Abstract

It is postulated that tectonic plate movements can be explained as a function of the unbalanced centripetal forces generated by the eccentricity of the centre of mass of a rotating unbalanced planetary body. Using this approach, the magnitude of the forces available to create and sustain tectonic movements, orogenic activity and the coefficient of friction at the crust / mantle interface are estimated. The magnitude and direction of these unbalanced centripetal forces also suggest that the currently accepted hypothesis of 'Slab Pull' by convection currents and 'Sea Floor Spreading' at ocean ridges by H Hess18 in 1962 as the driving forces for tectonic movement now have a passive rather than an active role in tectonic plate movements. To date 'inertial' or centripetal / centrifugal based forces have been considered as being negligible in the context of the forces associated with plate movements. It is now suggested that the complex circulatory system of mass convection currents within the mantle are an inevitable consequence of the continental movements by these unbalanced forces as distinct from being responsible for tectonic activity. In this context the term 'Continental Force–- Push' will be introduced into the vocabulary of tectonic movements.

The term 'Centripetal force' is understood to be the inward force on an object moving in a curved path.

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