Farallon Plate Remnants

  • Released Thursday, March 14, 2002

The Rockies are fifteen hundred kilometers, or one thousand miles, to the east. The cause must be the tectonic plate that built these mountains. Its name is Farallon. Farallon started off normally enough. It plunged beneath the North American Plate at a forty-five degree angle. This process sprouted volcanoes to form the Sierra Nevada in what is now California.
Next, mantle motions pulled North America westward over Farallon, and the plate scraped along the bottom of the continent - for fifteen hundred kilometers. As North America continued its westward trek, Farallon settled to the bottom of the mantle.
The image is output from a model run using the TERRA mantle software. To learn more about Bunge's work, visit his web site at: http://www.geophysik.uni-muenchen.de/Members/bunge.

Video slate image reads, "Animation of Faralon Plate remnantsSimulation: Faralon Plate inside Earth's mantle".

Video slate image reads, "Animation of Faralon Plate remnants
Simulation: Faralon Plate inside Earth's mantle".


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, March 14, 2002.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:57 PM EDT.

Datasets used in this visualization

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.