Robert Hooke and the foundation of geology : a comparison of Steno and Hooke and the Hooke imprint on the Huttonian theory ; and, The tectonic evolution of the Oregon continental margin : rotation of segment boundaries and possible spacetime relationships in the Central High Cascades Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/st74ct96d

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  • The tectonic evolution of the Oregon continental margin : rotation of segment boundaries and possible spacetime relationships in the Central High Cascades
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  • Based on the principle that the history of a discipline is important to the discipline itself, this thesis devotes two chapters to ROBERT HOOKE AND THE FOUNDATION OF GEOLOGY and two chapters to modern geology, viz. THE TECTONIC EVOLUTION OF THE OREGON CONTINENTAL MARGIN. The first part of this abstract covers the historical section of the thesis and the second part the scientific section. Robert Hooke was much more than the originator of Hooke's Law or an inventor who invented or perfected meteorological instruments and who pioneered equipment design for sounding the depths of the ocean and collecting ocean water samples at various depths. He supplied Isaac Newton with the concept of centripetal force which allowed Newton to formulate his Laws of Gravitation; he was the first to demonstrate the pressure and volume relationships of gases which were called Boyle's Law. His geological contributions had a profound influence on the development of geology, but they have been largely ignored by modern historians and geologists. The 17th-century Dane Nicolaus Steno has been honored by geologists as a founder of geology and the 18th-century Scotsman James Hutton is widely recognized as the father of modern geology. In a comparison of Steno's geological contributions with those of Hooke, the latter emerges as having made a more extensive and profound contribution. Furthermore, Hooke's system of the earth as presented in his Cutlerian Lectures, published posthumously as Discourse of Earthquakes in 1705, is almost identical to the theory James Hutton announced to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1785. This similarity is not a coincidence. That Hutton was thoroughly aware of Hooke's writings is shown not only by the extent to which the intelligentsia of the 18th century cited, quoted and adopted Hooke's ideas, but also by Hutton's own text in both his Abstract of 1785 and his Theory of the Earth in 1788. In the few places where Hutton disagreed with Hooke, Hutton's style became polemical. He seemed to argue against specific points originated by Hooke, which then act as a Hookian signature on the Huttonian Theory. Hooke's influence in the development of geological thought and especially on the foundation of the pre-continental-drift paradigm was a significant one. Robert Hooke, therefore, like Steno, deserves recognition by geologists as a founder of their science. The tectonic evolution of the Oregon continental margin centers around the process of subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate. Models have been advanced to explain the complex tectonic history of this area. The imbricate thrust model seems to test well at the Oregon margin. This model, however, is complicated by the additional processes of segmentation and rotation. This synthesized scenario of the Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Oregon margin considers the subduction process, including volcanism in the Cascades, as a near-extinction system. This area presently could be experiencing a period of transition from compressional underthrusting to strike-slip motions resulting from extensional forces as the Juan de Fuca plate is coupled with the North America plate. A model involving the rotation of segment boundaries is proposed which may shed some light on time-space and petrologic relationships in the Cascades. The positions of these segment boundaries are supported by bathymetric data on the continental shelf and by the deformation of marine terraces along the Oregon and Washington coasts. Plane vector triangle solutions calculated by Riddihough (1977) for point interactions between the Juan de Fuca plate and the America plate show that the direction of convergence has not been constant over the last 8.5 m.y. The data suggest that the subducted slab had rotated at least 9° in a clockwise direction during the last 1.5 m.y. The model suggests that the arrival of a segment boundary in coincidence with conditions favorable for eruptions may have built the high Central Cascade peaks during the Pleistocene.
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