Monday, April 16, 2007

Reduction of Equatorial Bulge, causing shrinkage, faulting

The Earth's decelerated rotation and regularities in orientation of its surface lineaments and faults
Lev A. Maslova, , and Vladimir A. Anokhinb,

aOtero Community College, La Junta, CO, USA
bAll-Russia Research Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the World Ocean, St. Petersburg, Russia

Received 2 July 2005; revised 23 August 2005; accepted 26 August 2005. Available online 14 November 2005.

The Earth's crust faults and lineaments group in clusters with predominant N–S and E–W (System I) and NW–SE and NE–SW (System II) directions. The earthquake epicenters of the Benioff seismofocal zones follow the same regularities. In other words, seismofocal zones (epicenters of earthquakes) constitute a part of the regular network of the Earth's crust and lithosphere faults and lineaments. Mathematical modeling of stress distribution in the lithosphere due to a change of the Earth's ellipsoid compression showed that the principal stresses σ1 and σ2 are oriented in N–S and E–W directions, while corresponding shear stresses τ are oriented in NE–SW and NW–SE directions. It is shown that the secular deceleration of the Earth's rotation can be a reasonable mechanism for the change of Earth's ellipsoid compression and, consequently, for the origin of the regular system of faults and lineaments described above.
Keywords: Earth's surface lineaments; Faults; Regularities; Rotation