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Thermal shock from cold ocean water is proposed as forming ocean trenches by cracking and then cooling the crust to great depth. The Benioff zone results when material from great depth moves up toward this less dense region made less dense by incorporation of large amounts of water into the rocks down almost to the former aesthenosphere.
Around the periphery of the Pacific are a series of great ocean deeps so created that they form trenches about 100 kilometers wide, up to thousands of kilometers long, and about 4000 meters below the adjacent ocean bottoms. They are usually located adjacent to continental shelves. On the landward side there is often an irregular line of volcanoes.
It is the purpose of this monograph to show that they could have been caused by fracturing due to thermal shock. For many millions of years the earth has been radiating heat across an interface maintained at temperatures which tended to be cooler in the oceans and warmer on land. There probably has usually been ample time to adjust to the difference by plastic flow, since radioactive generation of heat may have been almost the same value as the heat lost, especially on the continents.
The critical matter, then, is the sudden change of temperatures that might take place on the ocean floor. Because salt water does not expand between -2 degrees and -4 degrees centigrade (Kuenan, p20), it is possible for bottom waters to reach temperatures lower than 0 degrees centigrade. The bottom temperature is usually a little higher than the coldest surface temperatures of water high in salt. These waters are especially dense when formed as a result of freezing for they are higher in salt concentration. They sink and flow toward the equator with a turn toward the west in the northern hemisphere because of the coriolis force. This may be the reason why the trenches are largely confined to the western Pacific in that hemisphere and to the eastern Pacific in the southern hemisphere. The validity of this theory primarily hinges on whether the known physical characteristics of rocks present in the earth permit it to be entertained.
Rocks have very low coefficients of compressibility. Most rocks, including granite and basalt, have a volume compressibility in the range of 1.5 to 3.0 x 10 to the -6th reciprocal bars. At the same time they have a temperature coefficient of expansion of about 2.5 x 10 to the - 5th. Thus, a 1.8 to 6 degree drop in temperature could be sufficient to rupture granite, which usually has a maximum tensile strength of about 30-50 kg per square cm. assuming infinite restraint from the sides. This is well within the possible temperature oscillations which could take place on the ocean floor. Emiliani has determined that Pacific Ocean bottom temperatures went from 10.4 degrees in the Eocene to 1.5 degrees today, for instance (Emiliani). Previously Ocean surface temperatures above the Aleutian Islands were at 20 degrees C in the early Tertiary, the same as the Hawaiian Islands today (Gutenberg,  p194). However it is not necessary to postulate even this high a tensile strength, for notches and zones of weakness undoubtedly exist in the crust. In addition, partially healed ruptures from previous movements are known to exist. Once a crack starts, much less lateral tension would be necessary to perpetuate it. Also, the sedimentary rocks on the surface are usually much weaker than granite or basalt, so cracks probably can be initiated more readily in such material. Furthermore, there probably has been a little unrelieved tension on ocean floors, which are usually cooler than adjacent land, from earliest times. Thus any rapid cooling would superimpose itself on already constituted tension. It would not be essential for an actual crack to form from the tension alone. The crust is inherently unstable since the rocks below are hotter and therefore can be lighter than adjacent rocks given any asymmetry in horizontal strata. The upward forces theoretically possible could be enormous. Any relief of lateral pressure could trigger an up welling. Once started it could travel great distances like a cloth ripping.
As soon as the fissure forms, a series of phenomena occur which I suggest give the trenches their characteristics. Cold water descends into the fissure and has the following immediate results:
1. Much more rapid heat transfer because of convection currents of water.
2. Deepening of the fissures because of the above circumstance.
3. Flaking of boulders off the side of the crack at lower depth.
4. Formation of lateral fissures due to extremely rapid heat transfer from the sides, which are warmer at depth. This accentuates the heat losses even more.
It is not necessary for the crack to be propagated all the way down to the asthenosphere. The asthenosphere is inherently unstable because it is hotter and therefore lighter than the overlying rocks. Therefore when the water in the crack makes the overburden lighter and the asthenosphere bulges up a little to compensate, it puts additional upward pressure so that at first, so far from being a trench, the surface may bulge up and thus tend to force the crack even further apart. This further ripping of the crack can go down to great depth, well beyond anything that thermal contraction could reach. As cooling continues the crust would subside further and start to be a trench. This bulge down creates additional tensional forces just as bulging upward did and pulls the crack even further apart.
For a seat of the pants analogy of some of these concepts, see Weber, "The cause of midocean ridges, Discussion, 2nd paragraph" (Weber 1981) or Ocean Ridges.
Even when the main fissure reached the depth where rock is molten under hydrostatic pressure or can be fluidized by the water, it is plausible that lava would not necessarily flow up to the ocean floor at first because in the wider cracks it would be too rapidly cooled by the water. At a later stage when the trench had become clogged with serpentines and sediments, lava might reach the surface through smaller gaps in that material.
It is possible that unrelieved stress could cause some fissures to extend out to sea. These might cause a small trench to form perpendicular to the main trench occasionally. If a trench with its excessively rapid cooling did not form at such a point, a volcano might erupt instead, forming a seamount on the shoulder. If the seamount reached the surface and was planed off by erosion, the slope of the crest toward the trench could be accounted for by the subsequent subsidence of the trench side by continued thermal contraction caused by the cooling of water at depth in the trench conducting out to the sides.
One might object that the walls of the trench would collapse because of being so tremendously high a cliff. Indeed boulders undoubtedly would flake off and contribute to wedging the crack open. In addition the cliffs do not have to support their full weight since the hydrostatic pressure of the water relieves them of over a third of their weight. Actually some of the material to the side may well be slowly cold flowing in toward the trench, and if so this would account to the graben and horst terrain observed by Hilde (Hilde). In fact, at least one trench off the Aleutian Islands may have flowed in right from the start, at least from the asthenosphere. This would account for the magnetic stripes adjacent which seem to be diving UP out of the trench (Heirtzler). This could be a "midocean ridge" (Weber 1981) which later became a trench by migrating in from adjacent trenches at each end.
The large volumes of water incorporated into the earth as suggested above would explain the large negative gravity anomalies in the immediate vicinity of the maximum depth of the trench. They are very difficult to explain any other way. Sediments accumulating in the trench after the initial activity died down also tend to make the gravity anomaly appear greater than it would be if one attempted to explain a solid basalt slab. This is especially the case with the Puerto Rico trench, probably, which, from the thick sedimentary deposits overlaying it (Poldervaart, p266), must be very old. Perhaps it dates back to the volcanic activity associated with the Atlantic basin in late Triassic or early Jurassic.
The cooling also explains why the heat conduction through the surface is only half the value in the trenches as it is elsewhere in the Pacific (Fisher and Revelle). There is very little chance that there could be this narrow zone of consistent heat transfer if the crust were constantly diving down under the continent. There is no plausible way the crust could suddenly cool and then just as suddenly heat up again. This cooling may possibly also explain the saddlebacks [Schweller]. If these ancient, massive plumes of cooling water descend in one spot and rise further along in the trench, it is quite possible that the trench would be a little deeper over the descending plume. Deposition of dissolved minerals near the ascent could accentuate the height of the rises a little. Any correlation of hydrothermal minerals in lower strata with the rise would be circumstantial evidence in favor of this hypothesis.
If the water had flowed as deep as I have proposed, it is quite plausible that the asthenosphere could be cooled down eventually sufficiently that flow toward the trench of the asthenosphere magma would be largely blocked. However, it still is possible that some of the hot material which underlies the asthenosphere would be more fluid than the material adjacent, especially now that this underlying material had been relieved of much of the overlying weight by this huge gap in the earth. This deep material could thus start to move up toward the trench especially from the warmer landward side. Once a small amount had moved up, the pace could accelerate since this lower material of the mantle is probably as inherently unstable as the aesthenosphere. Since the Benioff zone slopes under the continent this hot material could rise vertically after awhile when it became liquid and thus create batholiths’ uplift of the adjacent continents and which sometimes break through as volcanoes. These vast batholiths would also possibly explain why the most severe earthquakes are landward of the trenches.Thus the volcanic action which is often seen on the landward side of the trench could be explained. Currently it is assumed that the Andes rose because motion of the Atlantic plate has squeezed the sedimentary strata and thus shortened it. However the Andes did not arise gradually, but did most of their rising about 9 million years ago, which is when the volcanism started [Garzione]. The tremors 35 kilometers under Japan which are thought to be movement of molten material would thus have an explanation [Obara]. It would be impossible to melt a diving slab sufficiently from friction with the over lying rock to account for this volcanism. Movement of faults under pressure never melt rock, even on the fault surface [Han]. The alleged plate makes a major motion measured in meters every 200 to 1500 years [McCaffrey], so a thin band of frictionally heated rock would dissipate its heat into the underlying cold slab and become too cool even if it occurred. It is difficult to envision molten magma breaking through a cold slab. The terrain, especially in the Andes, resembles more a landmass lifted up by a batholith than a diving slab, similar to the batholith under the Himalayas [Nelson 1996][Owens 1997]. There has been detected an uplift in the Andes independent of the presence of nearby volcanoes by satellites [Pritchard] which would seem to give support to a batholith [Yuan 2000] mechanism. The trench off of Sumatra has no associated ocean ridge. When there was a recent tectonic movement associated with a tsunami, the land landward of the trench rose varying amounts up to 2 meters and apparently with no indication of movement of the adjacent ocean floor [Briggs]. This has all the appearance of upward movement of the out fliers of a plastic batholith, not a diving slab. The land on the landward side of the trench moved toward the sea and did so locally and unevenly over the space of a few hundred miles. Rupture up to the trench is rare [Hsu]. This has all the appearance of an uplift from below, not the motion of a whole plate downward. The rise over the fore arc during the 2007 Solomon Island earthquake and tsunami also hints at an upward moving rock mass [Furlong]. Green, et al, believe there is seismic and other evidence that the alleged slab is dry below about 300 km in the Tonga-Kermedec “subduction” slab [Green], but they are unable to propose a plausible mechanism..
If the above hypothesis is correct, it explains much that is discordant with current theory. A sudden dip and then rise in heat loss on the trench bottom and a sudden change in gravity anomalies there are truly more than mysterious from a diving slab. The duplicate and tortuous trenches in the East Indies become credible. The failure of the grabens and horsts on the shoulder to parallel the trench becomes plausible. The earthquake pattern going straight down into the crust at the trench bottom is not consistent with a diving slab. They should be located on the shoulder where the alleged slab is bending. One might also ask, "where are the transform faults going out to sea where the trenches change direction?" How is it remotely possible for the sediments in the trench bottom to be undisturbed? Where, for instance, is the line of moving material where mud, clams, and dead fish are being swept under? Some of these slabs would have to move at 8 or 10 centimeters per year or more in order to take all the alleged ridge material from several ridges. There is no deposition of sediments or settlement that could conceal motion like that. Why are not the seamounts on the shoulders perpendicular to the dip of the surface (Bodine)? Why are there no seamounts scraped off at the trench bottom (statistically almost impossible)? If the trenches are from a diving slab it surely must be necessary for them to all either dive at once or for long deep transform faults to extend out to sea, neither of which seem to be happening.
Ridges are advanced as the source of the enormous amounts of rocks necessary for a diving slab. If ridges are the source, why are the earthquakes shallow in the longest ridge - ridge transform faults? Why is the ridge crust so thick at the centerline? A 5 or 10 kilometer plate moving out over the ocean floor is much more plausible (Weber 1981). There are numerous other anomalies that are either difficult or impossible to explain with a diving slab [Pratt].
If thermal shock is the mechanism initiating volcanism and ocean trenches, it would be desirable to postulate the possibility of cold ocean water. There is, indeed, somewhat of a correlation between volcanism and glacial ages. Movement back and forth of the Antarctic convergence could conceivably account for some Australian volcanoes. Inland seas are known to rise over low flat continental regions at times. Perhaps volcanoes associated with the Mediterranean resulted this way when the Straits of Gibraltar ruptured. The Bering Straight has probably been above water at times in the distant past (Mayr). I suspect that opening these straits to Arctic waters was the most likely cause of the trenches and Pacific volcanism in the northern hemiphere. So there is ample possibility for rapid temperature change in the past.
A blockage of the sun by debris from a large meteor impact at the close of the Cretaceous apparently could not have been a cause since the cold spell only lasted a few weeks according to botanical evidence (Wolfe). Apparently the formation of the trenches predates the close of the Cretaceous somewhat anyway. Its first initiation may go back to the volcanic activity of the western Pacific Ocean which took place before mid Cretaceous because rock at great depth has an extremely high viscosity. So, if so, the meteor could not be responsible for the trenches, either by cold water or by the shock of impact.
This hypothesis explains why there are lines of volcanoes far out in ocean reaches remote from other earth movements randomly aligned. It explains why there are no ocean trenches on the planets since there are no oceans. There are also no lines of volcanoes. It explains the fact that the trenches largely hug the shore as a rule, located where the coldest bottom water was most likely to first appear because the coriolis force would bring Arctic waters along the western Pacific in the north and along the western South American shore in the south where most of the trenches are. Possibly accentuating this might be a warmer mantle in this region because of migration laterally out from continental areas of heat from solar insolation and the greater heat generated by radioactivity under the continents and adjacent sediments.
If this hypothesis is correct there should be a fairly extensive deposit of hot water precipitates in the near vicinity of the higher parts of the saddlebacks somewhere around the 60 or 70 million years ago level or possibly earlier. One would think that there would be a noticeable change in seawater composition since these cooling waters with their mineral load would have been of widespread extent. Perhaps analysis of sediments and fossils at that time would show it, especially on the Pacific floor. Also, if the saddlebacks were caused by water descending and rising, one would suspect that there would be some difference in heat loss between the highs and the lows even in the present.
Explained also is the erratic 3 meter rise, erratic motion toward the sea landward of the trench during the Sumatran tsunami, and the erratic spectrum of earthquake locis along with absence of earthquakes near the trench [Subarya], while the ocean plate shows no motion.
One would expect volcanism to materialize where dry land in hot areas suddenly becomes flooded. If the volcanism in the Mediterranean can be correlated with the sudden flooding of that basin, it would be circumstantial evidence in support of this hypothesis. The massive lava flows on the Ontong-Java Plateau could have arisen this way because that plateau was dry land in early Cretaceous. The appearance of volcanic islands nearby as the Cretaceous continued would have had to get their material from under nearby regions. So resulting subsidence of the Ontong-Java plateau could have cooled it off suddenly when it therefore became flooded and thus account for the massive flows of lava. This then would have destroyed the vegetation there and thus hidden the angiosperm plants that I suspect originally evolved there.
If a major rupture did take place on dry land and there was very little water to rapidly block the asthenosphere, one would suspect that huge amounts of lava could flow out. This may well be what transpired in the case of the Columbia River and Deccan lava flows, although this last is so massive that it may have been caused by the antipode disruption of the crust at the antipode (opposite side of a sphere) by a comet or huge meteorite impact. Extensive use of geothermal energy on a large scale could prove to be dangerous because of cooling of the crust might cause volcanoes.
If a stainless steel cable were stretched across one of the trenches, perhaps anchored in a seamount at one end, it should be possible to demonstrate that the shoulders of the trench are not moving. A buoy anchored rigidly in place and accurately triangulated from land would furnish almost as good evidence. It would be worth doing even if this hypothesis were refuted as a way of creating a calibration reference to double check satellite measurements. If the satellite ranging measurements consistently show the continents across the Atlantic moving apart or together across the Pacific, it may be necessary to abandon this hypothesis. I find it difficult to believe that they can reliably show relative motion across a whole ocean. But if they do reliably do so, it will then become necessary to explain the peculiar nature and anomalies of the trenches (Weber 1959) and ridges (Weber, 1981). It should prove to be extremely difficult.
LINKs TO MARS GEOLOGY
---- The Canyons of Mars as Erosion by Rivers of Silicone Dust
----For a hypothesis that explains the large volcanoes of Mars and the bulges associated with them as the disruption from the antipode of a huge meteorite or comet impact, see this site.
---- GLOBAL WARMING
Climate warming as caused by denudation of soil and a discussion of energy policy.
SOME LINKS TO ASTROPHYSICAL HYPOTHESES:
---- The Cause of the Characteristics of Quasars
---- The Cause of the Cosmological Red Shift
----You may find useful a site
which gives abstracts of journal articles in the physical sciences.
---- This is a review by Marcia McNutt about current problems and thrusts of geology research
SOME INFORMATION ABOUT EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE CONTROL
Most of the damage to buildings in an earthquake is from side to side motion, because buildings are very strong against vertical forces. This is currently solved with isolator bearings successfully. I suspect that creating a concrete slab and then pouring a thick reinforced slab over it but isolating the two slabs with a layer of grease would be an inexpensive and fail safe alternative. A building built onto the second slab and made an integral part of its structure should, I suspect, have very little earthquake damage. That procedure probably would prove to be a practical way to retrofit existing buildings as well since the building could probably be isolated a hundred square feet at a time. You may see the design of existing devices being used or proposed in this site. A similar procedure involving single column sliding bearings has been developed.
There is information here about how to obtain a very comprehensive book called “POTASSIUM NUTRITION” and thus cure or prevent rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, gout, and high blood pressure and ameliorate diabetes.
Potassium Content of Food, a table: Potassium expressed in milligrams per Calorie.
Copper Nutrition: Nutrition and physiology of copper, especially relating to hemorrhoids, aneurysm, herniated discs, anemia, emphysema, and gray hair..
The Purpose of Cortisol: Cortisol is presented as an immune hormone used to defend against diarrhea.
Cashew Nuts to Cure Tooth Abscess: Anacardic acids in raw cashew nuts may cure tooth abscesses and possibly gram positive diseases such as acne, tuberculosis and leprosy.
There is evidence that cell phones can produce tumors. Using remote ear phones would seem to be a good idea.
Fluoride in city water will cause fluorosis discoloration of teeth, weakened bones, damage to the kidneys and immune system, thyroid gland damage, bone cancer and, worst of all, damage to the nerves resembling Alzheimer’s disease.
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Olive leaf extract has shown clinical evidence of effectiveness against a wide range of viruses, including AIDS [Bihari], herpes, and cold viruses. It sometimes produces a Herxheimer or pathogen die off symptoms (from effectiveness against bacteria?). There is evidence that it is synergistic (reinforce each other) with Naltrexone. There have been a few case histories of improvement in what were probably arthritis patients and CFIDS patients. The active ingredient is said to be oleuropein or enolate. There has been very little follow up research done on it.
Also it has been found that curcumin in turmeric or curry powder will inhibit several forms of cancer, including melanoma. People who live in India where these spices are eaten, have one tenth the cancer elsewhere.
Observations on Diabetes: Diabetes may be caused by a poison in food and maybe injection timing should be different.
Tetrathiomolybdate Copper Reduction Therapy as an Antiangiogenic Treatment for Lymphoma and Other Cancers.
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