GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 59-10
Presentation Time: 4:45 PM


BOROM, Marcus P., Materials Science, University of California - Berkeley, 7087 W Brightwater Way, Tucson, AZ 85757

Numerous attempts made to calculate the regression of the moon as a function of geological time indicate that the time at which Earth and Moon are determined to be coincident falls very close to 1.5 Gya (billion years ago). These determinations are inconsistent with the currently accepted 4.53 Gy age of the moon. This paper specifically addresses the pre-1.55 Gya (billion years ago) orbital evolution of the Earth-Moon system and provides calculations and a plot of Earth-Moon separation distance covering the entire history of the Moon from its formation 4.53 Gya to the present day. It is proposed that, during the first ~3.0 Gy, Earth and Moon are mutually, tidally locked and rotate as a unit about a barycenter. During this period (Stage I), the oceans were moved only by solar tides, since lunar tides were non-existent, and the Earth’s crust was subjected to a circumferential gradient of centrifugal forces as a result of barycentric rotation. Beginning 1.55 Gya (Stage II), the Earth disengaged from its tidal lock with the Moon. After disengagement, Earth's oceans were subjected for the first time in their geological history, to lunar tides in addition to solar tides.

The relationships of the forces associated with the two rotational modes of the Earth-Moon system are discussed with respect to the formation of landmasses, their migration and coalescence to form a supercontinent, the development of an oxygen-rich atmosphere, and to the ultimate breakup and drifting of Pangaea to form our current global, continental configuration.

Index Terms: Continental Drift, Pangaea, Barycentric Rotation, Tectonic plates, Lunar tides, orbital evolution

  • 01_GSA_Annual_Mtng_16x9_PostToGSA.pptx (11.4 MB)
  • AutomaticBalancingOfContinents.docx (4.7 MB)