• Plate Tectonics and Europa's Icy Shell

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      Permanent link:
      https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/023/06/0669-0681

    • Keywords

       

      Europa, continental drift theory, plate tectonics, subduction, ice shell, Earth.

    • Abstract

       

      A unique attribute of Earth is the presence of plate tectonics.Not only does it give rise to continents, mountain chains, andocean basins but also promotes a high level of biodiversity. Itis the reason for the formation of the so-called ‘Pacific Ringof Fire’ – a belt of intense volcanic activity and a large numberof earthquakes surrounding the Pacific ocean. But whatdrives the plate motion? Did Earth always have plate tectonics?These are some fascinating geoscientific questions. Intrying to answer these questions, an effort is made to impressupon the reader the vast ocean of uncertainty, and hence theopportunity, in the field of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Tomake it more engaging, the article provides a peek into thelong process which culminated in the present-day theory ofplate tectonics on Earth. While the first half of the articlefocuses on subduction and its cause, the second half summarizesa recent finding made on the surface of Europa. In viewof readability across disciplines, the complex subject detailsare kept to bare minimum.

    • Author Affiliations

       

      Abhinaba Das1

      1. Abhinaba Das Indian Institute of Science Bangalore 560 012, India.
    • Dates

       

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