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Oceanic plateau like Java Ontang

  1. Sep 3, 2011 #1


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    Were there oceanic plateau formation for before plate tectonics era? Perhaps later, plateau gave rise to terrenes along west coast of N. America. Might Mars serve as a model of what pre-tectonic era looked like on Earth? Are there plateau on Mars? If not, then this would seem consistent with such plateau formation for after commencement of plate tectonics. Plate tectonics might have started in middle or later Archean (1-2 Byrs after origin) for Earth.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2011 #2
    This is an interesting question that I'm not 100% sure what the correct answer is, but some clarification as to what you are asking will help.

    The Ontong Java Plateau (OJP) is volcanic plateau. It is actually a large igneous province (LIP), like, for example the Deccan Traps. These are formed by mantle plumes, which can have their origin in the mid-mantle or as deep as the core-mantle boundary.

    When you talk about plate tectonics creating a plateau the first and most obvious place that springs to mind is the Tibetan Plateau, which is the result of the collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates.

    So, if you are asking about plateaus like the Tibetan Plateau then you need plate tectonics to create them.

    For the the OJP, I think that strictly they could form without plate tectonics. BUT the deep Earth forces that create plume help to drive plate tectonics, so in practical terms I don;t think you get one without the other.

    As for Mars... I'm afraid I can't help too much, I'm not too up on Martian Geology.

    Hope this helps :smile:
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