Lost tectonic plate Resurrection has been 'found' under the Pacific Ocean

The researchers think that this lost plate was responsible for the link between the ancient Pacific Ocean and North America.


Scientists have created a model that suggests that a tectonic plate, located in western North America some 60 million years ago, actually existed. Geophysicists have been torn between the probability of the Resurrection plate actually existing. While one school of thought said it never was there, the other school believed that the Resurrection got pushed sideways and downward inside the planet’s mantle in the early Cenozoic period.

Giving the second group a considerable lead in the argument, a team of geologists at the University of Houston College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics have erected a model that proves the plate existed. By studying the existing mantle tomography images of our planet, the group has “found” Resurrection to exist in northern Canada, a statement by the team said.

The third major geologic era of Earth, the Cenozoic Era, is considered to be the time period when the continents had assumed their modern or current shapes and sizes. Image credit: Wikipedia

The third major geologic era of Earth, the Cenozoic Era, is considered to be the time period when the continents had assumed their modern or current shapes and sizes. Image credit: Wikipedia

The researchers think that this lost plate was responsible for the link between the ancient Pacific Ocean and North America. Also, it led to the creation of the Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean. Jonny Wu, assistant professor of geology in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, said, “Volcanoes form at plate boundaries, and the more plates you have, the more volcanoes you have”. He further explained that the new finding can help researchers understand how many volcanoes have been there and how the climate changed there.

The third major geologic era of Earth, the Cenozoic Era, is considered to be the time period when the continents had assumed their modern or current shapes and sizes. It follows the Mesozoic Era and extends from 66 million years ago to the present day.

As we are currently living in the Cenozoic era, the plate tectonics of the age are still undergoing. However, there has been a dispute regarding the Resurrection plate that is believed to have been present in the early Cenozoic era. Now the latest study has found that Resurrection existed in between two larger plates called Kula and Farallon.

The results of the study have been published in the Geological Society of America Bulletin.


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