Wednesday, December 12, 2007

SlingShot Thought *geology*

Tonight I was stumbling through some sites and came across the UBasics and found their solution to the answer "What happens if i dig straight down?"

I first did the obvious thing of finding out that from my house I would end up in the sea south-west of Australia. Great.

Figure Left: Yellow slashes show Chain trend. Green slash, lower frame, Valley trend.

Then, I quickly started just swinging the map around to find where Land and Land would meet. I soon discovered that the hot spot responsible for building the Hawaiian Island chain is located approximately opposite of the Great Rift Valley of Africa. The trends of the Chain and Valley are very nearly similar.

My SlingShot Thought is: Are these features related to internal processes within the earth cores? Some type of...equation balance? force balance? What role does mantle convection come into play? Why have I never noticed this before?

If anyone has thoughts to add or documents for me to understand this potential connection better, please comment.


  1. Hi Joe,
    How are you doing?
    I remember taking one course of Geology ( + the lab) "back then", in college. And I will have to say that there are some very interesting subjects involved in Geology.
    I had never thought about thinking of where would you end up on the other end. I used to live in Hawaii and I can tell you it is THE place to go to find geological treasures !
    The volcanic activity is ongoing, as well as the occasional quake or Tsunami reminders. Curiously, I have only I quake strong enough that I remember; it was about a 3.3or a little above.

    Interesting post ;).
    Have a nice day.

  2. Barbra.
    I am doing well, thank you for asking.
    I was in Hawaii a few years ago. Quite an interesting geological place indeed. I remember going up to Haleakala (sp?) and being very impressed by the size of the crater.

  3. That's interesting about going straight down (through the dead center of the earth?) and ending up in the sea south of Australia. Since I'm located near you I'd probably end up there too. If we started from around New York city maybe we'd hit Australia?

  4. Joe, I just checked that location by hand, and the opposite side of the globe from Hawaii is in cratonic northern Botswana, just south of Victoria Falls.

  5. Chuck. Thanks for checking and the feedback. Thats interesting. Ill take a look.

    To keep on my original thought I will explore trending directions more closely.

  6. I was certainly way off in my guess that NYC would land in Australia. I used the "dig straight down" map program to scan the entire USA and found it's all in the Indian Ocean. The only way to get to Australia, via the center of the Earth, is to go out into the south Atlantic Ocean. Pretty interesting.

  7. Has anything come of this? I was just messing around with a widget on Google Earth that does this ( and I noticed that there is a very large impact crater almost directly opposite the Hawaiian hot spot.

    It seems like such a huge coincidence. The impact in Botswana is estimated to have happened about 180 million years ago. However, as far as I can tell from some quick googling, the Hawaiian-Emperor Bend (i.e. the current location for this hot spot) only got in its current position within the last 47 - 57 million years.