Friday, May 25, 2012

Steep-Angle Subduction Kitteh

Here we have Irna's cat Momo illustrating an important concept in plate (or is that pan?) tectonics: steep-angle subduction:

Momo investigating the trench

The pan, of course, is the trench down which our cold slab of oceanic crust (Momo) will plunge.

Momo subducting
Steep-angle subduction occurs when the angle of the subducting slab is greater than 70 degrees. I haven't measured, but it looks like Momo's achieved at least that. Judging from the angle, Momo's trying to illustrate the Marianas Trench, the world's deepest and steepest. I suppose that makes this the Marinara Trench, eh?

Another view of the subducting Momo, now deep within the Marinara Trench
Steep-angle subduction occurs when the slab is very old, very cold, and not at all buoyant. I suspect Momo's actually young and warm, and possibly buoyant, but like all good performers has a wide dramatic range and does an excellent job playing the role.

Looking down into the Marinara trench
We never did get to see Momo completely subducted, which is the hazard of choosing smaller dishware for these sorts of demonstrations. Still, bravo, Momo! And thank you, Irna, for some of the cutest geokitteh action ever.

I'm indebted to my G+ crew, who came to my rescue when I couldn't get past the "Awww, kitteh in a pot!" reaction. Subduction won by popular vote, although impact craters and spelunking were also excellent suggestions. I especially loved Woozle's observation: "Definitely some kind of plate collision, anyway. Er, well, not so much "plate" as "dishware", I suppose. Unstoppable force meets inappropriate object." And Khristina put me on the right track with her comment: "I'd have to say somewhere extraordinarily deep in the oceans or in the crust of the earth where the tectonic movement happens! Because it's earth shaking how cute this is."

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks from Momo to you and your G+ crew! He's quite proud of his achievement on Geokittehs :)