The scientific use that is applied to Google Earth in the matter of geography and geology every day is more interesting, although we from the cadastral point of view we criticize a lot its accuracy for our selfish ends.
Some time ago I was talking about the animated map that exists of tectonic evolution through the theory of continental drift. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) in conjunction with Google has created a Cape in which you can see the different tectonic plates that make up the lithosphere of our planet. Too educational for a post, but I will try to keep it as simple as 700 words of the patience of my visitors and inspired by a new blog that I discovered today called todocartografía.
1. The plates
At least 15 boards are recognized:
|In our Spanish-speaking environment these are related to us:
North America, from Guatemala to the pole is the North American plate, coinciding in the Pacific with the plate of the Pacific and the small plate of Juan de Fuca
Central America, is the Caribbean plate and the Cocos plate, which is towards the Pacific Ocean
South America, there are the South American, Scottish and Nazca plates. Very south of Chile there is some contact with the Antarctic plate.
Spain is on the Eurasian plate, sticks with the African plate.
So that in our Hispanic environment, we have relationship with 11 of the 15 plates. The following map shows these layers painted in the style of the school.
2. The displacement
The flow of the boiling lava under the surface causes the plates to have a displacement that is approximately 2.5 cm per year, (the speed at which the nails grow) arrows that indicate this direction are shown on the map. This separation or approach is not much, however it is considerable if we think how much a point has moved in 30 years, it would be 75 centimeters. If we think of a point in Mexico, which moves 75 centimeters to the west and the Greenwich meridian that moves in the opposite direction would be 1.50 meters. The point is that the plates move, but the mesh that the latitudes and longitudes make up does not change; which means that a point is moving relative to its coordinate system.
As a consequence, the same point, measured under the same conditions, within 30 years would be displaced 75 centimeters. The Google Earth map shows the displacement and direction of the plates in different areas.
This is one of the reasons why the topographic survey is tied with control points, which maintain this relative reference for the subsequent cadastral maintenance with respect to the geodetic vertices. Finally we realize that the ultra precision of our gps are quite relative to the exaggerated attention that we lend them.
3. Geological faults
The rose or displacement between these plates is what has formed the mountain ranges, it is also what causes earthquakes or volcanic activity. At least three relationships between the plates are considered:
- Convergents (Collide with each other)
- Divergent (Separating)
- Transformers (They slide together)
Meanwhile, the boundaries between the plates can be:
The Google map shows this situation in different colors.
Also the map includes a layer of seismic movements, it is assumed in real time, showing the magnitude and date themed.
The best beneficiaries of this type of Google Earth functionalities are the educators, mainly those who teach Geography, Social Studies and Geology classes ... undoubtedly, Google Earth changed our way of seeing the sphere.