from the bull,-quakes-are-due-to-god's-rage dept.
New models that show how the continents were assembled are providing fresh insights into the history of the Earth and will help provide a better understanding of natural hazards like earthquakes and volcanoes.
"We looked at the current knowledge of the configuration of plate boundary zones and the past construction of the continental crust," said Dr. Derrick Hasterok, Lecturer, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Adelaide who led the team that produced the new models.
"The continents were assembled a few pieces at a time, a bit like a jigsaw, but each time the puzzle was finished it was cut up and reorganized to produce a new picture. Our study helps illuminate the various components so geologists can piece together the previous images.
"We found that plate boundary zones account for nearly 16 percent of the Earth's crust and an even higher proportion, 27 percent, of continents."
[...] "The biggest changes to the plate model have been in western North America, which often has the boundary with the Pacific Plate drawn as the San Andreas and Queen Charlotte Faults. But the newly delineated boundary is much wider, approximately 1500 km, than the previously drawn narrow zone.
Derrick Hasterok, Jacqueline A. Halpin et al, New Maps of Global Geological Provinces and Tectonic Plates, Earth-Science Reviews, Volume 231, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.104069