Ecuador is a very fascinating country. Scientists can use the past information about the geography to figure out the future. For instance, learning how the land has transformed over time in Ecuador may lead to a continuous pattern. Other things that scientists use are tools and techniques. Identifying various rocks and minerals, discovering how the land has been changed, and observing mountain formations and fossils also help to figure out patterns. All of these things allow scientists predict, accurately, what the Earth’s crust will do in the future.
Many things about Ecuador’s future landscape can be told through what has happened in the past. When volcanoes are active they erupt and produce lava (called magma when inside the volcano). The lava eventually cools off and leaves a thick layer of igneous rock on the surface. The numerous volcanoes in Ecuador means the soil is very fertile, because the ashes from eruptions act like fertilizer. Therefore it has produced the Amazon Rainforest. Also, volcano lava can create islands. Islands made of lava can be found in Ecuador. Another way Ecuador’s terrain has been transformed through earthquakes.
This is because earthquakes cause the Earth’s tectonic plates to crack. Cracks can either create valleys or mountains. These patterns can lead to different kinds of terrain in Ecuador (in the future). Different types of minerals can be used to tell what will happen to the Earth’s crust in the future. By investigating different minerals in your area, you can understand how they were formed. Knowing when and how they, for instance volcanic minerals, were formed, like by a volcano, scientists can tell when the next “event” will occur.
The Moh’s Hardness Scale can help you tell what types of minerals there exist, based on how hard it is to break them. This scale goes from one to ten (one being the softest, ten the hardest). Minerals can also be differentiated by their shape. Some of the shapes are cubic, tetragonal, hexagonal, orthorhombic, monoclinic, and triclinic. Another type of identification is called lustre (shininess). Lustre has two categories. They are metallic lustre (shiny) and non- metallic lustre (dull). The first identification people think of is color.
However, this method can be hard to use because there are so many minerals. Streak tests can also be used. This method is when you test the color of the mineral’s powder on unglazed porcelain tiles. Last but not least is figuring out cleavage and fracture. Cleavage and fracture lets you test how something breaks. If it’s cleavage, the break is smooth. If it’s fracture the break has jagged edges. All of these identifications help the scientists figure out what the Earth’s crust will do next. Types of rocks can also help to discover the future land in Ecuador.
One type of rock is an igneous rock. Igneous rocks are extrusive rocks. They are made of lava (called magma inside a volcano-magma is intrusive) once it cools down on top of the Earth’s crust. Mountains are most likely to be sedimentary rock because of all of the things that help to build it up. The last type of rock is metamorphic rock. Metamorphic rocks are made when one rock’s form is changed by immense heat and pressure. Evidence of these things is the rock’s appearance, combinations of minerals, and how it looks under a microscope.
When figuring out the types of rocks, a pattern may immerge in and on the Earth’s crust. Observations on how Ecuador looked, in the past, and where it was can help scientists to know where it will be and what it will look like in the future. One thousand years ago this region would have been beside Africa. If you look closely you can see where South America of the past was. Like puzzle pieces, many of the continents can be fit together with another continent. Ecuador would also have no islands.
There would be very few mountains or volcanoes, a lot bigger plants and more forests, and the temperature would be a little bit warmer than Alberta’s. Then, one hundred years ago, Ecuador was in the same place as it is today. Most likely, there would be a little bit less mountains and volcanoes then there are today. The islands would be about half there size, the temperature would be about the same as now, but there would still be a little bit more forestry. Since the continent moved then, it is hypothesized that it will almost absolutely move more in the future.
Ecuador has some very interesting mountain formation patterns and some fossils have been found that are in other continents. When you look at a terrain map, you can see that almost all mountains are near the shoreline. Also most of the mountains are formed in a line or in small groups. Some of the mountain formations in different places even fit together! Scientists are able to figure out, that more mountain formations will be created on other shorelines. Eventually mountains may fill up some regions. The fossils there can also be found in Africa.
For instance, if they were filming a Jurassic Park 14 in Ecuador, they could use the dinosaurs’ Kannemeyerid, Lystrosaurus, and Mesosaurus. They could also add the plant glossopteris. All of these plants and dinosaurs are also found in Africa (none of these dinosaurs could swim!!! ). These things let scientists predict even more about the future. The previous information helps scientists with their research. Without these things, people would have a really hard time trying to figuring out what will happen in the future. All of these methods let professionals predict what the Earth’s crust will do next.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 17 February 2017
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