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The Earth as a Planet: Paradigms and Paradoxes

Anderson, Don L. (1984) The Earth as a Planet: Paradigms and Paradoxes. Science, 223 (4634). pp. 347-355. ISSN 0036-8075. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140513-125631564

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Abstract

The independent growth of the various branches of the earth sciences in the past two decades has led to a divergence of geophysical, geochemical, geological, and planetological models for the composition and evolution of a terrestrial planet. Evidence for differentiation and volcanism on small planets and a magma ocean on the moon contrasts with hypotheses for a mostly primitive, still undifferentiated, and homogeneous terrestrial mantle. In comparison with the moon, the earth has an extraordinarily thin crust. The geoid, which should reflect convection in the mantle, is apparently unrelated to the current distribution of continents and oceanic ridges. If the earth is deformable, the whole mantle should wander relative to the axis of rotation, but the implications of this are seldom discussed. The proposal of a mantle rich in olivine violates expectations based on evidence from extraterrestrial sources. These and other paradoxes force a reexamination of some long-held assumptions.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.223.4634.347 DOIArticle
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/223/4634/347PublisherArticle
http://www.jstor.org/stable/1692697OrganizationArticle
Additional Information:© 1984 American Association for the Advancement of Science. I thank all participants at the 1982 workshop on the lithosphere sponsored by the National Research Council and Geodynamics Committee held in Austin, Texas, in March 1982. I thank particularly J. Maxwell and C. Drake, but they do not necessarily endorse the views in this article. I thank S. Grand, M. Walck, D. Helmberger, B. Hager, T. Tanimoto, J. Bass, and I. Nakanishi for permission to use results in advance of publication. Figure 3 was prepared by R. Clayton and B. Hager from observational results of I. Nakanishi and T. Tanimoto. Supported by NSF grant EAR811-5236 and NASA Geodynamics grant NSG-7610. Contribution No. 3921, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFEAR811-5236
NASANSG-7610
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences3921
Issue or Number:4634
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140513-125631564
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140513-125631564
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:45724
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 May 2014 21:35
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:35

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