Velocities relative to cratonic North America determined from displacements of Plate Boundary Observatory GPS sites. Graphic from UNAVCO via http://www.unavco.org/education/outreach/giveaways/velocity-map-posters/tectonic-motions-western-us-poster-front.pdf.
Some resources associated with the "50 Years of Plate Tectonics" symposium
Vince Cronin, Geosciences Department, Baylor University (Vince_Cronin@baylor.edu)
Vince Cronin's website: http://croninprojects.org/Vince/index.htm
Revised 14 June 2018
"50 Years of Plate Tectonics" symposium webpage: http://www.geologie.ens.fr/50years_plate_tectonics/
Poster file (Adobe Acrobat PDF file): CroninProjects.org/Tectonics-Paris/Cronin-ParisMeeting.pdf (45.3 MB)
A half-century after the revolution, what should we teach current undergraduate geoscientists about lithospheric motion?
Vincent S. Cronin, Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Richard G. Gordon, Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Rice University, Houston, Texas, email@example.com;
Phillip G. Resor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University, Middleton, Connecticut, firstname.lastname@example.org; and
Joshua R. Davis, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, email@example.com
Plate tectonics is a synthesis that combines a host of geological and geophysical data by means of a kinematic model of the motion of lithospheric plates. This symposium honors the major events of half a century past that led to the broad acceptance of plate tectonics as a better context for understanding global change over most of Earth's history. Since that first generation of plate-tectonic ideas, significant advances have accumulated in the diversity, quality, and volume of relevant data, in parallel with significant advances in the availability and power of computer resources at all levels of science and education. As more information has been gathered, details of the motions of Earth's lithosphere and associated geological consequences have continued to become ever more interesting and useful.
The typical undergraduate geoscience students of today were not alive during the birth of modern plate tectonics in the 1960s and early 1970s, and neither were many of their parents. Our collective impression (based on decades of teaching courses in tectonics, structural geology, physical geology, and mathematics) is that current students enjoy hearing stories about the geological consequences of "the motion of plates," but lack the knowledge or skills needed to develop virtually any quantitative description of lithospheric motion. Their understanding is largely based on qualitative descriptions of first-generation ideas of plate tectonics offered in introductory textbooks or literature syntheses. The capacity to glean useful quantitative information about lithospheric motions from GNSS data and other relevant kinematic observations is a fundamental ability for modern geoscientists to develop, requiring a functional knowledge of certain basic mathematical techniques and computer skills.
How should geoscience educators facilitate student learning so that members of the next generation of geoscientists are able to advance our understanding of lithospheric dynamics and kinematics? First, we must embrace our responsibility to help our students develop quantitative skills rather than limit ourselves to telling qualitative stories. Just as plate tectonics provides a useful context for understanding global change, it can also provide a useful focus for undergraduate geoscientists to learn about mathematics, statistics, and computer coding -- fundamental skills that will be useful throughout their careers. As a group of hopeful idealists with expertise in lithospheric kinematics, geoscience education, and quantitative methods, we intend to develop curricular resources during the next few years that will help guide undergraduate geoscience students to a practical working knowledge of lithospheric kinematics.
Other resources related to lithospheric kinematics
Vince Cronin's web resources
Vince Cronin's publications related to lithospheric kinematics
Papers (Stratigraphic order, most recent on top)
- Cronin, V.S., and K.A. Sverdrup, 2003, Multiple-event relocation of historic earthquakes along Blanco Transform Fault Zone, NE Pacific, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 30(19), 2001, doi:10.1029/2003GL018086.
- Cronin, V.S., and Sverdrup, K.A., 2003, Defining static correction for jointly relocated earthquakes along the Blanco Transform Fault Zone based on SOSUS hydrophone data: Oceans 2003 MTS/IEEE Conference Proceedings (ISBN 0-933957-30-9), p. P2721-2726.
- Cronin, V.S., 1994, Instantaneous velocity of mid-ocean ridges: Tectonophysics, v. 230, p. 151-159.
- Cronin, V.S., 1992, Types and kinematic stability of triple junctions: Tectonophysics, v. 207, p. 287-301.
- Cronin, V.S., 1992, A kinematic perspective on finite relative plate motion, provided by the first-order cycloid model, in Boucot, A.J., Chatterjee, S., Dickins, J.M., and Hotton, N., [editors], Smithsonian Workshop on New Concepts in Global Tectonics: Lubbock, Texas, Texas Tech University Press, p. 13-21.
- Cronin, V.S., 1991, The cycloid relative-motion model and the kinematics of transform faulting, in Hilde, T.W.C., and Carlson, R.L., [editors], Proceedings of the 1987 Geodynamics Symposium: Tectonophysics, v. 187, p. 215-249; corrections to publisher errors, 1991, Tectonophysics, v. 192, no. 3/4, p. 401.
- Cronin, V.S., 1987, Cycloid kinematics of relative plate motion: Geology, v. 15, p. 1006-1009.
Abstracts (Stratigraphic order, most recent on top)
- Cronin, V.S., Resor, P., Pratt-Sitaula, B., 2017, GETSI module on GPS, Strain, and Earthquakes: Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, Annual Conference 2017, abstract and presentation documents accessible via http://CroninProjects.org/GETSI-AESS2017/CroninEtAl2017-AESS-abstract.pdf
- Resor, P.G., Cronin, V.S., Hammond, W.C., Pratt-Sitaula, B., and Olds, S.E., 2014, A Teachable Moment in Earth Deformation: An Undergraduate Strain Module Incorporating GPS Measurement of the August 24, 2014 M6.0 South Napa Earthquake: Special session on the South Napa earthquake, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2014; http://croninprojects.org/Vince/ResorEtAl14.doc
- Cronin, V.S., 2014, Instantaneous versus finite motion of a lithospheric plate relative to another plate: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 46, no. 6, p. 405; https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2014AM/webprogram/Paper248546.html
- Cronin, V.S., Pratt-Sitaula, B., Olds, S., and West, N., 2014, Hands-on physical models that help students learn about crustal strain, for use with the GPS-strain module: UNAVCO 2014 Science Workshop, Boulder, Colorado.
- Cronin, V.S., Resor, P., Pratt-Situala, B., Olds, S., West, N., Hammond, W., and Kreemer, C., 2014, A module for learning about crustal strain using PBO GPS data in introductory structural geology or geophysics courses: UNAVCO, http://www.unavco.org/edu_outreach/resources/gps-strain/majors-gps-strain/majors-gps-strain.html
- Cronin,V.S., 2012, Possible microplate generation at RRR triple junctions due to the non-circular finite motion of plates relative to each other: American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, December 2012, http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2012/eposters/eposter/t33g-2752/
- Cronin,V.S., Resor, P.G., Hammond, W.C., Kreemer, C.W., Olds, S.E., Pratt-Sitaula, B., and West, N.W., 2012, Developing a curricular module for introductory geophysics or structural geology courses to quantify crustal strain using EarthScope PBO GPS velocities: American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, December 2012, http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2012/eposters/eposter/ed41b-0681/
- Resor, P.G., Cronin, V.S., Hammond, W.C., Kreemer, C., Olds, S.E., Pratt-Sitaula, B., and West, N.W., 2012, Using EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory GPS velocities to introduce strain to undergraduate structural geology students: Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting, November 2012, https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2012AM/finalprogram/abstract_210930.htm
- Cronin, V.S., and Sverdrup, K.A., 2003, Defining static correction for jointly relocated earthquakes along the Blanco Transform Fault Zone based on SOSUS hydrophone data, Proceedings of Oceans 2003 Marine Technology and Ocean Science Conference, San Diego, September 2003.
- Arnot, J.M., Ledger, A.S., Perkins, M.L., Ruddock, S., Salentine, B.J., Salentine, S.J., Larsen, H.E., III, Cronin, V.S., and Sverdrup, K.A., 2001, Multiple-event relocation of Blanco transform fault zone earthquakes: EOS (American Geophysical Union Transactions), v. 82(7), p. F1118. Undergraduate research project
- Sverdrup, K.A., and Cronin, V.S., 1999, Correcting systematic mislocation of earthquakes along Juan de Fuca Ridge through integration of multiple-event relocation and OBS/SOSUS arrays: RIDGE 2000, p. 34-35.
- Cronin, V.S., 1995, N-plate rule of plate kinematics -- How common is circular finite motion between adjacent plates? Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 27, no. 6, p. A337.
- Cronin, V.S., 1994, Types and kinematic stability of plate triple junctions that include trenches, and other related matters: Penrose Conference on the Effects of Triple Junction Interactions at Convergent Plate Margins, 10 p.
- Cronin, V.S., 1993, First-order modeling of finite relative plate motion--When might Los Angeles and San Francisco merge? Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 25, no. 6, p. A283.
- Cronin, V.S., 1992, Instantaneous velocity of mid-ocean ridges [abs.]: EOS (American Geophysical Union Transactions), v. 73, No. 14, p. 284.
- Cronin, V.S., 1990a, Transpression and transtension -- anomalous or typical boundary conditions along the San Andreas Fault? Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 22, p. 16.
- Cronin, V.S., 1990b, Development of transtensional and transpressive plate boundaries due to non-circular (cycloid) relative plate motion: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 74, p. 636.
- Cronin, V.S., 1989a, Cycloid tectonics: Geometric stability of triple junctions during finite relative plate motion: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 21, no. 4, p. 8.
- Cronin, V.S., 1989b, Cycloid tectonics: Is there a maximum stable length for a transform fault? Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 21, no. 4, p. 8.
- Cronin, V.S., 1989c, Kinematic description of finite relative plate motion using the first-order cycloid model: Abstracts, 28th International Geological Congress, Washington, D.C., v. 1, p. 1—343.
- Cronin, V.S., 1989d, A kinematic model for the evolution of a transtensional basin from a transform fault whose initial displacement is purely strike-slip [abs.]: Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 73, p. 1029.
- Cronin, V.S., 1989e, A kinematic perspective on finite relative plate motion, provided by the first-order cycloid model, in Chatterjee, S., and Hotton, N., conveners, Smithsonian Institution Workshop on New Concepts in Global Tectonics, Abstract Volume, p. 9
- Bodus, T.M., and Cronin, V.S., 1989, Preliminary plate tectonic re-evaluation of the Siberian—European plate collision and related basin formation: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 21, no. 4, p. 4-5.
- Cronin, V.S., 1988b, Cycloid tectonics: Fracture zones as flow lines of transform faults [abs.]: EOS (American Geophysical Union Transactions), v. 69, p. 1415.
- Cronin, V.S., 1987a, The contribution of cycloid wobble to plate boundary strain: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 19, p. 149.
- Cronin, V.S., 1987b, Kinematics of transform plate-boundary faults re-evaluated [abs.], in Hilde, T.W.C., and Carlson, R.L., [editors], Proceedings of the 1987 Geodynamics Symposium: Geodynamics Research Institute, Texas A&M University, p. 84-86.
- Cronin, V.S., 1987c, Cycloid tectonics: Predicted changes in the position and morphology of mid-ocean ridge segments, transform faults, and oceanic fracture zones [abs.]: EOS (American Geophysical Union Transactions), v. 68, no. 16, p. 408.
- Cronin, V.S., 1987d, Cycloid tectonics: The kinematics of transform faulting re-evaluated [abs.]: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 71, p. 544.
- Cronin, V.S., 1987e, Cycloid tectonics: Are transform plate-boundary faults "lines of pure slip" along which "crust is conserved"?: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 19, No. 7, p. 631.
- Cronin, V.S., 1987f, Present-day structural and tectonic characteristics of the Skardu quiet zone, northwest Himalaya: London, Imperial College.
- Cronin, V.S., 1987g, Cycloid tectonics: A first-order matrix solution for finite relative plate motion [abs.]: EOS (American Geophysical Union Transactions), v. 68, p. 1473.
- Cronin, V.S., 1986b, Cycloid tectonics: Relative motion on a sphere: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 18, p. 575.
- Cronin, V.S., 1986d, On the cycloid kinematics of relative plate motion [abs.]: EOS (Transactions, American Geophysical Union), v. 67, p. 1210.
This is not a static resource, so please send your suggestions for additional resources to Vince Cronin via Vince_Cronin@baylor.edu.
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