Mario Dantas

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mdsungate
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2010, 11:50:52 pm »

 Smiley  QUOTE FROM MARIO:

Quote
Your interest in this post is to prove that "perhaps" continents can sink... and that maybe Atlantis sank?
I read your justifications:

I don’t think any of us can prove or disprove that.
 
My intention for this thread is just an opinion poll, Mario.  I take it then that you don’t believe that continents can sink?  However your analogy of the continents being less dense and floating like corks doesn't completely makes sense to me.  I’m no expert on tectonic plate theory, but I believe that the ocean floor is also made up of plates.  As I also understand it the plates can slip beneath another plate, butt up against each other or collide forming mountains as in the case of India slamming into Asia and forming the Himalayas. 

As a New York resident it is obvious to me that the Hudson River is actually a fault line, and that the land on the New Jersey side is a sheer cliff a good 400 feet higher than the Manhattan side of the river, (the Palisades). So apparently these plates do not have to match up exactly. 

So then we have to wonder why are the ocean plates fathoms lower?  Are we to suppose that they are  less thick?  Are those ocean plates wedged under the continental plates making them lower?

Or should we assume that the sheer weight of all that water sitting on top of the ocean plates has pushed those pieces of cork, as you put it deeper into the mantle that it is floating on?  But if that is the case then tons of ice should have the same effect on Antarctica, wouldn’t it?

You see Tectonic Plate Theory is just that… a theory and it does not answer all the questions. 

To be sure some sort of impact could massive change in the earths crust if it disrupted the mantle.  There is some evidence of some kind of impact 12,900 years ago which is right around the time Plato claims Atlantis sank.   

Qoais provided me with this link yesterday as evidence of a global impact 12,900 years ago.

http://www.agu.org/meetings/sm07/sm07-sessions/sm07_PP43A.html


I personally believe that continents can sink, but I am eager to learn why you or other don’t believe that it’s possible.  Your reasoning that they are “essentially” too light to sink doesn’t stand to reason in my mind, (again, just my opinion).  Why then do geologists think that the continent of Zelandia sank?  Refer to my reply #1 above in this thread.
 Wink
Mike
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Benthin
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2010, 01:44:30 am »

Arew we talking about an  entire continent and complete submersion?
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mdsungate
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2010, 09:18:31 am »

 Smiley  Sorry for the long delay in this responce.  I've been busy working on my publishing my novel. 
Yes I think we're talking about the complete submergence of an entire continent.  But Australia is a continent, as is the land mass under the south pole.  I guess what we're really driving at is that if Atlantis was actually a continent, is it  possible for it to have sunk beneath the ocean in the way that Plato describes.

 Smiley
Mike
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Keith Ranville
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2010, 01:39:26 pm »

Theory

Continents are continuously moving, however the continental drift of continents can drift only so far, that earths gravitation pull can allow? At this point at the end of each continental drift the earths crust may have no choice but to pivot, and recourse itself.  Like every living thing on earth that has cycles - likewise to this rotating planet it has cycles too, as to the universe. 

- Keith Ranville
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