Thursday, July 30, 2020

Andean Deformation and Uplift—How an Island Became the Land of Promise – Part II

Continued from the previous post regarding the volcanoes described in the scriptural record.
    As indicated earlier, the 2,667-foot Krakatoa, which is part of the world’s Ring of Fire, is located in Indonesia, and one of the simplest type of volcanoes. As a cinder cone, it is built from particles and blobs of congealed lava ejected from a single vent. As the gas-charged lava is blown violently into the air, it breaks into small fragments that solidify and fall as cinders around the vent to form a circular or oval cone, thus they spread their fall-out in an even pattern all around the volcano, which then spreads out and blankets the area, throwing it into complete darkness.e 
    Krakatoa, which last erupted in 2012, which was created on the Indo-Australian plate, with its first historic eruption occurring in 1530 with eruptions every couple years. If it were to erupt again there would be lots of debris, ash, thousands of casualties, a cloud of gas, lava flow, pyroclastic flows, and possibly the aftermath of a tsunami. 
Transform fault plate boundaries are zones of shearing, where two plates slide horizontally past each other 

Along much of the western coast of North America, however, the Pacific Plate is sliding past the North American plate at plate intersections called transform faults, which are the only segments of fracture zones that are seismically active. These zones are a transfer of motion from one spreading center to another. 
    It should be noted that the recorded information of the Krakatoa earthquake, emphatically tells us there was impenetrable darkness” which “darkness lasted for three days with ash flung as far away as 3,775 miles.” Likewise, in the Land of Promise there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness” (3 Nephi 8:20, emphasis added).
    In fact, Cinder Cone volcanoes in Peru, such as the Andagus field of volcanoes in Southern Peru, 200 miles south of Cuzco, and 100 miles northwest of Arequipa, in what is called the "Valley of the Volcanoes." This is a reference to the valley covered with Cinder Cone volcanoes, including Lava Flows, and Lava Domes with historical activity that fills the valley floor.
    Domes, which only develop in areas with climates between 59 and 70º, may reach heights of several hundred feet, and can grow steadily for months, years, and even centuries.
    The Cinder Cones vary in shape and width, with gasses being dissolved into the magma because of high pressures deep in the crust. Upon ascent and eruption, pressure drops rapidly, and these gasses begin to exsolve out of the melt, or minerals separating from one another at a critical point in temperature.
    It should also be note that, “there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all; And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land” (3 Nephi 8:21-22).
Eruption of Krakatoa 

Again describing what happened in the Krakatoa eruption and following earthquake, which had three days of darkness following the Krakatoa earthquake. And there were three days of darkness following the earthquake in the Land of Promise. Such scholars activity described in the scriptural record is shown to be realistic by the devastating quake in the Land of Promise.
    For those theorists who belief the contrary, it should be noted that such darkness, sounds, and results have been attributed to violent volcanic eruptions, which are found in nature today as well as the distant past.
    It should again be noted that both scholars and geologists widely agree that the three days of darkness as it is described by the Disciple Nephi could only have been caused by ash-tephra dust clouds eruption. Not only the darkness, but the excessive lightning thundering, tempest, and many other features can all be explained by volcanic activity. In addition, volcanic ash distribution has been historically documented to inhibit combustion and last for days at a time 
    A similar event took place in the Land of Promise when the brothers Nephi and Lehi were imprisoned by the Lamanites, but the Lord freed them with a shaking of the earth (Helaman 5:27,31-33), and an impenetrable “cloud of darkness” that accompanied the earthquake (Helaman 5:34).
Strike-slip fault where blocks had moved horiontally 

Scientists have determined that a full range of destructive events requires both a volcano and an earthquake along a strike-slip fault—a vertical fracture where the blocks have mostly moved horizontally—strike-slip faults develop over time and eventually cause earthquakes at the Earth's surface. The cause of strike-slip fault earthquakes is due to the movement of the two plates against one another far below and the release of built up strain vertically above. 
    This slip partitioning at an oblique convergent margin is a classical problem that results in a lithospheric sliver detaching from the overriding continental plate. Along the 4350-mile long South American subduction zone there is a similar partitioning pattern in the deformation in the Northern Andes controlled by the diverging motion of two rigid continental slivers, the previously known North Andean Sliver that covers Ecuador and Colombia north of the Gulf of Guayaquil and a newly found sliver that encompasses southernmost Ecuador, Peru, and western Bolivia from the trench axis to the Subandean fold-and-thrust belt.
    In fact, great 8.5 megathrust earthquakes have occurred along the Peruvian subduction zone, and in south Peru where earthquake that ruptured 280 miles further south.  Another Andean partitioning pattern is the Subandean shortening in Peru, which is a response to the South American Plate subduction below the Subandean regions and the Eastern Cordillera.
    This shortening is accommodated by the east vergent fold-and-thrust belt of the Eastern Cordillera and Subandean zone. Important Quaternary Subandean shortening rates reaching tens of millimeters per year have been reported in geological and paleomagnetic studies.
    Over 100 sites measured in Peru show the present-day crustal deformation of the 1400-mile long Peruvian margin, which is squeezed between the eastward subduction of the oceanic Nazca Plate at the South America trench axis and the westward continental subduction of the South American Plate beneath the Eastern Cordillera and Subandean orogenic wedge.
Tectonic Plate Subduction where one plate subducts (slides under) the Overriding Plate 

Deep coupling occurs in central and southern Peru, where repeated large and great megathrust earthquakes have occurred. Such volcano eruptions and quakes occur at subduction zones or at destructive convergent plate boundaries where one tectonic plate is forced underneath another caused by slip along the thrust fault that forms the contact between them. These interplate earthquakes, which make up 90% of all seismic energy released worldwide. They are the planet's most powerful, with moment magnitudes that can exceed 9.0. Since 1900, all earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 or greater have been megathrust earthquakes. No other type of tectonic activity of terrestrial origin has produced earthquakes of this scale.
    The strong correlation between highly coupled areas and large ruptures suggests that seismic asperities are persistent features of the megathrust. Creeping segments appear at the subducting structures which play a major role in the seismic segmentation of the Peruvian margin, as the earthquake that struck Lima and Callao in 1746 with a moment magnitude of 8.6–8.8 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI, which is an “Extreme” rating.
    In fact, the 1960 Valdivia, Peru, earthquake on 22 May 1960 was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded. Various studies have placed it at 9.4 to 9.6 on the moment magnitude scale. This earthquake only lasted 10 minutes. As many as 7000 were killed and as high as $800-million in cost ($6.91 billion in today’s worth).
    One can only wonder at the destruction a three-hour earthquake in the Land of Promise, “would cause. Perhaps the Nephite experience as “never had been known in all the land” (3 Nephi 8;57), would cause. No wonder it was extensively written about and described.
Andes Mountains

All studies show that the Andes is both the youngest or most recent mountain range that has developed in the Western Hemisphere. Some scientist, such as Carmala Garzione, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester, have found that the Andes was formed not through long periods of growth, but through a series of rapid growth spurts (Carmala N. Garzione, et al., Rapid Uplift of the Altiplano Revealed Through 13C-18O Bonds in Paleosol Carbonates, Science, vol.31, Is.5760, 2006, pp511-515).  
    Garzione in her article on the “Rise of the Andes,” states that the rapid rise of the Andes accompanied the rapid rise of the Bolivian Altiplano; which again, is evidence for removal of mantle lithosphere which provides increasing evidence that the plateau formed through periodic rapid pulses, not through a continuous, gradual uplift of the surface, as was traditionally thought(Garzione, et al., Rise of the Andes, Science vol.320, Is.5881, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006, pp1304-1307). 
     Garzion has also written that the surface uplift of mountain belts is generally assumed to reflect progressive shortening and crustal thickening, leading to their gradual rise. However, recent studies of the Andes indicate that their elevation remained relatively stable for long periods separated by rapid rise. Periodic punctuated surface uplift of mountain belts probably reflects the rapid removal of unstable, dense lower lithosphere after long-term thickening of the crust and lithospheric mantle (Garzione, et al., Rise of the Andes, Science vol.320, Is.5881, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006, pp1304-1307). 
    All of this certainly matches the events of the Book of Mormon, and is found in the recorded events in Peru. It also matches the events of the Book of Mormon and the clouds of darkness that accompanied the earthquake and volcanoes erupting in the Land of Promise. These are events that could not have taken place in the Heartland or Great Lakes since there are no volcanoes in the middle and eastern U.S
    Just another example of the matching of events in the scriptural record that point to a South America landing of Lehi.

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