EP303: The Earth-Expansion Model Part B -- Answers to A Hundred Puzzles
After 1995: The rise of CONCORE
Ben Franklin Centre for Theoretical Research
PO Box 27, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia.
The story so far
Part A of this article, The Earth-Expansion Model Part A -- The Death of Plate Tectonics , showed how the Earth-Expansion model developed up to about 1995 gave the best picture to date of our understanding of our planet's history. The evidence was overwhelming that the Earth has been greatly expanded over geological time,
But the new picture still left many questions hanging. In this article, Part B, we will examine the reason why the Earth is expanding, and the underlying mechanisms of this. We will also see how this underlying CONCORE model also explains a host of otherwise puzzling features of the Earth, and leads to a number of predictions which may be tested in the future.
But before going there, we should look at how and where the 1995 scenario has been improved and refined. The principal figure in this has been James Maxlow.
James Maxlow (b. 1949) is a retired professional geologist who has worked as a mining and exploration geologist throughout much of Australia . He studied at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia, researching Expansion Tectonics, and gained a MSc in 1995 and a PhD in 2002 with theses on this topic.
Fig. EP303-F1. James Maxlow. From .
The magnitude of achieving of a PhD on Earth Expansion should not be underestimated. Part of obtaining a PhD involves defending the thesis against the objections of an expert panel of dissenters, who have the obligation to put forward every possible objection. The fact that James' thesis was able to survive such an attack shows that the dissenters were unable to fault the logic and evidence of the thesis.
During his working life as a mining company geologist, James continued with developing evidence and demonstrations about Earth-Expansion. An important part of this was the creation of a series of globes of the Earth, at various stages of expansion.
Fig. EP303-F2. Some of James Maxlow's globes. From .
This work took the Earth models back to almost the beginning of Earth's history, at 4.5 billion years (Earth is currently reckoned to be about 4.7 billion years old). This compared with Klaus Vogel's models which went back to about 250 million years, a time when the modern continents had all been shaped. The models of Maxlow and Vogel were developed independently, but the two researchers were able to meet, and found that their results were essentially identical.
Fig. EP302-F3. Earth-Expansion models from Klaus Vogel and James Maxlow. From .
In Part A, it was pointed out how the magnetic signatures in crustal rocks enabled the former positions of the North and South Magnetic Poles to be located with respect to current continental masses, providing an additional vector for their re-alignment. James has been able to show that the Earth-Expansion paradigm gives a better account of these re-alignments than the old Fixed-Earth concept.
For me, fellow West-Australian James Maxlow represents a valued colleague. At a Tree Crops Conference in 2001, James was able to combine his global models with my data in a paper How Earth Expansion Gave Us Our Tree Resources . This showed how the locations of tree families could be traced back to their former positions on a smaller Earth.
Fig. EP303-F4. Shift of plant species locations with expansion, in the South Pacific Ocean. From .
There is a wealth of information available, in print and on the Net, completely evidencing Earth-Expansion, for those who care to look. James Maxlow's website at http://www.jamesmaxlow.com/ is a great starting point. James also has two published books, On the Origin of Continents and Oceans: A Paradigm Shift in Understanding , and Terra non Firma Earth  for those who want evidence in print. He has also put on line an extensive (14-part) video lecture, the first part referenced in .
Sadly, much of the world continues unwilling to look at this huge body of evidence, sticking with erroneous concepts such as Plate Tectonics, still appearing in school texts and documentary videos. One notable exception is a brief chapter, An Expanding Earth?, in the 1985 Hutchison Encyclopedia of the Earth . This presents the conventional picture, but also offers an alternative one. Here are some excerpts from .
"... the arguments in favor of an expanding Earth are extensive. ... expansion enthusiasts can point to a number of simple phenomena which apparently defy explanation by plate tectonics alone. ... Antarctica ... is almost completely surrounded by active oceanic ridges, and so newly-created lithosphere is constantly spreading towards it. But where does the lithosphere go? It is not being subducted because ... there are no subduction zones around Antarctica".
Now, on to the latest stuff -- why is the Earth Expanding?
It is a curious fact that the key to understanding why the Earth is expanding lies in observations about stars. In particular, Neutron Stars.
In 1934, the brilliant Swiss-American astrophysicist Fritz Zwicky, born in Bulgaria, and his colleague Walter Baade, proposed the existence of what was called a neutron star -- a star made up entirely of neutrons . This was only one year after the neutron itself was discovered, in 1933. They proposed that a neutron star is formed in a supernova.
Fig. EP303-F5. Fritz Zwicky. From .
This is the same Fritz Zwicky who put forward fundamental views on red-shifting of light and on dark matter. Baade and Zwicky also proposed at that time that the release of the gravitational binding energy of the neutron stars powers the supernova.
Neutron stars are extremely dense, essentially consisting of one of the components of atomic nuclei, without the enclosing electron shells. Here is an extract from the Wikipedia article on neutron stars .
"A neutron star is a type of massive star, composed almost entirely of neutrons, which are subatomic particles without electrical charge and with slightly larger mass than protons. A typical neutron star has a mass between about 1 and 2 solar masses, with a corresponding radius of about 12 km. In contrast, the Sun's radius is about 60,000 times that. Neutron stars have overall densities which compare with the approximate density of an atomic nucleus. This density is approximately equivalent to the mass of a Boeing 747 compressed to the size of a small grain of sand, or the human population condensed to the size of a sugar cube".
Where Neutron Stars come from
Stars don't remain the same throughout their lives, instead they follow a cycle from birth to death. The details of any of these cycles depend on the initial mass which the star gains as it aggregates from matter in interstellar space. High-mass stars evolve more rapidly than low-mass stars. The very heaviest stars go from birth to death in a few million years, comparable to the total time that man-like creatures have been on Earth.
Fig. EP303-F6. Evolution of stars according to their masses. From .
Somewhere towards the end of its life as a "normal" star, every star suffers an Explosion Phase, which blows off part of its mass into space, and leaves part behind as a "Relic". There are three possibilities.
When lower-mass stars, of up to about 3 solar masses (3 times the mass of our Sun) explode, the thrown-off material forms what's called a Planetary Nebula. If the Relic part left behind has less than about 1.4 solar masses, it forms a White Dwarf, a rapidly-rotating mass which no longer has the ability to generate light by hydrogen fusion, but still draws on its rotational energy to emit light.
The Explosion Phase of larger-mass stars is called a Supernova, another term due to Fritz Zwicky. Supernovas also blow off a large part of their mass, leaving a Relic heavier than 1.4 solar masses. If the Relic is heavier than 2.2 solar masses, it forms a Black Hole . If between 1.4 and 2.2 solar masses, it forms a Neutron Star. Both of these rotate extremely rapidly.
So in summary, Neutron Stars are formed when stars within a certain mass range go through their Explosion Phase, leaving behind an extremely dense Relic mass consisting almost entirely of neutrons.
There is more detail on this at UG101: Recycling the Universe: Neutron Stars, Black Holes, and the Science of Stuff .
Where the Neutrons in Neutron Stars come from
Part of what's gone before is fairly new, but the overall picture given above is generally accepted, and not usually in dispute among astrophysicists. Now we can put forward a small extension to the above, one which, while reasonable, is not yet part of the established position.
This extension is the assumption that the neutrons in a Neutron Star were already existing at the core of the star before it underwent its Explosion Phase. This is reasonable, we will see below that these neutrons represent a truly enormous store of energy; they could not have been formed somehow during the Explosion Phase processes.
It is generally accepted that all fairly massive celestial objects (from stars, down through planets, to asteroids) were formed in various gravitational aggregation processes. It is not an unreasonable further leap to suggest that when such an aggregated body reaches a certain mass, gravitational pressures at its core will be sufficient to compress some of its matter to neutrons. This is the basis of the CONCORE model (COmpressed Neutrons at CORE) which we will use to answer many outstanding questions about the Earth.
This is a relatively new model, and the lower mass limit at which core neutron formation begins has not yet been well-defined, but we will see that is likely to be rather less than the mass of Mars. Mars has a mass of 6.42 x 1023 kilograms, about one-tenth that of Earth.
The Concore Model of planet and star interiors
We need a few definitions here. The process of compressed neutron formation in an aggregating body when it reaches a certain threshold mass will be called the Concore Implosion.
The minimum mass level at which Concore Implosion commences will be called the Concore Threshold. The value of this new quantity is yet to find more precise determination, but my initial estimate is about 5 x 1023 kilograms.
Below we will see how the extremely slow decay on neutrons at the Cores of bodies appears responsible for Earth Expansion and many other features of celestial bodies.
The process by which Core neutrons decay over time will be called Concore Decay. Concore Decay appears to be the cause of Earth-Expansion.
There is more detail on the Concore model at XT807: The Concore Model of planet and star interiors .
How Neutron decay generates expansion and energy flow
The Concore Model described in  goes into more detail about the basics of atomic structure. Basically, an atom has a tiny dense nucleus containing protons and neutrons, surrounded by a large, diffuse cloud of light electrons.
Fig. EP303-F7. Atomic structures. From .
Hydrogen is the simplest atom, it has only a single proton at its nucleus, with no neutrons, and only a single electron in its cloud. All other elements include one or more neutrons at their core, and two or more protons.
In a non-radioactive atom, neutrons within the nucleus are stable, but free neutrons, separate particles such as may be emitted from a radioactive atom, are not. Once free, they decay (break down) into a proton and an electron, plus an energy packet which is usually called a neutrino. Free neutrons have a half-life of about 10 minutes 11 seconds.
The free proton will combine with an electron, creating a new hydrogen atom. So a neutron can turn into a hydrogen atom plus a bit of energy. This is standard science, and is not at all controversial. But it carries an implication which is seldom remarked upon.
A hydrogen atom is enormously greater in size than a neutron. The diameter of a hydrogen atom is about 1.06 x 10-10 metres , while that of a neutron is about 1.60 x 10-15 m . That means that their radii are in the ratio of 66,250 to 1, and their volumes in the ratio of 66,250 cubed, 2.875 x 1014, or almost 300 million million.
Fig. EP303-F8. Decay of a neutron within a radioactive atom, and decay of a free neutron. From .
The core neutrons in the Concore model will be almost completely suppressed from decay by virtue of their position. But a tiny fraction of them, particularly those at the outer boundary of the Core, may decay into hydrogen atoms. In doing so, they will increase enormously in volume. It is this mechanism which appears responsible for Earth Expansion and and its consequent after-effects.
To put it into another perspective, it has been calculated that if all the mass of the Earth was in the form of the compressed neutrons making up a neutron star, the planet would be only 366 metres in diameter. The very slow decay of just a fraction of these compressed neutrons would be ample to swell up the planet to its present size.
Structure of the Earth
Analysis of earthquake waves has given us a picture of how the Earth is structured. Conventionally, there are 4 superimposed layers, with a very dense Core at the centre, the Mesolayer above this, then the Mantle, and finally the surface Crust.
Fig. EP303-F9. The Heartfire Model of the structure of the Earth. From .
The fact such divisions exist is reasonably well established, but the actual nature of the layers involved is not. There is more detail on the history and evaluation of our planet's structure in Inside The Earth -- The Heartfire Model .
The somewhat ancient table below, also from , shows some details about the Earth's structure. The break-up into different layers is still believed to be in the positions indicated, and estimated densities and temperatures are still thought approximately correct. But compositions and states are no longer reliable, and modern nomenclature is rather different.
Fig. EP303-F10. Traditional view of properties of layers of the Earth from surface to centre. From .
Working from the Heartfire Model picture above, the innermost portion, the Core, is the part which is rich in compressed neutrons. It is a sphere, its current radius is believed to be about 1220 km. The Concore Model (COmpressed Neutrons at CORE) does not at present make it clear whether the compressed neutrons are actually all together in a smaller core, or whether they are distributed throughout a 1220 km radius core.
Concore views the Core as being relatively inactive, except that at its boundary with the Mesolayer immediately above, some of the compressed neutrons are slowly breaking down into hydrogen atoms. In contrast, the Mesolayer (formerly called the Outer Core), is a place of intense nuclear activity. It is at the inner junction of the Mesolayer where expansion is first being expressed. It is also the place where elements, including heavy elements, are being built.
The idea that the nuclei of elements are being formed and re-formed within the Mesolayer is a radical departure from the conventional view. Helium, Carbon, and Oxygen are undoubtedly being made from Hydrogen within stars, and sometimes heavier elements, but the limit for star-based fusion is Iron (Fe), about half-way up the periodic table. The old theory for the creation of heavier elements, such as Uranium, is that they were made in supernova explosions. When closely examined, that theory is just untenable -- if Earth's matter was gathered together from random supernova explosions, how come none of its atoms are older than a specific age, about 3.8 billion years?
The Element Kitchen -- The Cauldron of Hell
Fig. EP303-F11. The Element Kitchen -- The Cauldron of Hell. From .
In atomic laboratories on Earth, a common method of transmuting elements is to bombard them with neutrons. It makes sense that it is at the lower part of the Mesolayer, in contact with the upper part of the neutron-rich core, that the newly-formed hydrogen will be bombarded with neutrons and slowly built up into heavier elements.
In theory it would be possible to test this idea by continually bombarding a container of hydrogen with neutrons, and seeing what element mix resulted, but there would be huge practical difficulties. The container would need to be under enormous pressure -- in the real Mesolayer, the immense compactive forces, comparable to those in an atomic nucleus, might be able to prevent decay of the neutrons.
Nor need it be a one-way process. As heavier and heavier elements are being built up, they will be fissioning into lighter elements and giving off neutrons and other particles. The lower part of the Mesolayer will be a boiling cauldron of activity, with continual building-up and breaking-down of the nuclei of elements. The final mix will ultimately be determined by thermodynamics, as a consequence of nuclear binding energies and the enormous pressures under which the reactions are taking place.
Fig. EP303-F12. Average Binding Energy per Nucleon. From .
The most stable elements, in a neutron-flux world, will be those with the highest binding energies. It would seem that the outcome of continual bombardment with neutrons could result in a predominance, in some part of the Mesolayer, of a zone especially rich in Fe-Ni-Co, the iron-nickel-cobalt isotopes which sit at the top of the stability curve.
We cannot physically examine the make-up of the Earth's Mesolayer. But later on, when we look at meteorites, it will be seen that meteorites may be from the break-up of a former planet which once orbited between Mars and Jupiter, and the huge variety found in meteorites may be because they came from different zones of the planet, including from its Mesolayer.
There is more detail on element formation in XT804: Heavy Elements are made in Planets, not Stars .
Expansion in the Mesolayer -- the action zone
Clearly, such an expansion of matter within the Mesolayer, by much more than a million million times, must have a huge effect on the Earth layers above it. Above it was speculated that the Mesolayer is a boiling cauldron, wracked by expansion and energy-release forces. There would be no reason to suppose it is uniform and heterogenous -- we will return to this point when we look at meteorites.
Higher parts of the Mesolayer will need to contort and continually re-adjust to accommodate the expansion occurring below. In the table above, under the older name of Outer Core, the state of the Mesolayer is described as "liquid". It would be more accurate to say that seismic measurements suggest that it has the behaviour of a liquid.
Matter constrained under very high pressures and temperatures may exist as what is called a "Supercritical Fluid", with properties quite unlike those of the same matter under more everyday pressures and temperatures. For the moment, let us assume that the Mesolayer a Supercritical Fluid, within which chemical and nuclear reactions may be occurring, in some parts very actively. We can go on now to look to the next higher layer, the Mantle.
The Mantle -- familiar basalt rock?
The transition from the Mesolayer to the Mantle above it is a point of abrupt change in density -- from 10.0 right down to 5.5. Called the Gutenburg Discontinuity, in the present model it is the place where the troubled, chaotic matter of the Mesolayer gives way to a more familiar rock material, basalt. Although still subject to slow squeezing and solid flow, the Mantle material may have settled down to be of relatively uniform composition. While the density of basalt at the Earth's surface is 2.8-3.0 g/cm3 , it is quite feasible for it to become denser through crystal-structure rearrangement at high enough pressure, to reach a density of 5.5.
A reason for assuming that the Mantle has the composition of basalt, rather than any other rock, is that all the new rock appearing at mid-ocean ridges is basalt. It is commonly called MORB, for Mid-Ocean Ridge Basalt. It is quite uniform in its exposures on the great ocean beds, but where a ridge comes up on land, as in Iceland, its composition may vary. According to , on Iceland it may show higher concentrations of incompatible trace elements, and is referred to as Enriched MORB.
It has been known for many years that the rocks of the deep ocean beds differ in kind from those on the continents. Continental rocks are a mixture of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Igneous rocks are formed when rock material is melted, sedimentary rocks are deposited or precipitated after the weathering and shifting of rock fragments, and metamorphic rocks are formed from igneous and sedimentary rocks when these are subjected to great pressure and heat, but not actually melted.
Apart from a thin layer of more recent fine material (Globigerina ooze), all the deep ocean-bed rocks are basalt, an igneous rock. The rocks of the continents were originally basalts, too, but they have been continually subjected to reworking over long geological times, to give us the uppermost layer of the Earth, the Crust.
The Crust -- reworked MORB
It is a result of these reworkings and more reworkings that the surface rocks of the Crust have come to differ greatly from one place to another. All the weathering, movement, local heating, dissolving, precipitation, and concentration processes which have occurred with the continental rocks have been responsible for the enormous variety of rocks and ores which today exist on the surface of the Earth. By and large, this huge variety is not found on our ocean floors, nor, as far as we know, on other planets and moons which have never had sufficient atmospheres or seas to allow weathering processes.
Referring back to the Heartfire Model image shown above, the Crust is described as "discontinuous reworked MORB". Strictly, the term "Crust" usually includes the top 10-50 km of the planet, including some sea-bed, but here we make a distinction between the part which has been subjected to reworking, and the part which has not.
How big was the Crust in past geological times?
Back in Part A of this article, The Death of Plate Tectonics, we showed how all the present continents covered the entire surface of a smaller Earth some 190 million years back, in Jurassic times. The current Earth-Expansion Model gives a good explanation of how this Jurassic Crust has been split apart and separated in the years since. But why did this splitting process take place at that specific time, what happened in earlier geological ages?
The answer is that the split was just the latest manifestation of a process which had been going on since the Earth's earliest days. James Maxlow's models shown above went right back to 4.5 billion years ago, only 200-300 million years after the Earth was first formed.
It is clear that even the early Earth was subject to the same sedimentation and reworking processes as go on today. Sedimentary rocks as old as 3.9 billion years are known. So the early Earth must have had water, must have had erosional processes and weathering, to sweep together and compact the rock particles which formed these sedimentary rocks.
Fig. EP303-F13. Earth's oldest sedimentary rock. From .
So it looks as if the surface of the early Earth was covered by sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks, just like the current continental rocks. As the Earth expanded, this surface was pulled apart, rather like pulling one rug out from under a pile of rugs. We don't know how thick the Crust at that time was, but it is possible that it was as thick as in modern times. It's also possible that the Crust's thickness was maintained as it took over and reworked underlying MORB.
So why did this surface-covering crust split apart in Jurassic times? Presumably, this was just the point where expansion had become great enough so that the Crust had been stretched so thin that it could no longer cover the underlying Mantle. On the Heartfire image, the Crust had become discontinuous. And as expansion continued in later ages, the original Crust, everywhere more than 200 million years old, became further and further separated on increasingly exposed Mantle.
This process of crustal thinning by pulling out material from under other parts is natural to the Earth-Expansion Model, but quite alien to the old idea of huge Tectonic Plates which are supposed somehow to maintain their shape and position as the Earth moves under them. Let go on to look at a somewhat different take on smaller parts of the Earth, here called terranes or domains, which can move in three dimensions, rather than the two dimensions of "Tectonic Plates".
Earth Terranes and Domains
Detailed examination of the continental masses shows that almost all are aggregates. You can find large bits sharing a common history, plus a mess of smaller bits, each with their own individual histories, stuck onto the larger bits. In Nuteeriat  I used the word "Domain" for these bits of any size.
In  I wrote "I will be using the general word "Domain" for areas of any size which have taken part in the Earth surface shifts described. This is on analogy with magnetic domains, the different magnetized areas of a magnetic material. These may be of any size, and if a large domain is split into a number of smaller parts, each of these is validly called a domain.
For larger domains, comparable in size to continents or the conventional tectonic plates, the form "megadomain" will be used. However, a megadomain means something rather different to either a continent or a tectonic plate. The word "continent" means a large, contiguous area of the Earth's surface which is above sea-level. We will see that none of the present continents is a simple megadomain, instead all are aggregations of one or more megadomains with a number of smaller parts".
So Rottnest Island, the "RI" in the Nuteeriat acronym, was treated as an individual domain, able to move independently. Geologists already had in use another term, "Terrane" for small domains aggregated onto the side of a larger (continental) domain. Here is an extract from  which gives a feel for terranes such as those on the northwest coast of north America.
"Geologists working in the western mountains of North America recognize groups of rocks with common backgrounds; for some of these the latitude at which they formed can be determined. Areas of rock with similar geological character and history that have subsequently been displaced are called terranes".
Fig. EP303-F14. About seven rock packages, called terranes, became attached (accreted) to ancestral North America. From .
"Many of these terranes are separated by faults (most are no longer active). Lateral slip has moved some terranes tens to hundreds of kilometres; other faults indicate thrusting of one terrane over another, or the juxtaposed rock types indicate that intervening oceanic crust was subducted as two terranes converged. The map shows the terranes currently recognized in northwestern BC, southwestern Yukon and adjacent Alaska.
The southern St Elias Mountains are underlain by the Alexander and Wrangellia terranes. They are bounded to the southwest by Chugach and Yakutat terranes which consist of younger seafloor sediments that have been pushed landward and subsequently uplifted. Beneath these are older rocks which may belong to other terranes.
Alexander terrane contains the oldest rocks in the southern St. Elias Mountains. It includes deformed sedimentary rocks with fossils akin to those now in the Canadian Arctic and Ural Mountains, as well as volcanic rocks that probably originated at the edge of a continent during the Cambrian period (about 500 million years ago). Separated from the parent continent by rifting or faulting, this fragment became surrounded by oceanic sedimentary rocks and volcanic islands about 310 million years ago.
Wrangellian fossils originated in a tropical sea; its equatorial latitude can be determined by the orientation of minute crystals of iron-rich minerals, which align like compass needles as the rock forms (paleomagnetism). Together with Alexander terrane, Wrangellia moved northward and collided with westward-moving North America about 150 million years ago (Jurassic period)".
There is more detail on Domains and Terranes in How The Earth Fell Apart [NU005] .
How Expansion actually shows up on the Earth's surface
If the Earth is undergoing expansion from processes deep in the Mesolayer, it may well be asked why the effects show up quite differently at different parts of the Earth's surface. Some surface features are quite unsymmetrical -- the Pacific Ocean covers about a third of the planet's surface. It was all created gradually during the last 200 million years, and is now the deepest of the oceans.
So why have surface features, such as ocean trenches and mid-ocean ridges, appeared where they have? What appears to happen, is that once a crack has opened up in the surface, as with an Ocean Trench, this creates a weakness or imbalance of forces such that a further widening is likely.
Fig. EP303-F15. Schematic of varying-height surface masses above an expanding parasolid interior. From .
Consider the schematic above, obviously highly diagrammatic, of a symmetrical expanding planetary Core underlying an irregular Crust.
If the question was asked as to where, on this figure, the surface would next be split open by expansion forces, the intuitive answer would probably be at A and B, where the land overlay is thinnest. A mathematical analysis using rock mechanics might well confirm this intuition.
This answer gives some reason for why most of the deepest ocean trenches and mid-ocean ridges (remember these ridges lie within canyons some 1.6 km deep) appear in the Pacific Ocean, already the deepest of the oceans. Essentially, the lower the elevation of the surface section, the more liable it is to experience rifting caused by expansion.
Creation of mountains
The formation of mountains, "Orogeny" in the jargon, is still commonly beset by misconceptions. Standard texts will tell you that mountains are created when tectonic plates collide, or move over and under each other. The Himalayas are usually attributed to the collision of the Indian Peninsular, moving up from the south to hit the main Asian landmass. But standard texts don't tell you what actually causes mountains to rise.
There are kernels of truth among the pudding of mountain-building science, but these are trapped within a dubious matrix. There are two main factors operating in mountain-building, one of which is well-established, while the other is simply not recognized.
The most clearly-defined mountains are the large ranges like the Andes, the Rockies, and the Himalayas, each of which stretch for many hundreds of kilometres. These are familiar features on any physical map of the World.
Fig. EP303-F16. World Physical Map. From .
There are also the parallels of these ranges within the oceans, the Mid-Ocean Ridges. These are less familiar to most. Here is a bit about Mid-Ocean Ridges, from [28[.
"The mid-ocean ridge is a continuous range of undersea volcanic mountains that encircles the globe almost entirely underwater. It is a central feature of seafloor terrain that is more varied and more spectacular than almost anything found on dry land, and includes a collection of volcanic ridges, rifts, fault zones, and other geologic features.
At nearly 60,000 kilometers long, the mid-ocean is the longest mountain range on Earth. It formed and evolves as a result of spreading in Earth's lithosphere -- the crust and upper mantle -- at the divergent boundaries between tectonic plates. The vast majority of volcanic activity on the planet occurs along the mid-ocean ridge, and it is the place where the crust of the Earth is born. The material that erupts at spreading centers along the mid-ocean ridge is primarily basalt, the most common rock on Earth.
Because this spreading occurs on a sphere, the rate separation along the mid-ocean ridge varies around the globe. In places where spreading is fastest (more than 80 millimeters per year), the ridge has relatively gentle topography and is roughly dome-shaped in cross-section as a result of the many layers of lava that build up over time. At slow- and ultra-slow spreading centers, the ridge is much more rugged, and spreading is dominated more by tectonic processes rather than volcanism".
Fig. EP303-F17. Bathymetric image of the East Pacific Rise, a mid-oceanic ridge located along the floor of the Pacific Ocean. From .
Both the land and the ocean types of range are formed, not by collision, but by twisting and sliding of the edges of two domains (two parts of the Earth's surface), one against the other. It is a type of frictional movement. As the Earth expands, the whole surface has to move to accommodate the new material and the changes in curvature involved.
"Uplift" of mountains
If you google "What causes the uplift of mountains?", you just won't get a straight answer. Almost all the responses will only say that it is due to the collision, subduction, and over-sliding of tectonic plates.
This is quite wrong. And the real surprise, is that mountains are not uplifted at all. Instead, they are just left behind as the rest of the surface around it sinks down.
Like the army platoon sergeant who calls out "Two volunteers, one pace forward!" and catches the two at the front who did not think to take one pace backward, mountains are what is left sticking up, after other bits of land around them have sunk down around them. An indication of this can be gained from the Tibetan Plateau on the World Physical Map above -- it is stuck in the middle of large land masses, which prevent it from slumping down and protect it from loss of elevation due to the rug-pulling effect.
How big is the actual effect, is it big enough to account for observed effects? First, it has to be realized that the elevations of mountains, their heights above sea-level, are measured relative to that somewhat elusive quantity, "Sea-level". This measurement is described as elusive because the levels of the seas relative to different shores varies quite a lot in different places. This is because the effects of expansion, as we have seen above, are not expressed equally over all shorelines.
Moreover, in stark contrast to some prevailing views, average sea-levels over the planet are actually falling, not rising. This can be shown unequivocally -- see, for example, The Rising Sealevel Myth -- Proofs that ocean levels are falling, not rising . The details won't be gone into here. But if you know someone who insists that sea-levels are rising, see how they do on answering questions like the following.
1. If sea-levels are rising around the globe, can you name a specific place where this can be seen?
2. Why are places actually at sea-level, such as the buildings of Venice, or the lagoon stilt-houses of the Maldives, not concerned?
3. Around the World there are many instances of "Raised Beaches", clearly the remains of former beaches now well above sea-level. How were they formed?
4. Former seaports such as Ephesus in Turkey, Romney in England, or Ur in Iraq, are now up to 250 km inland. How could this happen?
Examples of Raised Beaches can be found at considerable heights above current sea-levels, particular around the Pacific Rim. In  it notes that along the coasts of South America, marine terraces are present, showing the highest and most rapid rates of uplift. At Cape Laundi, Sumba Island, Indonesia, an ancient patch of reef can be found at 475 m above sea level, and coral marine terraces at Huon Peninsula, New Guinea extend over 80 km and rise over 600 m above present sea levels.
There is further detail on changing sea-levels in The Rising Sealevel Myth -- Proofs that ocean levels are falling, not rising (countering a new and expensive misconception about the Earth) .
Erosion and slumping of elevated areas
If a rocky surface is exposed to the atmosphere by the lowering of sea-level, it becomes liable to a range of weathering and erosional forces which work to reduce its height. Whether above or below sea-level, it is exposed to equilibration or slumping, by which rock is deformed by its own weight under gravity. Rocks do actually flow, although at an extremely slow rate.
There are many instances to be found where erosion acts on a level rock surface, cutting it away at its softer points and leaving table-like formations, sometimes still horizontal. In the Americas, these may be called Mesas, elsewhere they may be described as table mountains.
Fig. EP303-F18. Mesas. From .
Erosion by falling rain, flowing water, wind scouring, and frost action may continue to cut away at a rock formation as long as it is above sea-level. Erosion beneath the sea's surface, as by turbidity currents, is rare -- sea-beds are generally the recipients of new sediments, occasionally of chemical deposition.
Rock formations at higher elevations are most liable to lose material by gravity. Erosion and gravity will gradually wear down a mountain range, at a rate of a few millimetres or more a year -- mountain ranges are not eternal, but may last perhaps tens of millions of years or so. If they were originally horizontal, their remains may still show this horizontality, as with the Bungle-Bungle Ranges of Western Australia.
Fig. EP303-F19. The sandstone formation of the Bungle Bungle ranges is estimated to be 350 million years old. From .
Even very old mountains may retain their horizontality as erosion continues, as shown in the picture below of part of the Rocky Mountains in Arizona. The lowest deposits are Cambrian rocks, almost 600 million years old. The picture well illustrates the concept of the slow deposition of strata, laid down (horizontally) over long ages (about 300 million years), which were then exposed to atmospheric weathering as the surrounding areas sank around them.
Fig. EP303-F20. Paleozoic-age rocks are exposed in the Grand Wash Cliffs in eastern Lake Mead National Recreation Area. From .
While many other mechanisms for "uplift" of mountain ranges have been suggested, these are scarcely able to account for the history of a situation like that at Grand Wash.
On the local scale, rock formations are subject to avalanches and slides which reduce their heights. Earthquakes may promote such avalanches.
Fig. EP303-F21. Rock avalanches and slides. From .
On the larger scale, rocks are also subject to slumping, flowing under their own weight. This flow may be very gradual, dependent on their constitution and environment, but is a significant effect over long periods and larger rock masses. Viewed at a global level, with expansion-origin ocean trenches opening up, and mountain ranges slumping down towards lower levels, the process may be called equilibration.
Equilibration and slumping will occur whether mountains are above or below sea-level. Gravity acts to reduce the heights of mountains, which themselves exist because the effects of Earth-Expansion on the Crust are not uniformly expressed over the whole surface of the planet.
Long-term falls in Sea-level
It will be apparent that average long-term sea-levels ought to be falling, simply because Earth-Expansion means more or less the same amount of water has to be spread over a greater area of the Earth's surface. Since we know the rate of expansion, we can try to calculate the rate of fall.
Such a calculation was attempted earlier in How Seafloor Spreading affects the level of oceans and seas: The Expansion Equilibration Model . Here are some extracts from .
"On average, any great circle drawn around the Earth will encounter two mid-ocean ridges, each expanding at 1-20 cm per year. For purposes of calculation, assume a single ridge extends right round the Earth, and its average expansion is 10 cm per year.
Let's do a rough calculation on how this expansion will affect the average level of the oceans. According to published figures, the world ocean has an area of about 361 million sq km, an average depth of about 3,730 m, and a total volume of about 1,347,000,000 cu km.
The seafloor expansion at the Earth's surface will be just one sign of the expansion of the Earth itself. If the surface expands by a strip 10 cm wide, in a great circle strip once round the Earth, the volume gained is equivalent to a wedge 40,000 km long (circumference of the Earth), 6370 km deep (radius of the Earth) and 10 cm wide."
Fig. EP303-F22. Calculating fall in ocean due to expansion. From .
"Multiplying these three figures out, and remembering that the result must be halved because the wedge has a triangular cross-section, with 10 cm equal to 0.0001 km, gives a volume change of 12,740 cu km. Withdrawing this much water from an ocean surface of area 361 million square km would make it drop by 0.3529 x 10-4 km, or just over 35 mm.
Of course this calculation is very approximate, and subject to many assumptions which are far from rigidly defined, but it does give some sort of basis for further examination and refinement. The actual calculation above gives too high a value, because the base of the wedge is not 40,000 km long, but tapers to a point. Nevertheless, the bulk of the volume concerned is near the surface, where the wedge base is still quite long."
As mentioned, the result given, of a drop of 35 mm per year due to Earth-Expansion, is too high, although it may be of the right order. The figure is very sensitive to the mid-ocean expansion rates, of 1 to 20 cm/year -- the calculation figure of 10 cm/year may well be too high. In addition, the calculation assumes that the opening-up all occurs in the oceans, which is only approximately so.
A major factor presumably subtracting from this 35 mm figure is the general slumping of the higher parts of the crust towards the lower levels. Working from the other direction, the observed drops in sea-level at former ports around the world during historical times, the real figure may be closer to 5-10 mm per year.
Ocean Trenches are one of the most striking features of the Earth's surface. But if you google What causes ocean trenches to form?, you will only get explanations like "Trenches are formed by subduction, a geophysical process in which two or more of Earth's tectonic plates converge and the older, denser plate is pushed beneath the lighter plate and deep into the mantle."
We already saw, in Part A, that subduction is not a real process. In any event, it is ludicrous to suggest that pushing one rock layer against another will form a deep hole between them. In the Earth-Expansion Model, ocean trenches are a completely natural effect of pulling apart the Earth's surface as expansion takes place under it.
Let's look at some of the physics of what's going on, first with a diagram of a mountain range paralleling a shoreline, out from which an ocean trench is forming -- an example of where this is occurring, is the southern coast of Alaska.
Fig. EP303-F23. Schematic of mountain range and ocean trench. From .
Slumping and erosion will cause the elevated parts, particularly the mountain, to move down under gravity towards the ocean trench. We can say that the high parts contain potential energy, by virtue of their elevation, which can be released by the movement of material downwards.
From this viewpoint, if the ocean trench opens up more, it increases the amount of potential energy available for release, because the difference in elevation has become greater. Without wishing to labour the point unduly, it is this aspect of Earth Expansion which represents the main outcome at the surface, of the expansion going on within the Mesolayer far below.
Let's look now at a real example of an ocean trench, the deepest known -- the Mariana Trench off the Philippines. We can use a technique available to everyone with access to the Web, using features of the Google Earth application. The following image is a snap of the area, as shown by Google Earth.
Fig. EP303-Fn24. Mariana Trench cross-section marked from Google Earth. From .
One of the most useful aspects of Google Earth, is that when you hover the cursor over a spot, at the bottom of the frame it tells you the elevation (or, under the sea, the depression) of the spot hovered over. If you select a line over which you'd like to make a cross-section, you can then check the elevation at regular intervals along the line, and plot these elevations on a graph. Such a cross-section is as shown following.
Fig. EP303-F25. Mariana Trench cross-section and data. From .
The graph allows a good visual grasp of the situation at such an ocean trench. On the left is the higher ground of the continental shelf. As the ground is being pulled away to the right, the trench is gradually opening up. Immediately on the landward side of the trench, there is a small "ledge", rather lower than the peak height, about the same elevation as the ground being pulled away to the right (the seaward side).
What can be expected to happen with this situation in the future? The trench will continue to open up, until at some point the balance of forces will cause further deepening to stop, and instead of a V-shaped trench, the receding right-hand block will leave a more level opening, what geologists call a graben -- a lower flat strip. This is just how the continental shelves were formed, first as a lower layer between continents, which then split apart as a trench formed between them. This trench then widened and a new level of activity began within it. It's a stepwise process.
A visually obvious example of this stepwise process can be seen with the bed of the Arctic Ocean, as shown on the beautiful National Geographic map depicted below.
Fig. EP303-F26. Bed of the Arctic Ocean showing hingeing. From .
On this map, the surrounding continents are shown in browns and tans, with eastern Russia on the left, arcing over to northern Scandinavia on the right. On the bottom left is Alaska, linking up with the northern islands of Canada, and with Greenland -- all the ice-cover is removed, showing that Greenland is hollow.
Prominently depicted is the large roughly triangular area where sea-floor expansion is actively taking place, its apex pointing towards the bottom left. Immediately below this is the block of Canadian islands and Greenland, which makes a virtually perfect match with the active zone, but which has been hinged down, with the hinge at the triangle apex.
On the right, between Greenland and Norway, is a second active sea-floor spreading zone. The only reasonable interpretation of the mapped situation is that Expansion has caused the Greenland block to pull away from its former situation closer to Siberia, exposing the active zone in which seafloor spreading is occurring -- in fact, Expansion is the cause of the sea-floor spreading.
The ridges in the triangular active zone define precisely the directions in which pulling has taken place. The map also clearly shows that before the expansion phase which created the triangle, the sea-bed between the continents was roughly level, and it is the current expansion phase which has split this sea-bed apart to create what are viewed now as continental shelves.
So ocean trenches are just an initial movement in the opening-up of a sea-bed, to be followed, as expansion proceeds, with a new step-down into a new lower level. Details of the timing and extents of these movements, all over the world, can be followed from a map of the ages of different parts of the ocean beds, such as that shown in Part A of this article.
There's more on ocean trenches and their effects in Finally, the True Origin of Earthquakes? . But before leaving this topic, we should briefly look at one of the banners brandished by proponents of Plate Tectonics, concerning Benioff Zones.
The rock movements which we call earthquakes have what are called centres or focuses, points of most intense action, which lie at various depths below the surface. There is a real phenomenon in earthquake physics concerning action points of earthquake lines which occur parallel with onshore mountains and offshore trenches.
Fig. EP303-F27. Benioff Zones. From .
The image represents a cross-section across one of these lines of action points. It has been found that most of them fall in a zone, like a piece of carpet on a hillside, called a Benioff Zone. On the land section closest to a trench on the landward side, the action points lie fairly close to the surface, but as you move away towards the continental side, the earthquakes have deeper and deeper centres.
So the Benioff Zones are real, but they are nothing to do with Subduction. In the subduction theory, a layer of sea-bed lithosphere is being pushed down under a continent, and it is the sliding of this layer against the continental rock which creates earthquakes.
Once again, a ludicrous explanation. There is no explanation of where the subducted material ends up, or how it can push down as a distinct entity into the continental rock.
But the real killer to the subduction idea is an easily-checked physical measurement. Benioff Zones are a natural outcome of the Earth-Expansion Model, they just represent a slip zone where material is being dragged out from under a continent, as the seaward surface moves away from the continental surface -- what has been called the rug-pulling effect.
If the subduction idea was right, then the area of movement between the trench and the mountain would be under compression. If the Earth-Expansion Model is right, it would be under tension. It is under tension.
Earthquakes are perhaps the most feared aspect of the changes which the Earth is subjected to, and have been extensively studied since civilization began. An enormous body of data has been built up on the around 1 million detectable earthquakes which occur on Earth each year, but until now no wholly satisfactory mechanism for why they occur where they do has been available.
From the viewpoint of this article, earthquakes, and a number of milder modes of movement in the surface, are merely the mechanisms by which equilibration occurs, with the Earth accommodating itself to the continuing forces of expansion originating deep below.
These mechanisms are examined in Finally, the True Origin of Earthquakes? , where it is shown that, among other things, earth movements are due to the potential energy differences built up as parts of the surface undergo differential expansion. But the really big (and so far unanswered) question for the Earth sciences is, Where does the energy for earthquakes come from?
Where do Earthquakes get their energy?
If you google this question, you will not get any clear and satisfactory answers, but at least some have defined the problem. In  there is an analysis from which some extracts are as follows.
"You've all been around long enough to be familiar with the severe damage that earthquakes can cause, rattling and cracking the ground, shaking down buildings, and creating catastrophic tsunamis. In short, the largest ones that occur in the wrong places will cause billions of dollars worth of damage and will kill thousands of people.
As you may well imagine, the Earth is hardly the only world that is geologically active like this, spontaneously and naturally quaking. Other planets like Venus have quakes, the Moon has them, even stars like the Sun have quakes! Of course, all of these quakes release large amounts of energy. But what you might not realize is that all of that energy has to come from somewhere, and the naive explanation -- tectonic plates colliding -- simply won't do.
Plate tectonics tells you where earthquakes are most likely to occur, and the geophysics of the Earth's crust tells you the different types of faults that cause these quakes, but neither of these tells you where the energy for these quakes comes from. So where does an earthquake's energy come from?"
Let's try and get a better grasp of the position by looking at some estimates of the sizes of energy flows in the Earth's energy balance.
Fig. EP303-F28. Global and Earthquake energy flows. From .
In the table, energies are expressed in BL Units, where the average amount the Earth receives from the Sun each day is set at 1 million BLUs. Clearly this solar energy is the major source of our energy, totally dwarfing items such as the energy we get from fossil fuels, at 62 BLUs. And it's a measure of Man's presumptuousness, that variations in our total daily energy usage of 77 units can have any effect on the temperature of our planet, in the face of a 6-monthly variation of 70,000 units in the energy we get from the Sun (due to its elliptical orbit).
The energy flowing up from the planet below, at 213 units, is much more than anything we use. But the last figure in the table, 7110 units of energy release from the action of earthquakes, is the biggest non-solar item. And it has been going on for some billions of years.
There is nothing in the old science, such as energy from radioactive decay, or from tidal forces acting on the planet, which can account for an energy flow of this size. The concept of energy release from compressed-neutron decay, the Concore Model, does finally present an answer of the right magnitude.
The Holy Grail of seismologists, and others needing to deal with the effects of earthquakes on our civilizations, is to be able to predict where earthquakes will occur. Until now there has been little success in such a search.
The Earth-Expansion Model does give a new start to this search. Once the regular expansion of the Earth is recognized, the way is open to use well-established physics and rock mechanics to model and predict how and where Expansion will lead to surface effects. Considerable computing power will be needed, but nothing like as much as is used currently for weather prediction.
Earth's Internal Heat
In the energy-balance table above, it was noted that heat appears at the surface of our planet which has originated from below. At 213 BLUs, it is a significant source, one which keeps our planet at an average temperature several degrees above that expected for an object orbiting the Sun at our distance.
The technical term for this energy flow is Geothermal Flux. This flow is not uniform over the whole Earth, including at its ocean beds, and is highest where earth movements -- equilibration -- are occurring. Interestingly, this flux is quite low at ocean trenches, demonstrating that they are not the sites of most activity.
Fig. EP303-F29. A geothermal flux map for the United States. From .
The above map shows how geothermal flux varies in the United States. The units of heat flow in the scale on the right are in milliwatts per square metre, so the highest rate is only 0.15 Watts over a 1 x 1 metre square, and the lowest rate is one-tenth of that.
The map clearly shows how equilibration actions are expressed as energy releases. The flux is highest at elevated areas, where gravity is exploiting downward movement of rock particles via potential energy, and where earth movements are still active. Notice how, in California, the coastal strip immediately to west of the San Andreas Fault is being heated as it is dragged northwards relative to the mainland.
It's of interest to think about where this energy originates in the Earth, and in what manner it reaches up to the surface. The centre of the Earth is fairly hot, over 3000 deg C, but the geothermal flux does not originate there, so wild claims such as that there is a giant ball of uranium at the centre are immediately ruled out.
Fig. EP303-F30. Temperatures at depth within the Earth. Upper solid line: commonly quoted data; lower dashed line: typical temperature fall for linear conduction from a hot surface. From .
The graph shows (upper solid line) how temperatures vary as you go down in the Earth, calculated from studies of rates of movement of earthquake waves within the planet. This clearly demonstrates that the rate of heat release increases markedly towards the surface -- as you would expect if this heat is from earthquakes, which are most common near the surface, but get fewer and fewer in number with greater depth.
The lower, dashed line on the graph shows the sort of temperature change which would be expected if the geothermal heat was produced at the centre of the planet, clearly not the case.
Thermal Plumes are one of the three things which John Tuzo Wilson got completely wrong in the disastrous Tectonic Plate ideas he promulgated, as described in Part A of this article. His concept was used to explain how chains of volcanic islands were formed, such as the Hawaiian island chain.
Fig. EP303-F31. Hawaiian-Emperor hotspots. From .
Wilson explained these chains of islands as being due to tectonic plates passing over the top of hypothesized "Mantle Plumes" or "Hot Spots", points where a plume of hot rock was rising up from part of the Earth's Mantle, 3000 km below . He never explained what caused or powered these sources, or how they remained stationary while great plates passed over their heads.
The illustration above shows the current creation of islands in the Hawaiian Chain, starting with Hawaii itself on the west of the chain.
Moving westward along the chain, islands of increasing age are encountered, until you reach Daikakuji, which was created about 47 million years ago. The height above current sea-level of these islands also falls going westward, and most of the more distant ones are below sea-level, when they are called seamounts.
At Daikakuji the direction of the chain changes abruptly to a northerly direction, culminating near Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula with the Detroit Seamount, 80 million years old. While Wilson's explanation is clearly lacking in support or evidence, the island-chain phenomenon is real, and there must be a better explanation.
The formation of such island chains has an obvious explanation in the Earth-Expansion model. These high-points in the ocean beds are due to two adjacent domains scraping against each other, just as on land they formed ranges of mountains. Points of island formation were just the places where the two domains were under most compression, one against the other.
Fig. EP303-F32. Effects of displacement along a domain edge. From .
A visual grasp of the situation may be gained through the above sketch, which shows the slightly wavy division between adjacent domains, initially as at A. Suppose that Expansion forces are moving the right-hand side southward relative to the left-hand side.
Because the division is slightly wavy rather straight, the movement will give progressively rise to points of higher compression, as at x, y, and z, giving the appearance of a moving hot-spot. If the rocks involved were incompressible, gaps would open up at the positions marked 'o', but as they are not incompressible, instead the points of higher compression will crumple and form mounds.
Clearly the amount of frictional heat produced from such cubic-kilometre-sized crumpling and thrusting is immense in everyday terms, and fully sufficient to produce all sorts of geothermal effects, including melting to produce igneous rocks and heating to convert metamorphic ones. The pressures involved are also immense, sufficient to account for metamorphic processes usually attributed to deep burial in the Earth -- as, for example, diamond formation.
There is more detail on this in the predecessor to this article, Fixed-Earth and Expanding-Earth Theories: Time for a Paradigm Shift? .
Meteorites are rocky or stony bodies which fall onto the Earth from space. They range in size from dust-like particles, up through pebble and boulder sizes, right up to the very rare giant asteroid-size bodies maybe a few metres across, or even more.
Meteorites vary hugely in their compositions. According to , most meteorites fall into one of four categories.
1. "Iron meteorites", also called "irons", are usually just one big blob of iron-nickel (Fe-Ni) metal, as if it came from a industrial refinery without shaping. The alloy ranges from 5% to 62% nickel from meteorite to meteorite, with an average of 10% nickel. Cobalt averages about 0.5%, and other metals such as the platinum group metals, gallium, and germanium are dissolved in the Fe-Ni metal. (Fe is the chemical symbol for iron.) While most "irons" are pure or nearly pure metal, the technical definition of an "iron" includes metal meteorites with up to 30% mineral inclusions such as sulfides, metal oxides and silicates.
2. "Stony irons" consist of mixtures of Fe-Ni metal of between 30% and 70% along with mixtures of various silicates and other minerals. The Fe-Ni metal can be present as chunks, pebbles and granules. Stony irons resemble the outer cores or mantles of planetoids or else a mix of materials due to a collision.
3. "Achondrites" are silicate rich meteorites apparently formed by crustal igneous (i.e., molten or volcanic) activity in their parent bodies, and consist of a broad range of minerals. Achondrites are the result of gravitational differentiation in relatively large bodies by melting and gravitational separation of mineral phases, and most resemble the Earth's crust. Different types of achondrites average between 0 and 4% free Fe-Ni granules.
4. "Chondrites" are named after the tiny pellets of rock called "chondrules" embedded in them, a result of a kind of chemical fractionation unique to small bodies. If you were walking around in a field and saw a chondrite, it would be much more recognizable as being of non-terrestrial origin than the above achondrites.
Fig. EP303-F33. A chondritic meteorite. From .
Chondrites are of most interest here, as they are totally unlike any rocks known from Earth geology. Their nature and origin have been studied intensively. Derek Sears has published an excellent book on the subject, The Origin of Chondrules and Chondrites .
However, published studies have not been able to identity exactly how meteorites, and especially the strange chondrites such as that shown above, were formed. It is clear that they originated elsewhere in the Solar System, perhaps principally from the Asteroid Belt which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
But suggestions such as that their parent bodies accumulated from interplanetary dust, or from an original proto-planetary disc, just don't fit with the structures of chondrites, which have a big mix of different pieces, some up to a centimetre or so across. No process is known, in space or on the Earth's surface, which could produce such structures.
It has often been suggested that the Asteroid Belt originated from the break-up of a planet-sized body which once orbited the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. There doesn't seem to be any theory which gives a good explanation of why or how such a break-up occurred. We can get some additional information from studies of the ages of chondrites, such as this from Sears' book .
Fig. EP303-F34. The ages of L chondrites determined by the Ar-Ar method. From .
The graph shows the number of samples of a particular type of meteorite falling in a given age group. For many, there are one or two samples found, for example, on the extreme right, only one sample of age 4.2 billion years was found. The age of the entire Solar System is reckoned as about 4.7 billion years, so everything tested would have to be no older than that.
But on the left, there is a huge peak, of 14 samples, for the age of 0.5 billion years (500 million years -- rather less than the age when obvious multi-celled life first left fossils on Earth). According to Sears, this peak represents a time when a violent heating event occurred, which caused complete loss of argon and reset the potassium-argon clock.
Let us speculate on a possible explanation of the event which caused this peak. Prior to the event, a fair-sized planet, which we can call Asteron, was in orbit between Mars and Jupiter. Within it, in the Element Kitchen of its Mesolayer, elements were being cooked up just as we have suggested for Earth, and the planet was undergoing expansion as part of this process.
Then, half a billion years ago, Asteron had grown to sufficient size for Jupiter's massive gravitational power to rip it apart, perhaps after a long period of softening-up. Massive planets such as Jupiter only suffer competitors up to a certain size, beyond this they will be broken up or captured.
In this scenario, the great variety of types found in meteorites is simply because Asteron's Element Kitchen was shattered with much of its material still being cooked. Iron- and stone-rich types came from different area of the Mesolayer, the intricate chondrite structures were thrown out while still in one of their phases of formation. This does give a possible explanation of some of the most puzzling features of meteorites.
The Earth is slowing down
It's a little surprising to learn that the Earth's rotation is slowing down, that the average length of a day is increasing. Admittedly, it's only a tiny amount -- but it's enough that occasionally a "leap second" has to be added to our clocks.
In  it notes A leap second is a one-second adjustment that is occasionally applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to keep its time of day close to the mean solar time, or UT1. Without such a correction, time reckoned by Earth's rotation drifts away from atomic time because of irregularities in the Earth's rate of rotation. Since this system of correction was implemented in 1972, 27 leap seconds have been inserted, the most recent on December 31, 2016 at 23:59:60 UTC.
Fig. EP303-F35. Screenshot of the UTC clock from www.time.gov during the leap second on December 31, 2016. From .
In fact, back around 400 million years ago, the Earth had 400 days in each year . This has been determined by studying fossils of corals from that time, corals showing daily growth rings. Assuming that the Earth's orbit has not changed since then, it means that our planet has slowed its rotation down from the 400 times per year then, to the roughly 366 times now.
Fig. EP303-F36. A coral fossil from the Great Lakes region shows there were 400 days in one Earth year when this creature was alive. From .
In  it notes that many fossil corals found in Haldimand and Norfolk County date around 410 to 360 million years ago. It is a time geologically known as the Devonian Period, or the Age of Fishes. A partly submerged North America, or as yet to be formed Great Lakes Basin, was colliding with Europe close to the equator. Reef building environments began to develop and produce some of the largest reef complexes in the world.
The slowing-down in the Earth's rotation is attributed to the action of tidal forces, mostly from the gravitational attraction of the Moon. These include not only the ocean tides, but also "land tides", a squeezing motion which can vary the elevation of a piece of land by a metre.
However, some calculations have suggested that tidal forces are not great enough to fully explain the slowing. For a diversion which might explain the short-fall, we need next to look at ice skaters.
One of the few quantities in the physical Universe that are fundamentally conserved is angular momentum, which relates to rotating bodies . Angular momentum is the product of your rate of rotation (known as your angular velocity) and how your mass is distributed (known as moment of inertia).
Fig. EP303-F37. Ice skater. From .
Conservation of angular momentum applies to an ice-skater, spinning on the spot. If she builds up a spin with her arms extended, and then brings her arms in closer to her body, the re-distribution of her mass will mean that she will spin more quickly. Essentially, the angular momentum in her hands and arms (product of mass times wide-circle rotation speed) is transferred in towards her torso (same mass times small-circle speed), so her total angular momentum makes her rotation speed faster.
The little animated GIF shows how a real Russian skater, Natalia Kanounnikov, achieved a world-record spin of 308 rpm (revolutions per minute) using this technique.
Fig. EP303-F38. natalia-kanounnikov. From .
The same principle of conservation of angular momentum applies to an expanding Earth. As the same mass is pushed out further from the Centre, it must slow down the rotation of the total mass so that angular momentum is conserved.
Taking into account conservation of angular momentum may explain why the calculated Earth-slowing due to tidal friction is not great enough to explain the full situation. But the picture is somewhat complicated, for a couple of reasons.
First, unlike the ice-skater, the density of the outer and inner parts of the Earth are very different. Looking back at the Heartfire Model of the Earth shown earlier, the Crust and Upper Mantle, where most expansion is showing up, have a relatively low density of about 2.7 (gm/cm3), whereas the inner Core may be very much denser (the estimate is 13.6, but the real figure may be much greater, depending on how the compressed neutrons are distributed in the Core).
Secondly, the Core actually rotates a little faster than the surrounding Mesolayer. The inner core rotates in the same direction as the Earth and slightly faster, completing its once-a-day rotation about two-thirds of a second faster than the entire Earth .
Over the past 100 years, that extra speed has gained the Core a quarter-turn on the planet as a whole. Such motion is remarkably fast for geological movements -- some 100,000 times faster than the drift of continents . The findings came from measuring changes in the speed of earthquake-generated seismic waves that pass through the inner core.
Fig. EP303-F39. Scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have found that the Earth's inner core is rotating faster than the planet itself. From .
The Columbia scientists calculated that over a year, the inner core rotates about one longitudinal degree more than the Earth's mantle and crust. The inner core makes a complete revolution, inside the Earth, in about 400 years.
The Earth's Atmospheres
During past geological ages, the atmosphere of the Earth has undergone huge changes in all of its aspects -- its density, composition, and depth among others. These fundamental changes in the atmosphere have been accompanied by major changes in the life-forms which have existed within it.
A very significant factor has been the density of the atmosphere in earlier times, when the planet was much smaller. Many factors combine to produce a hugely denser atmosphere on a smaller planet. Some are purely physical -- on a half-radius Earth, the surface area would be a quarter of now, and the surface gravity, with the same mass, would be four times that now.
So a preliminary figure for the atmospheric pressure on Earth, 200 million years ago, would be 16 atmospheres. We'll look at factors which could raise or lower this figure shortly, but living in a 16 times denser atmosphere would be very much different to now.
In particular, this applies to flying creatures. Flying in such a dense atmosphere would be more akin to swimming in a thin liquid, as the upthrust according to Archimedes' Principle is so much higher. Living creatures tend to evolve to exploit the limits of their environments, and it has been a puzzle to explain how extinct flying creatures could have had wingspans so much greater than any found in modern times.
Fig. EP303-F40. Wingspans of modern and extinct flying creatures. From .
At present the creature with the greatest wingspan on Earth is the wandering albatross, coming in at 3.5 metres . Going back 25 million years into the past, there then existed a bird, Pelagornis sandersi, with a wingspan of 6.4 metres. Its first fossils -- a skull plus some wing and leg bones--were found in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1983 .
Move back further to about 68 million years ago, and at that time there existed the flying reptile Quetzalcoatlus northropi, perhaps the largest pterosaur, with a wingspan of up to 11 metres. The first Quetzalcoatlus fossils were discovered in Texas, United States, from the Maastrichtian Javelina Formation, at Big Bend National Park .
Stephen Hurrell, in his book Dinosaurs and the Expanding Earth , has examined how such large creatures could have existed in the past. His conclusion was that the gravity under which they existed was much less than now, which he accounted for by assuming that the Earth's mass in the past was very much less than now.
It can be seen that Stephen Hurrell was right, in a way, in that the effective gravity was much less -- reduced by the upthrust of the much denser atmosphere -- but with the Earth-Expansion Model, there is no need to assume that the mass of the Earth has changed.
There are other indicators that the density of the atmosphere was much, much greater in Earth's past. Fossils of amber are known with air inclusions pressured at 10 atmospheres. I think it is very likely that 200 million years ago, the Earth was shrouded with perpetual clouds, as is the case today with the planet Venus, which has an atmosphere 90 times as dense as ours, mostly carbon dioxide.
As with Venus, the temperature variation under this cloud shroud would be minimal anywhere on the planet's surface. This explains the occurrence of dinosaur fossils found in Victoria, Australia, with very large eyes, at a site located near to the then South Pole. They would have lived under temperate, low-light conditions.
The preliminary figure of 16 atmospheres pressure for 200 million years ago could need significant adjustment. The higher surface gravity would mean the escape velocity would be much less, so that less atmosphere was lost to space compared to now. On Earth, a significant geological event affecting the atmosphere in the last 200 million years was the withdrawal of immense amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, especially in the Cretaceous Era (cretaceous = chalk = calcium carbonate).
There is more detail on this matter in The Earth's Atmosphere [NU011] .
Water on The Earth
The topic of the amount of water on the Earth is an interesting and involved one, especially in the light of Earth-Expansion. The main interest points include where water came from, and how much of it there was on Earth in past ages. The latter, together with the area of the planet's surface at a given time, has a major effect on the presumed sea-level.
Where did our water come from? There have been many suggestions. Impact of giant ice comets or asteroids in the past has been suggested. Emanation of aqueous gases from volcanos is a possibility. But the real truth seems to be, that water is within all the Mantle and Mesolayer substances, and was formed there in the Mesolayer Element Kitchen.
Fig. EP303-F41. The Kola Superdeep Borehole superstructure. From .
What do we know first-hand about the rocks beneath us? Actual bore-hole drilling studies have taken us less than 13 km down into the Crust. The most important of these to date has been the Kola Superdeep Borehole, a scientific drilling project of the Soviet Union in the Pechengsky District, on the Kola Peninsula, in the Russian northwest. Following are some extracts from the Wikipedia article on the Kola Borehole .
"The project attempted to drill as deep as possible into the Earth's crust. Drilling began on 24 May 1970. Boreholes were drilled by branching from a central hole. The deepest reached 12,262 metres in 1989, and still is the deepest artificial point on Earth. The borehole is 23 cm in diameter.
The Kola borehole penetrated about a third of the way through the Baltic continental crust, estimated to be around 35 kilometres deep, reaching Archaean rocks at the bottom. The stated areas of study were the deep structure of the Baltic Shield; seismic discontinuities and the thermal regime in the Earth's crust; the physical and chemical composition of the deep crust and the transition from upper to lower crust; lithospheric geophysics; and to create and develop technologies for deep geophysical study.
To scientists, one of the more fascinating findings to emerge from this well is that no transition from granite to basalt was found at the depth of about 7 km, where the velocity of seismic waves has a discontinuity. Instead the change in the seismic wave velocity is caused by a metamorphic transition in the granite rock.
In addition, the rock at that depth had been thoroughly fractured and was saturated with water, which was surprising. This water, unlike surface water, must have come from deep-crust minerals and had been unable to reach the surface because of a layer of impermeable rock. Another unexpected discovery was a large quantity of hydrogen gas. The mud that flowed out of the hole was described as 'boiling' with hydrogen".
Older theories of how the Earth developed would find it difficult to explain where all the water and free hydrogen came from. But with the Concore Model, with its Element Kitchen in the Mesolayer, this is only what might be expected -- the Element Kitchen was working on hydrogen, and water is the most stable oxide of hydrogen, taken up with whatever oxygen was available.
When it comes to considering how deep was the layer of water on earlier, smaller Earths, it is clear that as Expansion exposed more and more MORB, the reworking process was releasing large quantities of water from this MORB.
The current average depth of the deep oceans is about 3.5 km. On a half-size Earth 200 million years ago, with a quarter of the surface area, it is clear that all this deep-ocean water had yet to be released from the upper Mantle. Certainly the Earth at that time had much flowing water and seas, but the seas appeared to have been relatively shallow and near to land, judging from the nature of the deposits being left.
This article is essentially about the Earth, but the Concore Model at its base applies to all larger objects in space. So it is no surprise that the Moon may have a water-rich interior. According to , researchers have for the first time detected widespread water within ancient explosive volcanic deposits on the moon, suggesting that its interior contains substantial amounts of indigenous water. Similarly, it seems likely that Mars, and even Mercury, will hold much water beneath their surfaces.
The Earth's magnetic field
The Earth possesses an appreciable magnetic field, now known to be a very useful asset, as it deflects big quantities of charged particles carried by the solar wind away from the surface.The effects of the magnetic field were noted as long ago as around 200 BC by Chinese fortune tellers, who used primitive compasses made with lodestone to align their fortune-telling apparatus . By AD 800-1000, the Chinese were using compasses as navigation aids -- an accomplishment that did not appear in Europe until the 1500s.
Fig. EP303-F42. Magnetic and geographic poles of the Earth. From .
What causes the magnetic field of the Earth? It might be thought that this was a simple question, settled long ago, but that is not the case. A common answer, however one not able to stand up to scrutiny, is that the Earth's magnetism is due to swirling liquid iron at its core. In fact, iron loses its magnetic properties at temperatures much less than those at the Core, so this can not be the cause.
The real answer appears to be that the Earth's magnetic field is created by the compressed neutrons rotating at the Core -- the Concore Model. While the mechanism by which this happens is not yet explained, let us kick the concept round a bit and see what circumstantial evidence exists.
First, look at the planets and larger moons. It has been possible to measure their magnetic fields quite accurately. A table in  gives values for planetary magnetic fields, among other parameters.
As a measuring point, the strength of Earth's magnetic field is set to 1. Then the values for Jupiter are 19519, for Saturn 578, for Uranus 47.9, and for Neptune 27.0. All these planets rotate relatively quickly. The magnetic field values are what might be expected if they depended on these planets' Concore sizes -- Jupiter's would be expected to be huge, Saturn next, and so on.
The magnetic field / Concore sizes also accord well with what is know about these planets' internal heating. For Jupiter it is quite high -- Jupiter actually receives more heat from its interior than it does from the Sun's radiation, although this is mostly because Jupiter is a long way from the Sun.
The inner planets, Mercury and Venus, have tiny or zero magnetic fields. Because of its mass, about 90% that of Earth, Venus would be expected to have a significant-size Concore. However, Venus rotates very slowly -- its year is shorter than its day -- and so would not be expected to generate a significant magnetic field.
The most interesting case is that of Mars. which currently has no perceptible magnetic field. It has been suggested earlier that Mars started off with a relatively small Concore, which it used up completely in its first billion years. And evidence has been found that Mars' early rocks did in fact appear to have been laid down within a magnetic field.
Finally, look again at neutron stars, known to consist of huge masses of neutrons rotating extremely rapidly. All neutron stars have huge magnetic fields, starting at 108 that of Earth, 100 million times, and going much higher .
In  it also says The origins of the strong magnetic field are as yet unclear. One hypothesis is that of "flux freezing", or conservation of the original magnetic flux takes place during the formation of the neutron star. For Jupiter and the other giant planets, the hypothesis has been that the magnetic fields come from "metallic hydrogen at the rotating cores" -- clearly nothing to do with liquid iron cores. How much simpler to assume their Concores as its origin.
I am not the only one to suggest that the planets have very dense cores which are the origins of their magnetic fields. Vedat Shehu has said  The magnetic field of planets is evidence of the core kernel activity. In fact, presence of the magnetic field in planets is an indicator of core kernel transformation. The very intensive magnetic field of the outer giant planets points directly to the large and the intensive transformation of the core kernel.
Rock and Mineral Deposits on the Earth
The Earth-Expansion Model gives us a framework upon which to hang interpretations of various events in our planet's history (and a possible framework with which to interpret the histories of other planets also). The results of all such events are written in the surface rocks and minerals, which are amenable to a range of tests.
This is not the place to present a detailed study of our rocks and minerals, but we can note a few turning points and crossroads in the Earth's history, and see how detailed studies done in past times fit in with the Earth-Expansion framework. We can also make side comments as to how these factors might play out on the other planets.
According to the model, the Earth and other larger objects in space started off as spherical aggregations of matter which included, at their centres, a dense Core or Concore which consisted partly or wholly of Compacted Neutrons (the Implosion Phase of Concore Formation). At the outside of this Concore, slow decay of some of the outermost neutrons to form hydrogen atoms would be expected.
At this outside zone, an incipient Mesolayer would be forming. This would include an Element Kitchen, within which some of the hydrogen would be converted into heavier elements, mostly by neutron addition. Gradually an atmosphere containing most of the volatile gases would be built up outside the Mesolayer.
The story from then on would depend on how far the planet was from the Sun (and hence its temperature), and how massive it was (and hence its escape velocity). The major planets from Jupiter outwards would be cool enough, and have large enough escape velocities, to retain almost all of their hydrogen and all other gases in their atmospheres.
Mercury would be too hot, and too small, to retain much atmosphere. Venus would be hot enough to lose most of its gases lighter than carbon dioxide. Earth and Mars would be at the right distances to retain much of their water, condensing as liquid water.
This marks a major branch point for a planet. Earth has enough mass and is at a cool enough temperature to maintain liquid water as seas and rivers. We saw earlier that sedimentary rocks as old 3.9 billion years are known on Earth, this is less than a billion years into its history. We can assume that from fairly early on, Earth has has seas and liquid water at all times, and so was able to form sedimentary rocks. Most of the Earth's land surface is topped with sedimentary rocks, and this is a major difference with all other planets and moons we know at present, except for Mars.
The next major turning point was the evolution of life, which has had a major effect on our rocks. This is seen with rocks called Banded Iron Formations or BIFs, such as are found in many parts of the world, but especially in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, where they are the basis of a major iron-ore industry.
Fig. EP303-F43. Banded iron formation, Karijini National Park, Western Australia. From .
Here are some extracts from the Wikipedia article about BIFs .
"Banded iron formations (also known as banded ironstone formations or BIFs) are distinctive units of sedimentary rock that are almost always of Precambrian age. A typical BIF consists of repeated, thin layers (a few millimeters to a few centimeters in thickness) of silver to black iron oxides, either magnetite (Fe3O4) or hematite (Fe2O3), alternating with bands of iron-poor shales and cherts, often red in color, of similar thickness, and containing microbands (sub-millimeter) of iron oxides.
Some of the oldest known rock formations, formed over 3,700 million years ago, include banded iron layers. Banded layers rich in iron were mostly deposited between 2,400 and 1,900 mya (million years ago).
The formations are abundant around the time of the great oxygenation event, 2,400 million years ago (mya), and become less common after 1,800 mya. [In these BIFs] the red layers were laid down during the daylight hours when Archaean photosynthesizing cyanobacteria produced oxygen that immediately reacted with dissolved iron compounds in the water, to form insoluble iron oxide (rust). The white layers are sediments that settled during the night when there was no oxygen in the water.
The conventional concept is that the banded iron layers were formed in sea water as the result of oxygen released by photosynthetic cyanobacteria. The oxygen then combined with dissolved iron in Earth's oceans to form insoluble iron oxides, which precipitated out, forming a thin layer on the ocean floor, which may have been anoxic mud (forming shale and chert). Each band is similar to a varve, to the extent that the banding is assumed to result from cyclic variations in available oxygen.
It is assumed that initially the Earth started with vast amounts of iron and nickel dissolved in the world's acidic seas. As photosynthetic organisms generated oxygen, the available iron in the Earth's oceans precipitated out as iron oxides".
So the BIFs are an immediate consequence of the development of life, in the form of single-celled bacteria which became able to extract the energy to grow and reproduce by oxidising dissolved Ferrous salts to the Ferric forms (Fe++ to Fe+++).
The usual scenario for formation of sedimentary rocks is that a river carrying a load of sediment reaches its mouth, where it empties into a sea. As the river stream slows down on entering the sea, it progressively drops its sediment load.
So, closest to the shore, the coarsest particles are dropped. These are usually sand particles. The sediment layer may build up and become consolidated, forming a sandstone. Next, silt particles fall, and may form siltstones or shales, then the finest particles settle, perhaps well out to sea. They may yield clays or mudstones. The settling particles become sorted by size, sometimes by density.
This scenario requires surface water flow and a larger water reservoir, but not life. But the formation of limestones always involves life, though not necessarily at the deposition stages. So Mars, which once had water, can have sandstones, but not limestones. While shelly limestones are built up directly from the shells of water creatures, most limestones are formed by precipitation of calcium salts in seas, and often distant from shores.
The usual precipitation route is from the addition of carbon dioxide to dissolved calcium bicarbonate to form insoluble calcium carbonate. The CO2 and the bicarbonate may not be directly from a life-form, but further back they will have been part of a living creature. Earlier, it was mentioned how a huge amount of carbon was taken out the atmosphere by life during the Cretaceous Period, eventually being deposited as a form of limestone.
There was another huge earlier period of extraction of carbon from the atmosphere during the Carboniferous (= carbon-bearing) Period. This was the time when huge deposits of Coal, essentially the decay products of plants, were laid down. Later came more carbon extraction to form petroleum and natural gas deposits. The story of these deposits is dealt with in The Origins Of Fossil Fuel (NU013) .
Igneous rocks are essentially formed when pre-existing rocks or mixtures of rocks are melted, usually through friction at domain edges as parts of the Earth's surface move relative to one another. They are therefore the normal products of re-working of the Crust, and as the initial rock sources may be very varied, so also may igneous rocks vary greatly in composition and nature.
Many deposits of precious metals and valuable minerals may be the products of step-wise, repeated injection of heat from tiny earthquakes -- we know that a million or more of these happen on Earth each year. The mechanism parallels an industrial process called Zone Refining, which can be used to purify or differentiate the contents of a substance.
Fig. EP303-F44. Zone refining applied to a silicon crystal. From .
In Zone Refining, a ring of heat is applied to a bar of substance, partially melting it at the ring, and the ring zone is moved relative to the bar. At the partly-melted section, some impurities will dissolve and recrystallize out at the cooler end of the zone. The heating can be applied many times, each time sweeping more of an impurity or wanted chemical towards one end of the bar. The set-up may be horizontal or vertical, and either the bar or the heat source may be moved.
There are many other natural forces which can lead to the concentration of desired metal ores, or formation of gemstones, or separation out of heavy components as in formation of rare-earth metal deposits. There is more on this at Geoprospecting and Mineral Riches [NU014] .
Seeing Patterns -- A Personal Note
For most of my life, I have had the ability, the compulsion, the gift, the curse, of seeing patterns in the things I come up against. Having reflected upon that which is above, that which is below, that which is before, and that which is after, then it would seem that the Talmud would not rate my prospects high.
Out of these recognized patterns have come many propositions, models, comments, and articles about the world in which we live. In the present case, there are two major patterns noted which differ markedly from most of what has gone before. Both of these lie within what has been called the Earth-Expansion Model.
The first is the Concore Model, according to which all larger discrete bodies in space (planets and stars) formed by gravitational aggregation of matter, in a process which gave them Cores containing Compressed Neutrons. Meaning neutrons not within an atomic nucleus, but constrained from immediate decay by the immense pressures of their surroundings.
The second is the Element Kitchen, according to which the rocks and substances of our planets were not formed outside them, but within -- at the Element Kitchen, a region of their Mesolayer lying between their Core and their Mantle. In this churning environment, the nuclei of atoms were and are being built up and broken down from hydrogen and the simpler elements, under the flux of neutrons from within. In this process, the outer layer of the Core loses neutrons by decay into Hydrogen atoms, and the enormous expansion involved is the cause of Expansion of the Earth and other large planets.
These two suggestions will not be accepted easily, as they differ greatly from the conventional wisdom. But they should be treated as with all models -- ask, do they they give the best explanation to date of the observed data? If not, where can they be improved? Should they be replaced by a better, later model?
The final comment may be left to Albert Einstein.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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