Saturday, March 28, 2009

Discovery Graben, for Coriolis Rotation above Magma

Coriolis Effect and Spiraling Magma chambers shown on the surface maps

Summary for Laymen
This introduces a new concept for an understanding of the dynamics of the Earth.
In the northern hemisphere, anything in motion moves to the right
(oppositely in the southern hemisphere). When letting the water out of the bathtub, the water moves vertically downward, and then spirals counter-clockwise as it moves to the right under what is termed Coriolis force, by meteorologists. Those who have watched the development of Hurricanes on TV will have noticed that warm air evaporates from the Atlantic surface in the summertime, and then turns into a CCW-spiraling cell. For the more advanced storms (greater than 100 mph winds), there will develop an EYE which has sunny skies, light winds and no rain. The storm circulates around this eye. There is a vertical circulation also, since the upward movement of wet air has to continue after being stripped of its moisture through rain. This dryer air moves downward toward the ocean- creating the eye- since dry air is heavier. At the surface of the ocean, it picks up more moisture to return vertically again with rain outside the eye. In the process, the downward-moving dry air compresses and becomes hot, much like putting air in your tires (which heat noticeably as you inflate them).
Land masses move to the right also, under the same processes. The reason for the right-ward movement in the northern hemisphere, NH, is that the Equator moves the fastest of any other latitude velocity. A distance to the north the velocity is smaller, and that difference creates a slowing on the fartherest part of an object from the equator. This causes the object to slow on the north side- creating the tendency to move CCW in the NH (for rising entities).
Scientists have been aware of this rotation of everything in the world, but have considered it to be insignificant for landmasses. I have found that the effect is indeed small, but that when observed for vertically moving magma under volcanoes, the movement is on the order of 5 mm/year (a fifth of an inch, yearly). Living by volcanoes is rare, but I have found houses over these shear zones which have slabs that crack and rotate across the obvious openings in their concrete slabs.
The places where you might have observed these happenings include circular river valleys, road-cuts where parallel fracture patterns occur in the walls, large cracks in the soil near dynamic features- such as volcanoes and salt domes, and occurrence of hot springs.
Look at the photo above, which is a view of the earth from space, and notice a pattern of circular arrangement of streams and valleys. Then proceed to other PIX to find a similar occurrence of Coriolis cells- which are found throughout the globe. I have accumulated about 50 of these do far, and deem that the occurrence is so wide-spread that it accounts for features found on most of the landmass of the whole globe. Under the thin crust of the oceans, the effect results in shear (in straight lines) rather than rotation, and the simplest part of this concept must not be used there. It turns out that there is circulation of mass for land which has only a heated base- such as the Colorado Plateau, and this includes all landmass which is heated by radioactivity and friction from deep in the Earth. Read on!

This photo introduces the Graben which was helpful in finding that there is a cell of rotation under each exhibit of Crust which contains a magma chamber. The Magma spirals upward as it moves by bouyancy, and it creates a circle of shear on the Earth's surface. This shear circle moves at different rates, and for interfering sections (particularly, for this case where Crustal Thickness is greater crossing the Hurricane Fault- measured at 40 km or so, uphill) creates a graben for portions having a lag behind a faster-moving portion. Conversely, there is a monocline or compressional feagture created whenever the faster-moving portion shoves the slower-moving portion.
PIX above and below are by Google Earth, showing the view from space of the GRABEN above and to the east of Laverkin.

Graben Movements at the type section for the Discovery Shear Zone, for Coriolis Rotation above Hurricane Pleistocene Magma Chamber

Hiway 9- the road climbing from Laverkin to Virgin, Utah- has an excellent set of slickensides on both sides of a graben plunging to the north, which are shearing and rotating under the influence of two large movements:
1. The Colorado Plateau, CP, is rotating CCW (outside, the cooling and settleing vulcanism is rotating CW), as seen at the adjacent Hurricane fault, Hf; and
2. A cell of smaller rotation (15 miles or 25 km. in diameter) lies above a dying magma chamber- as evidenced by hot springs nearby and several volcanic cones in the town of Hurricane, nearby.
The graben lies parallel to Hf on the uphill side, and the incipience can be seen to the south of hiway 9. I interpret this obvious initiation of the graben to be due to the perpendicular shearing of Hf by the CW rotation of the northern boundary of the cell of rotation, and after considerable study of great thrust faults, I find that some small cells are counter-rotating- similar to small gears rotating oppositely to a larger gear which drives the smaller.This feature, being the type section for the discovery of the local Coriolis cell, will be documented in detail below:
This photo shows the start of the graben, about ½ km south of hiway 9, occurring in Kaibab, Pk, limestone on the west edge of CP:
Hiking into the graben amd looking north, one can see that the graben is truncated by a slump of Trm (Moenkopi red beds) which dips down to the west.

Trm obscures the west side of the graben, but the east side can be seen on the upper right. This scarp exhibits slickensides on the east wall of the graben. These slicks have slanting parallel lines of scratch- indicating a right lateral fault which has the top of the wall moving to the right (CW, for the small cell, CCW for the Colorado Plateau).

The photo shows that there is no graben, or even an indentation, 1 km to the south, and that it starts locally- plunging to the north, allowing excellent sets of slickensides to develop as the graben’s western scarp shows a slide down to the east.

Notice that the Pk limestone dip, fracture orientation, and slant to south of the striations are all different, and independant of each other. The stratigraphic dip is about 5 degrees, the plunge of the graben is greater than 5 degrees (bedding was generally dipping to the south, before the vulcnism commenced, so graben must dip greater than dip angle to exhibit this arrangement), the slanting lines on the slickensides (striations) are about 20 degrees from vertical, and the fracture orientation is parallel to Hf (N-S).
I interpret this to occur because of:
A. A sink (depression) occurs on the north side of the Virgin river at the Laverkin quarry;
B. The graben plunges toward the sink, which is under extension;
c. The west wall of the graben and Hf are rotating toward the north (right-lateral faulting);
D. Shear from the CW rotation of the Coriolis cell has cut the slump block (which occurred because of extension, also); and,
E. The whole rotation, shear, and movement of Hf, right-laterally, has opened an avenue for hiway 9 to descend the scarp (which is rarely found across the Hurricane cliffs).

Above photo shows the inclination of striations, which indicate that the wall moved to the right while the graben block was falling- this would be a right-lateral movement of Hf (CW for the upthrown block).
Discovery Graben, continued
The Hurricane fault and Rotation of the Crust in the area of the Virgin River and Ft. Pierce wash has been found to result in a monocline (compressional) on the south side of a local Coriolis cell and a graben (extensional) on the north side, in the vicinity of the Hurricane cliffs.
The photos from Google Earth and local scenes from digital photography are shown in the Summary, for March 20, 2009. These show that the Coriolis cell rotation rate is greater for the Colorado Plateau- which is on the east side of Hf, compared to that on the CP transition side. The reason is conjectured to be due to the thickness of the crust for the CP (40 km. or so), compared to the transition zone and the Basin and range, B&R (thinning to 25 km.).
The reason for the contrast of monocline and graben is due to rotation rate of the cell’s being dependent upon crustal thickness. Thicker crust results in faster shear rate, compared to the thin B&R crust, according to the force relation: F=ma.
Twice the crustal mass above the Asthenosphere results in twice the rotation rate. Hence, the thicker crust pushes against the slower-moving thinner crust and creates a compressional feature-the monocline.
Conversely, slower rate of rotation of the Coriolis cell near Laverkin, Utah lags the faster movement above Hf and creates a graben and the Laverkin Sink.

Below is a photo of the shear zone along the Virgin river. Geologists have a difficult time finding significant faulting displacement in these zones where the displacement is only a few inches for each shear circle. Over the few hundred meters where the rotation occurs (spread out over this flat presentation of Navajo ss. Jn), the total displanement is as much as hundreds of meters, but for each fracture, there is only a small amount of shear.

Solution to the problem of counter-rotation of cells
It was noticed that the volcanic circular cells rotating around the Grass Valley and Hackberry volcanic cones were reverse to the larger one of CP rotating CCW by Coriolis force. Since the normal rotation of all objects in the northern hemisphere is CCW for rising objects (such as low pressure storms), it is correct that CP is rotating CCW- to the right as it rises. However, the initial discovery cell rotation about the Grass Valley cones was CW. There is no doubt that this is the correct rotation, since slickensides were found which showed that the movement was horizontal, and a compression feature (monocline) was found on the south side of the rotation, indicating force from the east. Both of these features confirm that the rotation was CW, and further confirmation was noted for a graben forming on the north side- showing that there was extension to the north there. However, the puzzle remained- how did these cells show reverse behavior? The answer is now apparent: the small cell reacts, similarly to two gears which are intermeshed- the larger cell determines the rotation of the other. The CP is moving both the Grass Valley and Hackberry cells like two gears meshed together (the larger rotating the other).
This conclusion was made by analyzing the relation
of the Overton cell, spiraling around the change of angle (triple conjunction) found at the Overton Arm and conjunction of Muddy and Virgin rivers. These were all influenced by two regional thrust faults circling around the state of Nevada, particularly noted at the Valley of Fire Park. The Paleozoic scarp is moving eastward, relative to the Mesozoic rocks moving westward there. Between these two great movements there are several circular cells rotating CCW. The rotation direction is determined by the drag of the two great contravening thrusts- which rotates the rocks caught between the greater movements. It is now seen that one must be careful about determining direction of rotation, because the larger entity will dominate the smaller, and the rotation of the small cell will be opposite to that of the larger. The larger one must be determined first, and it appears that both CP and B&R are of similar magnitude and essentially equal to each other- but opposite in physical dynamics.
The next question is: can there be a larger entity than the CP and B&R, such that they are dominated by a larger continental dynamics? I will explore this feature, by looking at continents, since it now appears that the NA continent may be divided into two parts- east of the Mississippi River and vice versa. We have the New Madrid zone in the intersection and it has produced the most powerful earthquakes (however subjectively stated). It may be true that the eastern USA is dominated by a large cell produced in late Paleozoic times, before the Polar axis was re-oriented, and the western USA is dominated by the axis determined by the re-orientation after the KT strike.

Indeed, there is always a larger Entity- the work is never done! Further, we still have to determine whether there was another major strike or re-orientation of the Polar axis at the Oligocene time of about 41 m.y. (when the HI seamount chain was re-oriented).