This week in class we learned about the different kinds of plate boundaries. I thought it was a fairly interesting week of class because even though I learned about plate techtonics in high school, it was always just reading about it out of a book. In this class we’re getting to see powerpoints consisting of descriptions of each of the terms, plus slow motion sketches of how plate techtonics work. Also, the class is much more interactive in that we each have individual clickers to answer questions posted on the powerpoints. Things that I had forgotten from high school but now have a clear understanding of are terms such as: divergent boundaries, transform boundaries, and convergent boundaries. I was also reminded what direction each move and what the results of two plates reacting to each other is. Things that I learned for the first time were: Neptunism is the theory that all rocks came from the ocean, Plutonism is the theory that Earth was a superorganism with a limitless lifespan, and the oldest rock in North Carolina is estimated to be 1.7 billion years old. Also, I learned that divergent boundaries have the smallest earthquakes while transform boundaries have the biggest, and that convergent boundaries form mountains and volcanoes. We saw that a mid ocean ridge, such as the Hawiian Islands, are divergent boundaries where two plates pull apart allowing magma from the Earths mantle to seep up through the crust and rise up to the surface where it is then cooled. Yet another thing we learned in class was that when there is an oceanic to oceanic convergence, you will find several interesting features as a result of the plate movement. When these two plates come together you will find that the less dense plate will move over the denser plate and will create a subduction zone that features a trench, an accretionary prism, and possibly an island arc. Something interesting I learned about and even got to see examples of was basalt rocks, which come from the oceanic plates, and granite, which comes from continental surfaces. Getting the chance to actually see these two rocks first hand let me know that this class is going to be a much more hands on approach on geology than my expeirence with the subject in high school. I am excited to see that I am going to get to see how the earth works.
Something that I read outside of class this week was an article on blood diamonds. Blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds, are produced by unruly forces that go against their country’s government law and are sold only to use the profits gained from these to purchase weapons for their military actions. The people who produce these diamonds are usually slave men, with the addition of some women and children. The article also says that some of the produce is stolen from legitamate mining companys or from their shipments. The production of these stones are very profitable and often involve bribery, torture, and even murder, hence the term blood diamonds.