Effect of spreading center on likelihood to subduct

In summary, when two oceanic plates collide, the older and more distant plate from the spreading center is more likely to subduct under the other due to its increased thickness and density. This is because these factors make the plate heavier, causing it to sink below the other plate.
  • #1
Riser38
3
0
Let's say that two oceanic plates run into each other in a head-on collision. Pretend that one is 2000 miles from its spreading center, and the other one is 4000 miles from its spreading center. My question to you is "which one of these would subduct and why?"

Bill in Miami
 
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  • #2
I smell homework. Think about what happens to its thickness, elevation and density as it ages and you'll get your answer. You;ll probably have to assume the one that has traveled furthest is oldest
 
  • #3
As far as I know, thickness and density increase with age and this would cause the plate to be heavier and thus subduct under the other. Does this make sense?
 
  • #4
Yep, I'd say so :smile:
 
  • #5
Thanks a ton!
 

Related to Effect of spreading center on likelihood to subduct

1. What is a spreading center?

A spreading center is a geological feature found at the boundary of two tectonic plates, where magma rises from the mantle and creates new crust as it cools and solidifies. This process is known as seafloor spreading and is responsible for the formation of mid-ocean ridges.

2. How does a spreading center affect the likelihood of subduction?

A spreading center can either increase or decrease the likelihood of subduction, depending on the direction of plate movement. When two plates are moving away from each other at the spreading center, it creates a divergent boundary and decreases the likelihood of subduction. However, when two plates are converging at the spreading center, it can create a subduction zone and increase the likelihood of subduction.

3. What factors influence the effect of a spreading center on subduction?

The direction of plate movement, the angle of the subducting plate, and the strength of the lithosphere at the subduction zone are all factors that can influence the effect of a spreading center on subduction. Additionally, the presence of other geological features, such as oceanic trenches or transform faults, can also play a role in determining the likelihood of subduction.

4. How does the age of the oceanic crust affect the likelihood of subduction at a spreading center?

The age of the oceanic crust can have a significant impact on the likelihood of subduction at a spreading center. Older oceanic crust is denser and colder, making it more likely to subduct when it reaches a subduction zone. In contrast, younger oceanic crust is less dense and warmer, making it more likely to be pushed away and not subduct.

5. What are the potential hazards associated with subduction at a spreading center?

Subduction at a spreading center can lead to the formation of volcanoes and earthquakes, which can pose significant hazards to nearby populations. Additionally, the subduction of older oceanic crust can also result in the release of large amounts of water and carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere, potentially contributing to global climate change.

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