Rotational Inerfia of Continents: A Proposed Link between Polar Wandering and Plate Tectonics

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Science  24 Mar 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4028, pp. 1355-1357
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4028.1355


A mechanism is proposed whereby displacement between continents and the earth's pole of rotation (polar wandering) gives rise to latitudinal transport of continental plates (continental drift) because of their relatively greater rotational inertia. When extended to short-term polar wobble, the hypothesis predicts an energy change nearly equivalent to the seismic energy rate.