Science Matters: Serendip
A weekly feature (begun December 2004), supported by the
Bryn Mawr College Center for Science in Society,
current news in the area of science and culture, and relevant materials
January 14, 2005
forum for continuing discussion | Archives
"Deadly and Yet Necessary, Quakes Renew the Planet"
They approach the topic gingerly, wary of sounding callous, aware that the
geology they admire has just caused a staggering loss of life. Even so, scientists
argue that in the very long view, the global process behind great earthquakes
is quite advantageous for life on earth - especially human life.
Powerful jolts like the one that sent killer waves racing across the Indian
Ocean on Dec. 26 are inevitable side effects of the constant recycling of planetary
crust, which produces a lush, habitable planet. Some experts refer to the regular
blows - hundreds a day - as the planet's heartbeat.
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"You can no more win a war than you can win
an earthquake." ~
The 2005 Indian Ocean tsunami as a starting point for a story of story-telling.
Information for Plate Tectonics
The story of Plate Tectonics is a fascinating
story of continents drifting majestically from place to
place breaking apart, colliding, and grinding against each
other; of terrestrial mountain ranges rising up like rumples
in rugs being pushed together; of oceans opening and closing
and undersea mountain chains girdling the planet like seams
on a baseball; of violent earthquakes and fiery volcanoes.
Plate Tectonics describes the intricate design of a complex,
living planet in a state of dynamic flux.
These pages have been created
by Selene Platt in consultation
with Paul Grobstein.
Please submit suggestions for other topics to explore in "Science Matters" to Selene