The geologists were able to find the missing controversial tectonic plate. Its name is Resurrection, and its existence has been the subject of much debate. Some claimed that it has and others stated that it has never existed. The new study helped the experts to come to a consensus. The disappeared Resurrection tectonic plate could indeed exist on the border of the Pacific Ocean about 40-60 million years ago.
The search for evidence was carried out by a group of geologists at the University of Houston. They said they found the missing slab in the northern pasrt of Canada, as evidenced by tomographic images of the mantle.
For that, the computed tomography of the Earth's interior was used. The obtained results of scientific research will help specialists in predicting dangerous volcanic events in the future. A researcher Johnny Wu noted that the boundaries of tectonic plates are zones of the volcano formation. The more plates, the more volcanoes that have an impact on climate change. By creating a model of the Earth to understand how the climate has changed over time, you can find out how many volcanoes existed on the Earth at different time periods.
The researchers used a special technique called plate unfolding. With its help, they reconstructed events related to the state of tectonic plates in the Pacific Ocean at the beginning of the Cenozoic era. The lithosphere is the toughest shell of the surface of the Earth, at that stage it was broken into tectonic plates.
The geologists confirmed the existence of two main ones, called Kula and Farallon. But the presence of the third one, the Resurrection, was not excluded. It could have formed a special type of volcanic belt that stretched along Alaska.
Using the technique of three-dimensional mapping, the scientists turned the plates to the tomographic images of the mantle in order to conditionally stretch them to their original shape. The model shows that the Resurrection was lifted to the surface, and then it became the basis of ancient volcanic belts in Alaska, providing a sought-after connection with the ancient Pacific Ocean.