Dynamics of Plate Tectonics and Mantle Convection, written by specialists in the field, gathers state-of-the-art perspectives on the dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle convection. Plate tectonics is a unifying theory of solid Earth sciences. In its initial form, it was a kinematic theory that described how the planet’s surface is fragmented into several rigid lithospheric plates that move in relation to each other over the less viscous asthenosphere. Plate tectonics soon evolved to describe the forces that drive and resist plate movements. The Earth sciences community is now developing a new perspective that looks at plate tectonics and mantle convection as part of a single system. Why does our planet have plate tectonics, and how does it work? How does mantle convection drive the supercontinent cycle? How have tectono-convective modes evolved over the Earth’s history? How did they shape the planet and impact life? Do other planets have mantle convection and tectonics? These are some of the fascinating questions explored in this book.
This book started with a challenge from the editor to the authors to provide perspectives from their vantage point and open the curtain to the endeavors and stories behind the science.