Tektonika płyt - dyskusje i implikacje (cz. I)

Ryszard Dadlez

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PLATE TECTONICS - DISCUSSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS (PART I)

Summary
This is a review of some selected trends in the historical development of the new global tectonics and their implications. Revolutionary character of this hypothesis as a new paradigm has been claimed by its adherents. It seems to be confirmed by the wide acceptance in the community of the Earth scientists. However, the arguments of the antagonists should also be taken into consideration. In the first part of the paper the following commonly known basic foundations of the new global tectonics are briefly summarized: sea-floor spreading hypothesis, significance of linear magnetic anomalies fits of continents, time-scale of geomagnetic reversals, concept of transform faults and plate tectonics hypothesis. Then the principal objections put forward by the opponents to the new ideas are enumerated. These are based mainly upon the works of A. A. Meyerhoff (30-37), R. van Bemmelen (4), J. M. Sheynmann (54), A. Mantura (25, 26), P. Wesson (60, 61), H. G. Wunderlich (65) and V. V. Beloussov (1-3). Some general aspects of these objections and discussions are stressed: controversy between ,,geophysical" and "geological" points of view, contradictions between global model and regional data, poor correlation between oceanic and continental geology, stacking of hypotheses on tops of other hypotheses, subjective selection of facts supporting the new ideas and rejection of embarrassing ones. Criticism may be either constructive or destructive. Discussion are often hasty and not complete. Some of principal objections to the new hypotheses have been answered, some others have not. Nevertheless, the views of opponents play their positive role forcing the adherents to justify their arguments thoroughly and focusing the scientific efforts on the most disputable problems. Both the complexity of nature and the scarcity of information on the multifarious processes forming the face of the Earth may be responsible for the divergencies between the first, simplified model and the geological reality. It is quite possible that several other tectogenetic agents, apart from plate tectonics, were being active in the long history of the Earth's evolution. Second part of this paper, dealing with the implications of plate tectonics, will be published in the next issue.

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