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The eighth continent?

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Zealandia and New Zealand

No, not Atlantis, which has contributed so much to world fantasy literature.

There is, in fact, a sort of lost continent, Zealandia. From Tia Ghose at LiveScience:

The lost continent, which is mostly submerged, with all of New Zealand and a few islands peeking out from the water, is about half the size of Australia. By drilling deep into its crust or upper layer, the new scientific expedition could provide clues about how the diving of one of Earth’s plates beneath another, a process called subduction, fueled the growth of a volcano chain and this lost continent in the Pacific Ocean 50 million years ago. The new expedition could also reveal how that Earth-altering event changed ocean currents and the climate. More.

Research is under way to learn more about continental plates and subduction.

See also: The antikythera mechanism and the design inference. Lots of things we didn’t think possible are actually true but we often don’t get the right ones.

17 Replies to “The eighth continent?

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    This ain’t “Zealandia”. It’s Mu, and we’ve know about Mu for more than 100 years.

  2. 2
    asauber says:

    how the diving of one of Earth’s plates beneath another, a process called subduction

    So when some loudmouth starts preaching to you about Sea Level Rise, ask them if they’ve heard of this.

    Andrew

  3. 3
    daveS says:

    So when some loudmouth starts preaching to you about Sea Level Rise, ask them if they’ve heard of this.

    Could you elaborate on how subduction is integrated into our understanding of sea level rise? I don’t know anything about geology, but my guess would be that subduction is such a slow process that its effect on sea level only becomes significant over relatively long time scales.

  4. 4
    asauber says:

    It ends up that there’s more to the story of relative sea-level rise along the Pacific Northwest than “just” global warming and warming, and therefore expanding, seas. Put simply, the tectonic forces that periodically re-shape Japan’s coastline are similar to those aligned along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, or CSZ, off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

    https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2012/07/cascadia-subduction-zone-a-key-factor-for-pacific-nw-sea-level-rise/

    Andrew

  5. 5
    daveS says:

    Hm. I would think this information would cause even more alarm among the global warming alarmists.

    North of Cape Mendocino, where the Cascadia Subduction Zone has shaped the coastline for eons, the Juan de Fuca Plate is slowly descending beneath the North American Plate. Unlike the ships at night with their north/south movements in most of California, picture here the North American Plate moving in a southwestern direction, over the Juan de Fuca Plate as it dives beneath the continent. The result: a rise in the coastline by about 1.5 to 3.0 millimeters per year. It’s a sudden rupture along the Cascadia Subduction Zone that can suddenly reverse that slow but strained trajectory, resulting in a sudden drop in land elevations along the coast, and as a result leading to increased relative sea-level rise.

    The Academy report offers a series of projections for sea-level rise for the West Coast, given the average rise in global sea levels and the variety of other localized conditions. For the California coast south of Cape Mendocino, sea levels are projected to rise by between 1.5 inches to nearly one foot by 2030 relative to 2000; nearly five inches to about two feet by 2050; and about 16 inches to about 5-1/2 feet by 2100.

    For the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts north of Cape Mendocino, sea levels by 2030 are projected to be about 1.5 inches lower to nine inches higher than 2000 levels; about one inch lower to about 19 inches higher by 2050; and four inches to more than 4.5 feet higher by 2100.

    On the one hand, land uplift and gravitational and deformational effects reduce the threat of rising seas off Washington and Oregon. But that rising land is likely brought about because “interseismic strain is building in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. A great earthquake (magnitude larger than eight) … would cause some coastal areas to immediately subside and relative sea level to suddenly rise. If this occurs, relative sea level could rise an additional meter or more over projected levels.”

  6. 6
    asauber says:

    I would think this information would cause even more alarm among the global warming alarmists.

    DaveS,

    Global Warming Alarmists don’t recognize any information that doesn’t cause More Alarm. That’s what makes them Alarmists.

    Andrew

  7. 7
    daveS says:

    asauber,

    Then does this information make you less concerned about the prospect of sea level rise? My reading is that it says that for those on the Northwest coast of the US, sea level rise will be somewhat mitigated until a large earthquake hits, at which point the (local) sea level could immediately rise by about 1 meter.

  8. 8
    asauber says:

    daveS,

    Please point out to me (quote) the specific sentence (or sentences) in your information I’m supposed to be concerned about.

    Andrew

  9. 9
    daveS says:

    asauber,

    Please point out to me (quote) the specific sentence (or sentences) in your information I’m supposed to be concerned about.

    I’m just focusing on the link you provided here, i.e., your information.

    I don’t think it on its own should make anyone much more or less concerned about sea level rise. Those who live near the NW coast of the US are fairly well informed about the problems that will occur when a large earthquake hits. Even in the absence of sea level rise, those problems could be significant.

    Does this information make you any less concerned about sea level rise?

  10. 10
    asauber says:

    Does this information make you any less concerned about sea level rise?

    No. I can’t be any less concerned than not concerned at all.

    Andrew

  11. 11
    asauber says:

    On side note, daveS, you seems oddly concerned about my concerns regarding sea level concerns, which is concerning. 😉

    Andrew

  12. 12
    daveS says:

    asauber,

    Mainly I’m interested in whether a neutral observer should find this subduction/earthquake information to be a cause for more or less concern about sea level rise. I interpreted your comment #2 to indicate that indeed, a neutral observer should find sea level rise to be less concerning in light of the article (assuming they initially had some concern).

  13. 13
    asauber says:

    a neutral observer should find sea level rise to be less concerning

    A neutral observer wouldn’t find sea level concerning to begin with.

    If an observer entered into this discussion pre-concerned about sea level, he or she wouldn’t be neutral.

    Andrew

  14. 14
    daveS says:

    Ok, let’s drop the “neutral” part. Let’s say we consider a person who is concerned about the welfare of other humans, and who is just learning about suggestions made by some that sea level is rising due to global warming.

    Should the information you linked to make this person any less concerned that sea level rise will endanger the welfare of humans in the coming decades or centuries?

  15. 15
    asauber says:

    consider a person who is concerned about the welfare of other humans, and who is just learning about suggestions made by some that sea level is rising due to global warming

    I would suggest that this person would need to take a scientific approach to the elements of the subject being discussed, so they are able to think scientifically about what is being presented.

    I’ve found the best place to start is to obtain scientific definitions for terms being used. In this case, Global Warming and Sea Level Rise need scientific definitions. Can you provide those, daveS?

    Andrew

  16. 16
    daveS says:

    I asked a yes/no question, which you have not answered. If you do answer it with a yes or no, then I will consider responding to your post.

  17. 17
    asauber says:

    Should the information you linked to make this person any less concerned that sea level rise will endanger the welfare of humans in the coming decades or centuries?

    Since your question presupposes a concern about sea level rise, I consider it poorly posed and unhelpful, and therefore a yes/no answer would be as scientifically meaningless as the question.

    Andrew

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