Tectonic plates move relative to one another on the Earth's surface. But what caused this division into separate plates, which led to plate tectonics? In an article published on the website of the journal Nature dated 6 April 2014, Yanick Ricard, a CNRS researcher at the Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon: Terre, Planètes et Environnement (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1/ENS de Lyon) and David Bercovici from Yale University propose the first model to explain how the Earth's surface divided into plates. This model accounts for the emergence of plate tectonics as we know it today, and also explains why this phenomenon did not occur on Earth's sister planet, Venus.
To download the press release:
Plate tectonics, damage and inheritance. David Bercovici & Yanick Ricard. Nature, published on-line 6 April 2014. DOI: 10.1038/nature13072