How the Earth-shaking theory of plate tectonics was born

Some great ideas shake up the world. For centuries, the outermost layer of Earth was thought to be static, rigid, locked in place. But the theory of plate tectonics has rocked this picture of the planet to its core. Plate tectonics reveals how Earth’s surface is constantly in motion, and how its features — volcanoes, […]

Increased Plate Tectonic Activity May Have Warmed the Miocene Climate

One of the enigmas of past climate is the event known as the Miocene Climatic Optimum (MCO), a period of global warming from about 17 million to 15 million years ago. The MCO was the most significant interruption of a long-term planetary cooling trend that has stretched from around 40 million years ago […]

The Resurrection Plate Is Dead, Long Live the Resurrection Plate

The ground beneath our feet might seem solid, but Earth’s tectonic plates are always shifting. Sometimes, they even disappear. In a study published last month in the Geological Society of America Bulletin, researchers announced new evidence in favor of one such missing plate, dubbed the Resurrection plate after Alaska’s Resurrection Peninsula. The Resurrection […]

‘Lost’ tectonic plate called Resurrection hidden under the Pacific

Scientists have reconstructed a long-lost tectonic plate that may have given rise to an arc of volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean 60 million years ago.  The plate, dubbed Resurrection, has long been controversial among geophysicists, as some believe it never existed. But the new reconstruction puts the edge of the rocky plate along a line […]