According to a law of imperfection of elasticity (the modified Lomnitz law), creep at small stresses, under a constant applied stress, increases with time as tα (α = about 0.2). Use of this law makes it possible to avoid contradictions with actual observations as given by increases like log t or t. Moreover, the modified law also explains the damping of the 14-monthly nutation (Chandler wobble), the sharpness of transverse seismic waves at great distances, the moon's rotation, and the persistence of the moon's dynamic ellipiticities. However, the damping action of the modified Lomnitz law makes it impossible for convection to take place. Thus, continental drift—by convection, seafloor spreading, and/or plate tectonics—cannot occur. Appreciation by geologists of the significance of the modified Lomnitz law is essential if progress in geology and geophysics is to continue.
Figures & Tables
The general theme of this publication is the assessment and reassessment of various data, observations, and ideas about the earth as they relate to the concept that has come to be known as plate tectonics. Much widely scattered material was brought together for this publication, and its 24 papers contain an abundance of worldwide references that are important in studying plate tectonics.