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Thread: Plate tectonics without any water.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    169

    Plate tectonics without any water.

    I read on an article that plate tectonics might be possible on a super Earth without the need on any body of water. Would this be true or does it sound like a fantasy?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,708
    Gotta link to the article? We're high and dry without it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    3,272
    It might be possible if the core was hot enough, and the crust thin enough. Like John said, help to have the article.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    3,464
    While a lubricant other than water seems unlikely, possibly it occurs frequently in other solar systems. Neil

  5. #5
    Water is instrumental in the process of partial melting, which is a critical mechanism in forming continental crust. Could it be possible? Maybe, but another mechanism would be required.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    5,675
    You might not need a body of water...a moderately hot super-Earth with a atmosphere rich in water vapor might hydrate enough surface rock. Trapped hydrogen from a hydrogen-rich atmosphere might lead to temporary formation of water in deep rock if the equilibrium points of the involved reactions shift around just right.

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