Four Theories of Earth Expansion and the
Karl W. Luckert
9285 SW Washington St.
Portland, OR, 97225, USA
A video presentation prepared for the 32nd IGC Post-Workshop PWO
09—“New Concepts in Global Tectonics”—Urbino,
Italy, August 29-31, 2004.
on numerous presentations of Expansion Tectonics theory, the conclusion has
emerged, that most misunderstandings regarding Earth Expansion, in the past,
can be traced to defective visualizations. I have been doing video animations
of the Earth expansion process since 1996, and by now my method has evolved to
a level at which it can be used as a preliminary scientific testing procedure
for a variety of tectonic processes. Common wisdom has it that video
animation—known in some languages as “trick photography”—does exist for the
sole purpose of deceiving the viewer. This need not be the goal. Animations that
are based on serious globe models or thumbnail images can help illustrate a
proposed expansion process dynamically, reflecting exactly how the author of a
particular expansion theory does envision it. Animation can give to a viewer a
preliminary impression of whether a proposed expansion process falls within the
range of tectonic probability—provided this viewer is alert to material and
tectonic processes in general, within three-dimensional space and time.
Animation can ruthlessly expose certain tectonic improbabilities which static
globe models and thumbnail sketches might fail to exhibit.
and thumbnails of Earth expansionists, whose theories I have chosen to
animate—Hilgenberg, Vogel, Maxlow, and my own—can better be visualized,
studied, and judged after they have been viewed comparatively, in video
animation. Contextual animation does solve many global tectonic problems in
stride—as the present video succeeds in illuminating the uniform formation of East Asia’s marginal seas and island chains. As a matter of principle, I have
expanded equal and sometimes even greater efforts in producing correct animated
sequences for the theories of my competitors than I have for my own.
comparative nature of my video presentation is new in the field, and it is
intended to stimulate a continued desire for clarification. At various stages
of preparation I have been able to effect some improvements regarding certain
details of my theory. Moreover, in addition to the usual isochrone maps and
globes I have, in this edition, utilized numerous NASA satellite images. I
consider this 33 minute video lecture, in DVD format, to be a fitting addendum
to my last year’s DVD lecture at the Theuern Conference, Germany 2003. It was
undertaken as a follow-up and as an improvement on its precedent.
Hello, I am
Karl Luckert, speaking near Mount
Hood, in the Cascade
Mountain Range, along our planet’s beautiful Ring of Fire.
Conference of 2003, in Germany, was an event at which three presenters, Klaus Vogel,
James Maxlow (in absentia), and I, offered in tandem our theories of Earth
expansion, focusing primarily on ocean spreading. Ideally such a meeting should
have facilitated an opportunity for making critical comparisons. But, because
all three of us used different media—globe models, PowerPoint, and video—direct
comparisons have proven to be rather difficult. To better compare the three
expansion models that were presented, I shall attempt to translate all three
onto the common denominator of my video medium. I will include again animations
of Wegener’s Pangaea and add some illustrations of Ott Christoph Hilgenberg’s
The habit of
Alfred Wegener, of having a world ocean “Panthalassa” as a foil for the
expanding Pangaea-crust, at the opposite side of the globe, has persisted in
earth science circles. For instance, I was able to find the thumbnail images
for this Wegener animation at the website of the Geological Society of America.
Today many subscribers to Plate Tectonics theory still appreciate the
convenience of subducting excess ocean floors in Wegener’s Panthalassa—in the
mysterious Pacific—somewhere along the “backside” of our planet.
Wegener lopped off the subcontinent of India, and permitted it to float freely among the wandering
continental scabs of Pangaea, he created an appetite for similar geological
people who later subscribed to the Plate Tectonics theory, but also Earth
expansionists have indulged in the “terrestrial surgery” that Wegener’s world
of wandering continents has made possible.
Ott Christoph Hilgenberg
derived Antarctica from the Pacific—while Australia was clinging to the round of Antarctica down south. I take here the liberty of completing his three-globe
sequence by way of morphing toward a NASA satellite image. Hilgenberg has
sliced North America into three segments. He severed Alaska to have it slide home along the continent’s western
coast. The remainder of North
America he cut diagonally.
He postulated a mega-shear that severed the mountainous West from the Great Plains.
for Hilgenberg’s theory, this gigantic hypothetical rift has left no revealing
topographical scar and, had there been such a rift, uplift of the Rocky Mountains would surely have been prevented. It took magma
pressure from underneath the settling Plains to raise the continent’s
peripheral wrinkles. And it took Earth expansion to flatten and to lower the
lasting credit of Klaus Vogel it must be said, that he has avoided Hilgenberg’s
reversed Hilgenberg’s starting positions for Antarctica and Australia by way of placing Australia to the north of Antarctica. Hilgenberg’s rift, that was supposed to have split Alaska, Klaus Vogel has re-routed to bypass most of that
problem. But even in Vogel’s reduced problem area, across his amputated Alaskan
Peninsula, his hypothetical shear lacks the evidence of a topographical scar—as
did the two mega-shears of Hilgenberg, earlier.
The Aleutian Islands, today, are curved evenly between Asia
and North America. To obtain such an even bow, both ends of the “stick”
needed to be held fast. It seems impossible to have had one end of the Aleutian
strip slide all the way from California to Alaska, and still achieve, in the end, an even curve that is
welded seamlessly onto Alaska.
All could still be well with Klaus Vogel’s hypothesis if, following the Second
World War, the ocean floors of the planet had not been explored as thoroughly
as they were.
the problem of the Aleutian bow, projecting a Jurassic rift into the eastern
Pacific and Arctic Ocean is problematic by itself. Vogel’s crescent-shaped
sliver of an Ur-Ozean would have had
to exist in an area that now features the youngest sea-floors—with none being
older than the Eocene.
the current Earth Expansion theories I am taking the tectonics of James Maxlow
most seriously. The methodologies of both Maxlow and Luckert are based on
isochrones-data found on maps of the ocean floors which pioneers of the Plate
Tectonics Revolution have produced.
has avoided the gash that Klaus Vogel has projected across the Arctic.
He pays attention to magnetic striping and ocean floor chronology in the
northern Pacific and he begins his Pacific Ocean, as he
should, with a Jurassic triangular gap.
extends his Jurassic Pacific eastward—as he opens up a crescent-shaped sliver
there, similar in shape to the Ur-Ozean of Vogel. One wonders about the ease with which a blue
extension of Jurassic ocean is painted Cretaceous green, in the next thumbnail
image. It is impossible to animate this change. I can only try to be helpful
and fade Jurassic blue to dark Cretaceous green. But fading one color into
another does not solve a tectonic problem. It only conceals.
Asia, Maxlow pulls away Australia with Austral-Asia in its tow. One wonders whether all
the continental scabs and shelves, which now stretch between Japan and Australia, could have been pulled from the small Jurassic
continental patch which Maxlow has allowed. If his movement of Australia were correct, should not the smooth curve that now
runs along Sumatra/Java have been bent along the northeastern edge of
Austral-Asia instead? Somewhat like this?
The Indic Ocean
confirmation of my doubts I must turn to the Indic Ocean. Maxlow’s overall tearing pattern of the Indic Ocean, especially of the northeastern portion, presents a
serious problem for me.
James Maxlow’s isochrones-drawings—from which I have removed the fluctuating
equator—the Indic Ocean has unfolded in this manner. The isochrones do
delineate a distinct triangular patch of Eocene ocean floor, west of the Andaman Islands and Sumatra. His projection, back into pre-Eocene times, does
obscure the Eocene triangle with a bulge of continental shelf. While in this
instance it is possible to animate between his thumbnails, we are nevertheless
left with the tectonic puzzle of how a rounded bulge could have vacated a
sharply defined triangular patch of Eocene floor—and have done so while,
concurrently, the whole of Austral-Asia was swirling north?
to James Maxlow I would have to say that to me the Indic Ocean does appear differently. I believe, that the
Ninety-East Ridge was the western edge of Austral-Asia, and that it was
stretched southward by general Earth expansion. What is at stake here is much
more than the formation of an Eocene triangle. An entirely different expansion
pattern for Austral-Asia, and of movement for Antarctica, is implied.
East Asia’s Island Chains and Marginal Seas
million years ago our ancestors had not been so busy running away from
dinosaurs, and instead had put a satellite into orbit, they could have seen
Austral-Asia stretched southward, somewhat like this. By the end of the Eocene,
Austral-Asia was elongated southeastward, and ever since then it has been
triangle in the Indic Ocean was torn open when the western edge of
Austral-Asia, along the Andaman Islands, Sumatra and Java, was bent eastward in
an even curve, away from the Ninety-east Ridge-line.
little while ago I played my animation of the NASA satellite photo, your eyes
probably have followed the wanderings of Australia. But in this instance Australia is a diversion.
Let me focus
on East Asia specifically. I take the isochrones-map and roll it
back unto a contemporary globe. We reduce the globe by way of subtracting from
the ocean floor all the recent stripes, down to the Paleocene. And then we can
play the Eocene Event forward, up to the present.
We can apply
the same procedure to a satellite image that, surprisingly, lets us look deep
into the Pacific. It reveals the outlines of the oldest patch of ocean floor on
our planet. We reduce this hemisphere down to the Paleocene by removing all the
recent stripes, and now we are ready to observe the surprisingly smooth
unfolding of the eastern Asian marginal seas—the Philippine Sea, the East China
Sea, the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as the Bering Sea. This is
how East Asia obtained its marginal seas and its island chains.
Down south, Australia pushed against Celebes and thereby squeezed open the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea.
without saying that with the shrinking of eastern Asia,
during the Eocene, spectacular mountain ranges were created on the mainland.
Nine-shaped Ocean and Continent
slightly larger context, I am postulating that the rounded Nine-shape of Antarctica came from
the rounded space of the Nine-shaped Pacific Ocean which, for present-day emphasis, still happens to be
encircled by the rounded Nine-shaped
Ring of Fire. Of course, the cavity that was left by Antarctica has, over time, been expanded several times its original size.
Hilgenberg , Vogel, and others before him, James Maxlow remains faithful to the
tradition that was begun by Wegener, of trying to fit some round contour of Antarctica into the Bight of Australia. I personally think that this solution
has, all along, been a mistake. While the “roundness” in each does tempt the
human mind to make an association, wherever two continental crusts are supposed
to match, size also is a significant factor. The round of Antarctica is everywhere too large to fit into the Bight of Australia, and upon
an expanding sphere there is no way to explain why the Bight of Australia
should have been shrinking. But, inasmuch as “roundness” is being judged by
most people as being more interesting than “size,” I am willing to quarantine
this crucial datum—for the moment.
The Central Spreading Rift
For me there
looms a still more fundamental question. Spreading happens nowadays in the Atlantic, the Indic, Arctic, and in the younger eastern Pacific, all along the
interconnected worldwide oceanic rift. Is it thinkable—as the Maxlow-animations
suggest—that since Jurassic times and throughout the Paleocene, the Pacific Ocean was spreading without the presence of a central rift?
I should think not.
that the older Pacific was created by the same process that we can observe
today in all the oceans. For that reason I pay attention to the fact that the
northeastern flank of the Pacific patch of Jurassic floor does show offsets which
suggest ancient transverse faulting. Transverse faults could have been
developing alongside the flank of a central spreading rift.
that the Jurassic remnants that now can be found along Antarctica do match the northeastern edge of the Pacific Jurassic floor. This
observation is corroborated by the tear-drop shape of the Paleocene Antarctic
plate which nicely fits into what has become the eastern Pacific.
possibility is acknowledged, one can visualize an ongoing central spreading
rift in the Pacific that begun already in Jurassic times. Then, when the
Antarctic Plate was loosened from North-America during the Eocene, as it was
moving southward, the Pacific spreading rift and the severance rift that was
shared with North America merged in
the wake of that plate.
this “merging” of the two rifts is figurative speech. While the wake behind the
moving plate was soft and flexible, no actual spreading rift was necessary or
even possible. A joint rift became possible when the crust was sufficiently
hardened and ready to crack. One may also suspect that in the wake of the
moving plate most forms of oceanic life have become extinguished. This means
that we face a discontinuity when we attempt pale-ontological dating.
in the Indic Ocean, during the Eocene epoch, were part of a larger
pattern of events that involved Australia and Antarctica, as well as South America. This
combined Eocene “event” opened and widened the entire southern ocean.
subject matter for additional contrast, it may be helpful to approach the
Eocene epoch and the Pacific
Ocean first with a feeling
of nostalgia for the time before any of us needed to worry about tectonic
plates, isochrones, and ocean floor chronology.
purpose I have selected three NASA satellite photographs, of the southern
hemisphere, which are centered on points that tectonically may have converged
on our present South Pole. As I have dealt with the Indic Ocean earlier, so I will choose the Paleocene epoch as my
staging point for the expanded “Eocene Event.” I believe that during the Eocene
epoch, which followed the Paleocene, some connections between continents have
been broken and some positions have been altered.
isochrones to worry about, back in the good old days, we could have
contemplated my Paleocene reconstruction and then focused on the NASA image of
the present Earth. The task would have been to move Antarctica, over a time of 43 million years, from Point “A” to Point “B.”
Scientists always prefer the simplest possible route. Therefore, by placing a
couple of thumbnails between “A” and “B,” the animation can begin. I can
complete this procedure without inflicting excessive movement upon Antarctica. Most proponents of Plate Tectonics and of Earth Expansion, in the
past, have engendered similar and even greater conjectures.
The “Eocene Event” (ca. 58-37 mya)
geological reality and Plate Tectonics are more convoluted. From Jurassic to
Eocene times the Pacific has widened, and the continent of Antarctica has grown by surrounding itself with ocean floor crust. In other
words, Eocene Antarctica could not move anymore as a continent, but only as
being contained in a larger plate. Its movement required space between itself
and Austral-Asia—more space than a simplistic animation has available. In our
simulation we must allow enough space for the Antarctic plate, to slip into the
capacious southern ocean, where it could have turned.
As I read
the isochrones-map, it was the circum-global belt of continents—consisting of
South-America, North-America, Asia and Austral-Asia—that Earth expansion has stretched,
still a considerable span of time into the Eocene. The first fifteen million
years of the Eocene epoch (58-43 mya) are characterized by slow severance
between the tip of South-America and Australia, and between Antarctica along the western shores of Middle- and South-America.
end-point of the tear-line had been established already during the Lower
Cretaceous, where the Cape of Africa broke away from the toe of South America. Then during the Paleocene a gash was torn into the
global belt from the other side, along Tasmania. Finally, during the early Eocene an even curve was
sliced all the way to the Atlantic. The global belt tore in a curve along the Australian
Great Bight and the Cape of South America.
remaining six million years of the Eocene (43-37 mya) brought cataclysmic
speeds of continental separation between Australia and South
America. By the same jolt of
rupture that loosened the circum-global belt, the Antarctic Plate was sprung
loose from North America, along a widening rift. The Plate was invited to slip
southward into the soft region that was opening up between South America and Australia. To all these happenings I refer, collectively, as
the “Eocene Event.” The greatest continental movements on our planet seem to
have occurred between 43 and 37 million years ago.
this process happened more tightly than I can illustrate here without damaging
the contours. In addition, my morphing tool has the bad habit of shrinking
everything that turns. So, please visualize this progression as happening a
little more tightly than I am able to show.
epoch has ended with a squeeze-play between Australia and South-America, whereby Antarctica was caught in the middle and was shoved against the cape of South-America. In general, the continents do not collide, because
they are cushioned by ocean floors that lie between them. So, this Eocene
rebound-collision may be the only one that has happened on our planet.
When Australia snapped northeastward it scooped and pushed some of
the older ocean floors against Antarctica, and it pushed Antarctica against the foot of South
America where it fractured
the toe. It scooped the tip of South-America eastward into the Atlantic as far as the Islas Orcadas Rise.
Today we can
see Antarctica leaving the scene of a minor accident. Antarctica’s gradual disengagement began during the Oligocene. We know this
because in the Scotia Sea one finds—amidst a lot of debris—some Oligocene
patches of ocean floor. Of course, during cataclysmic continental adjustments
most oceanic forms of life have been eliminated, and the discontinuities that
result do make pale-ontological dating somewhat difficult.
Polishing the Metaphor
tend to get remembered by the simplest motion that they imply. Wegener’s
continents became famous as wanderers—and mine—let me say that most of the continents
are still “clinging” to the partners with whom they have slept encrusted for
billions of years.
it is necessary to mention the exceptions. Africa
has left South America during the Cretaceous and with a break in the global
belt, during the Eocene, Australia and South-America got severed. While celebrating
their separation, the Antarctic Plate was invited to dance southward between
them, half a turn. Australia pushed the whirling dancer against the tip of her
former mate, South America. Finally, after the Antarctic Plate had wedged its
tip into the southern Indic
Ocean, Australia stepped back from this encounter and curtsied, at Celebes.
continent on Planet Earth has so far achieved complete emancipation. It is Antarctica, the whirling occupant of the South Pole. Our other five continents
have shunned such reckless freedom. They remain draped over the North Pole,
together, as leftovers of the original Pangaea crust. Australia’s shelves have snugged up to Eurasia while the shelves of Eurasia are reaching around the North Pole to hold on to North America which, in turn, has locked arms with South America. In the same
mode of Arctic togetherness and anchorage, Africa
accepts the hold of Eurasia that embraces the Mediterranean Sea, and thereby Africa,
too, still clings to the original Pangaea configuration.
An important PostScript:
At the regional GSA conference in Boise, Idaho, on May
5, 2004, I learned that the coastal mountain tops, along the states of
Washington and Oregon, all do feature basalts from the Eocene [exactly the
break-up time which is implied by my theory of Antarctica’s partition from the
Pacific]. Two scholars from Puget
Sound University suggested a
scenario of “extensive rifting”—without being able to name a plate that might
have rifted away from there. This independent fact should at least persuade
some earth scientists to regard my theory in earnest, at least as a possible
“working hypothesis” alongside others.
Stimulation, Challenges, and Resources
hemispheres—John Walker website / UNESCO Geological World Atlas / Geological
Society of America website / Edwin Colbert / Alfred Wegener / Ott Christoph
Hilgenberg / Klaus Vogel / S. Warren Carey / James Maxlow / Karl-Heinz Jacob /
Rosemarie Geffe / Giancarlo Scalera / Henry William Menard / Bruce Heezen /
Robert Coleman / Jonathan Dehn
Technology, Inc. / David Spraker / Ravi Vedanayagam
Theory, Script, Camera, and Production
Back to Plate Expansion Tectonics – Hood Two