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Lomnitz Law Versus Elasticoviscous Controversy1

Paul S. Wesson
Paul S. Wesson
St. John’s College, Cambridge, England.
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January 01, 1974


Two opposing viewpoints exist concerning the an elasticity of the mantle. One viewpoint (the largest by far) maintains that convection is possible, whereas the other viewpoint maintains that it is not.

After the relevant data were reviewed with the object of reconciliation, it was concluded that plate tectonics and convection may be implausible and that, although the lower mantle is nonconvective, it is overlain by an irregularly convecting region in which the elasticoviscous law may dominate. The lower mantle is inferred to obey a Lomnitz-type law, in which the decreasing rate of creep with time is associated with grain growth in a material already having a large grain size.

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AAPG Memoir

Plate Tectonics—Assessments and Reassessments

Charles F. Kahle
Charles F. Kahle
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 1974




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