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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Special Volumes


Pub. Id: A154 (1974)

First Page: 395

Last Page: 405

Book Title: M 23: Plate Tectonics--Assessments and Reassessments

Article/Chapter: Theoretical Aspects of Continental Drift

Subject Group: Structure, Tectonics, Paleostructure

Spec. Pub. Type: Memoir

Pub. Year: 1974

Author(s): Harold Jeffreys (2)


According to a law of imperfection of elasticity (the modified Lomnitz law), creep at small stresses, under a constant applied stress, increases with time as t^agr (^agr = about 0.2). Use of this law makes it possible to avoid contradictions with actual observations as given by increases like log t or t. Moreover, the modified law also explains the damping of the 14-monthly nutation (Chandler wobble), the sharpness of transverse seismic waves at great distances, the moon's rotation, and the persistence of the moon's dynamic ellipiticities. However, the damping action of the modified Lomnitz law makes it impossible for convection to tak place. Thus, continental drift--by convection, seafloor spreading, and/or plate tectonics--cannot occur. Appreciation by geologists of the significance of the modified Lomnitz law is essential if progress in geology and geophysics is to continue.

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