back to article Boffins find evidence Atlantic Ocean has started closing

On November 1st, 1755, the Portuguese capital Lisbon experienced a very nasty earthquake. Up to 100,000 people died and much of the city was destroyed. A Portuguese scientist working in Australia now says the earthquake was caused by an 'embryonic subduction zone' that may split the Eurasian tectonic plate and cause the Atlantic …

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Meh

I Blame the EU

Sorry, its a Monday morning and that is all I could come up with.

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Re: I Blame the EU

Nah. Global warming.

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Happy

Re: I Blame the EU

All those friggin' immigrants, I'd say.

Want my 'Daily Mail' when I'm finished?

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g e
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Facepalm

Re: I Blame the EU

It's the bankers, I tell ya.

(Well, Global Warming had already been taken)

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Go

Re: I Blame the EU

It's a Chinese commie plot to destroy the western world !

Damn patient those Chinese

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Happy

Excellent News

This is wonderful news on two counts. Firstly, even if it is the EU's fault, if the Atlantic is about to close up, then we'll be able to leave the EU soon enough, and be conveniently placed to join NAFTA.

Secondly if the Gorringe subduction zone becomes as famous as the San Andreas fault, then poets and songwriters will now have something to rhyme with Orange.

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Pirate

Re: I Blame the EU

This is all because of pirates. Open your eyes people!

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Joke

@Ian

How about global moving? ;-)

Global warming won't work any more I think because that has lost some credibility as of late.

But we definitely need something new so that we can start expensive investigations into it for the greater good of the children. And the best part with this name is that "moving" doesn't even have to involve the plates, you can easily make something up as well.

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Re: I Blame the EU

I think you'll find it's actually Microsoft's fault.

If only we had used Open Source geology for the planet, none of this would have happened.

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Re: I Blame the EU

I find it hard to do that, since I discovered that all phone roaming charges are to be dropped in July 2014 in the EU.

Fantastic!

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Black Helicopters

Re: I Blame the EU

I find it hard to do that, since I discovered that all phone roaming charges are to be dropped in July 2014 in the EU.

Yet further proof that the EU is to blame! Nigel Farage is right! Just as the EU announce they're stopping roaming charges, tectonic plates start roaming round the globe like there's no tomorrow. Coincidence? Pah! EU Conspiracy more like! And the same week as a Bildeberg Group meeting as well!

The lizard-people are coming! The lizard-people are coming!

Where's the tin-foil hat icon?

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Windows

Re: Excellent News

They already have something that ryhmes with orange...

Dor'inge...

Hinges. On a door.

Dor'inge...

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Re: Excellent News

"then we'll be able to leave the EU soon enough, and be conveniently placed to join NAFTA.

Only from below the Earth's crust. The Atlantic sea floor has been produced by a diverging margin, and is therefore newer and usually less dense than older rock, such as the European continent. That usually means that the newer plate overrides the older plate at a subduction zone. So Europe will be sucked down into the Earth's mantle.

Europeans: Funny langugages, a comedy currency, and now it turns out they even built the whole thing on the wrong bit of rock. Looking on the brights side, volcanoes and new mountain ridges might pop up, making Blackpool a bit more lively than it has been a for an eon or so.

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Re: Excellent News

If I remember my geology correctly, continental crust is formed when oceanic crust subducts and is re-melted along with water to form a different set of minerals. These are less dense than those in oceanic crust, which is formed from minerals in the mantle (which is underneath us because it is denser). In this case, I would expect the crust under the Atlantic to subduct under the other half of the eurasian plate, subjecting western Europe to extended earthquakes and volcanism.

If you do an image search for the term 'subduction zone' using a Famous Web Search Engine, you get some diagrams of how this happens.

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@ I ain't Spartacus

Secondly if the Gorringe subduction zone becomes as famous as the San Andreas fault, then poets and songwriters will now have something to rhyme with Orange.

Not only does it rhyme with "Orange" but Gorringe Bank has massive rhyming slang potential as well.

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rhyming with orange

I ain’t Spartacus, this article lists eight different rhymes* for orange.

More seriously, Gorringe has been rhymed with Blood Orange by (fully armed) poets and songwriters since the Boer War.

* — In the immortal words of Pliny the Elder, addito salis grano.

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Coffee/keyboard

@ comz1 - Re: Excellent News

as per icon.

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Go

Re: Excellent News

/strumming on a guitar

"Your love sucked me dry as an orange, and it's your fault, just like the Gorringe!"

(Needs work, but fortunately I have at least 20 million years to finish it and get the band back together.....)

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Re: Excellent News

Was that a Monkey Island reference? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-9my0tsutw

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I Blame the EU

I thought the commie plot was fluoridisation?

Preserve our bodily fluids.

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Re: @Ian

Nah, it's the fault of the cellular providers.

It's global roaming.

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Boffin

Re: I Blame the EU

In other news scientists have discovered a nascent subduction can give you CANCER.

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Stop

Re: How about global moving? ;-)

Dammit man, don't give the nutters another 'cause'!!!!

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ephemeral

It's all changing, everything we see as grand and permanent, and it makes our lives seem ephemeral indeed. We are buzzing around like little flies. Our most amazing achievements soon to be turned to dust on this cosmic scale of time and power. Aaaargh! No wonder so many of us just spend our hours commenting on such articles instead of doing some work.

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Yag
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Re: ephemeral

"No wonder so many of us just spend our hours commenting on such articles instead of doing some work."

Or even less creative : upvoting posts...

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Paris Hilton

Re: ephemeral

El Reg exists to allow the depressed and the frustated a means by which they can vent their spleen. ( Maybe the French could invent a version with some kind of theme revolving around Baudelaire - Les Fleurs du Mal for the IT community).

It was once suggested that Marvin, the paranoid android, actually thought up the El Reg website as an attempt to rid himself of Existential Nihilistic thoughts, he failed and we got left with the result.....

<-- Paris, cause she looks like she is shedding a tear.

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@Khaptain

"It was once suggested that Marvin, the paranoid android, actually thought up the El Reg website as an attempt to rid himself of Existential Nihilistic thoughts, he failed and we got left with the result..."

Which explains where we got Eadon from, I guess? Positive proof that bad memes can take on a life of their own, and wreak havoc in the real world!

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Re: ephemeral

Existential nihilism. Now there's a thought for Monday morning.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ephemeral

Couldn't agree more. For 99.999...% of us, we end up as no more than memories for our immediate descendants. After that, little more than a entry in a BMD register. And in a blink of universal time the BMD register itself is forgotten. And not long after that the human race is too a lost memory. And then the earth itself.

etc.

For some, its a bitter pill to swallow. I suspect that was one of the reasons why Facebook was invented.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ephemeral

"It was once suggested that Marvin, the paranoid android, [...]"

Marvin was a metal reincarnation of Eeyore.

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Go

Re: ephemeral

"Or even less creative : upvoting posts..."

Bastard-- do I up or down vote that?

Or is it time to make a cuppa and contemplate such dilemma?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ephemeral

The creative side of the IT industry is "ephemeral" writ large. In my retirement I'm doing figurative sculptures of people. They should last a while - especially if handed down the families' generations. No codecs needed to view those 3D memories.

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Re: ephemeral

"The memories of a man in his old age

Are the deeds of a man in his prime.

You shuffle in gloom of the sickroom

And talk to yourself as you die.

Life is a short, warm moment

And death is a long cold rest.

You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:

Eighty years, with luck, or even less."

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Re: ephemeral

http://images.cryhavok.org/d/20646-1/Calvin+_amp_+Hobbes+-+I_m+Significant.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ephemeral

"Or is it time to make a cuppa and contemplate such dilemma?"

With or without sugar/milk? Plain digestive or chocolate coated? Such decisions. It's worse if you are retired - as Parkinson's Law states "every task expands to fill the available time".

My own apparently paradoxical philosophy is "Nothing in life matters - yet every small thing does matter".

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Re: ephemeral

@Elmer

My vision was obscured by clouds, it took me a while to recognize the genius behind those words.

Defiantely Thumbs Up material.

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Paris Hilton

Re: ephemeral

@ khatain.

Your suggestion that Paris is wiping away a tear is ludicrous, everyone knows she is wiping main-juice from her eyelashes after a vigorous BUKAKAE session.

Paris, proof that the story about man-juice giving you good skin is completely true.

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Re: ephemeral

That reminds me of a quote from H.C. Andersen's "The Old Oak Tree's Last Dream" (http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheOldOakTreesLastDream_e.html)--a mayfly replying to an oak tree:

"No, I don't understand you at all. You have thousands of my days to live, but I have thousands of moments in which to be happy and joyous. Will all the beauty of this world die when you die?"

"No," said the tree. "It will probably last longer, infinitely longer, than I am able to imagine."

"Well, then, we each have an equally long lifetime, only we figure differently."

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds like ...

a novel by Saramago, Stone Raft, where the iberian peninsula goes off drifting over the atlantic

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Boffin

Plates

Tectonic plates aren't quite the large rigid bodies in the standard explanation in the article, they each contain regions that can move independently over the main plate, either at different speeds or with different vectors, with the potential to create new major plate boundaries as they do so.

One possible future with a new subduction zone off Iberia (Spain & Portugal) is for the Atlantic to continue expanding either side of it (the mid-Atlantic ridge is very staggered, rather than a straight line), with the subduction zone causing Iberia to start moving West, out over the subducting oceanic plate, separating it from Europe once more (the Pyrenees are the remnants of Iberia joining Europe).

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with apologies to Inigo Montoya

[…] two newish zones have already been spotted in the East Atlantic. One is near the Caribbean […]

This word, near — I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Anonymous Coward

compass points

"... two newish zones have already been spotted in the **East** Atlantic. One is in the North Atlantic, near the Caribbean Sea, and another lies between South America and Antarctica, beneath the 55th parallel."

N

W E

S

Am I off target here, but aren't the Caribbean and South America in the **West** Atlantic??

Is this reporter error or more dodgy science?

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Re: compass points

I re-checked my re-checking of my compass. Apparently, the author has difficulties with the cardinal directions of the compass.

But then, the author of the paper had difficulty understanding that there already is a plate collision in the Caribbean.

Or that it's been extremely well observed and measured that the Atlantic is still spreading and Africa is still on the move. Or that the Red Sea is part of a plate separation.

Come to think of it, it seems that the author of that paper shall fail peer review quite early on.

It's a complicated set of processes, the author seems to be oversimplifying matters and his theory suffers for it.

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Joke

Oh no...

Bugger Scottish independence; time to start getting ready for the re-unification of Pangaea!

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Time to stick a flag in it I'd say...

...and claim it for the british empire! That way, when it rises up from the ocean floor, we'll already have it! That'll stick it to the yanks/hun/frogs etc.

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Coat

subduction insurance

forget PPI, subduction clauses are going to be the new policy extra that excludes many claims.

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Exciting times...

ooh, that we can see geology evolve in our lifetimes... I definitely hope I'll be around in some 100 million years to see the projections come true!

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new series of Preppers...

cool, the current crop of doomsday preppers have been getting a little stale, economic collapse and dinosaurs are all unlikely, but this... this looks like a very real worry... but how will we prepare? under ground bunker? it will be more underground... bug out to the hills and live off your relatives? sounds like a better plan... either way, I look forward to seeing new fear poured on to our American cousins...

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