Review of "A Unified Theory of Earth Expansion,

Pacific Evacuation, and Orogenesis"

An essay in Theophrastus' Contributions to Advanced Studies in Geology,  (pages 61-73). Athens, Greece, January 1996. The present “Reflections and Summary” were edited slightly in 1999 and 2016. The complete original article can be found in libraries.

Karl W. Luckert

Since I have I have begun publishing the website <> in April 1997, I have been noticing that not many of the detractors have actually taken the time to examine ocean floor data themselves. Few have seen my "Expansion Tectonics" video program, and fewer still have found my essay, "A Unified Theory of Earth Expansion...." Most critics seemed to think that the problem of Earth expansion can be explained away academically, with a few traditional theories of physics. Some use chemistry and others place their hopes in mathematical equations.

To help remedy this state of affairs, back then, I have added a page that featured the first script for my 1996 video program. A serious browser could so at least avoid having to guess about what I might or might not have said about "Expansion Tectonics." To provide still more background, for dialogue, I also added reflections on the Athens article. For a time, the Athens publication was used to serve as one of my mile posts along the way. 

The article, "A Unified Theory...," was actually written in 1994 after the California earth-quake -- for my personal inventory. I suspected that my theory of Earth expansion, which had lain dormant since 1979, just could help seismologists take more meaningful measurements and, possibly, lead to more meaningful predictions of continental seismic events. Magmatic movements are creeping outward from under the middle of continental plates -- they are not coming from the ocean side by way of convection currents or processes of subduction as many are claiming. The 1994 essay was published in Theophrastus' Contributions…, on January 1996.

While searching for fresh data in support of Earth expansion, in 1994, I chanced upon the 1988 UNESCO Geological World Atlas, with its nearly complete evolutionary ocean floor chronology. We owe this great step forward to an extensive drilling program that included the Glomar Challenger ship and other such equipment. I then checked out a number of expansion models that have appeared since my 1979 publication, including one by Klaus Vogel which Professor Kempp had hailed as the most likely correct one. At that moment I was still fully prepared to change my perspective and all my conclusions. But to my own surprise, the conclusion which I had reached independently in 1979 endured:

The tip of South America was torn from the bight of Australia and Antarctica. It was evacuated from the eastern Pacific – these conclusions worked better than any of the alternatives. None of the others, in my judgement, solved the puzzle of ocean floor chronology; and all conclusions, henceforth, needed to harmonize with magnetically registered ocean floor chronology. Evacuating and turning the full length of the Antarctic Plate out of the eastern Pacific, including its triangular patch of old ocean floor that now points north into the southwestern Indian Ocean, seemed like an impossibility at first. But repeated measurements of post-Paleocene ocean-expansion, between the Ninety-East-Ridge and the Tonga Islands, and from there to South America and to a point in the South Atlantic to which South America temporarily had been pushed, did yield an opening large enough for Antarctica to have twisted through. Not much twisting needed to occur, anyhow. It was simply that the Pacific and Southern Ocean crust was breaking open, was spreading and was softened. It was being mended with hot mafic materials. The evidence to me, in 1994, appeared to be at least thirteen-fold:


1.    At various stages of expansion, and up to the present, the overall shape of the Pacific (as it appears contoured by the Rim of Fire) reflects the figure "9" of the continent of Antarctica.


2.    I noted the south-eastward drift of older ocean floors, into the softened “wake” of the departing Antarctic plate. To this observation I like to add the notion of Australia's initial north-eastward push after it had snapped loose from the tip of South America --“northeastward” at the other side of the globe.


3.    According to P. Isaacson, a million cubic kilometers of micaceous sand were deposited during the Devonian Period in Bolivia, Peru, and northern Argentine, from a continental source where we now find the deep Pacific Ocean. My source for this information was S. Warren Carey. Rather ambiguously, Carey has filled the gap in the eastern Pacific with "Antarctica and Australia." To this day some Earth expansionists, on their reduced terrella models, have attempted to push Antarctica eastward across the Indian Ocean, as close as possible toward South America; Australia was thereby pushed northward to make room for Antarctica. This might have been a reasonable solution before we had ocean floor chronology; but as it now stands, Australia would have had to drift from its assigned northern position across the oldest patch of Jurassic ocean floor without ever disturbing it. This requires more faith in creation-magic than I am willing to entertain.


4.    West of Sumatra, along the Ninety-East-Ridge, there is evidence of longitudinal stretching during the Paleocene -- and then evidence of a break.


5.    Australia, with the Indonesian subcontinent in tow, was twisted northeastward upon its viscous magma stem, during the Eocene, into a lower density area that was left in the wake of the southward drifting Antarctic Plate. I wrote about such hypothetical magma stems long before I saw some of them on images generated by global seismic tomography. With the new evidence in hand I am inclined to modify the words "Australia was twisted" to "Australia was twisted off.”


6.    The Antarctic Plate, consisting of Antarctica and an angular patch of Jurassic/Cretaceous ocean floor, were twisted counter-clockwise, down past the New Zealand/Australian crust. General Earth expansion and quick softening of the mantle, in the southern hemisphere, appear to have suctioned the Antarctic Plate southward. (Note: I have modified my description of Antarctica’s mode of twisting and travel twice -- first for my Urbino Video, and again for my 2016 book and the present website.)

7.    The tip of the Antarctic Plate, now extending beyond the Kerguelen and Crozet islands, shows evidence of having been torn during the Paleocene and the Eocene. This may have happened during its breakaway from the Gulf of Alaska, and then during its scrape past the Australian/New Zealand plate. While it is interesting to contemplate, this point carries now less weight for me than some of the others -- unless it inspires someone to do comparative geology on these islands and along the coast of Alaska. That would be exciting and would help clarify.

8.    Approaching from the (south)west, the Antarctic Plate has dozed into existence the Scotia Ridge, out of the tip of South America. When later it retreated, it left behind the Sandwich Islands. In the process it jarred open the south Sandwich Trench. Based primarily on the logic of ocean floor chronology, I wrote these words in 1994, and I animated this process in the spring of 1996 for video. Only at the October GSA convention, in Denver, did I find the US Geological Survey map which vindicates my interpretation. At the tip of South America, there is an only place on Earth where a small continental collision (an impact) seems to have taken place -- and no mountain range was formed as a result of this collision.

9.    The entire angular plate of the Jurassic/Cretaceous ocean floor -- perhaps I should have been more careful and also mention "Paleocene" as I initially intended -- which reaches from Antarctica beyond the Kerguelen and Crozet islands, corresponds precisely to the patch of young ocean floor which, by my method of globe reduction, has begun taking shape west of North America during the Cretaceous. This solution occurred to me while contemplating one of my terrella models. The Antarctic Plate fits nicely into the Eocene-to-Present eastern Pacific -- that is, after the expansion factor for this period and the surroundings is subtracted. Here lies the key to Pacific evacuation. But there is more.

10. Jurassic remnants that once were joined with the northeastern edge of the Jurassic Pacific are still trapped between Cretaceous ocean floor and the continent of Antarctica. This arrangement, I think, is the clincher to my argument. All three pairs of Jurassic deep ocean floor can thereby be reunited on a reduced terrella model. All Jurassic patches of ocean floor fit well into the chronology to where they could have originated in the various oceans.

11. However, along the back of Antarctica one does find a significant patch of Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene floor. It cannot have formed there if my theory is to be valid. Fortunately, its original association with contours northwest, at the other side of the present spreading rift, is obvious. The later spreading rift, apparently, has cut away this patch from similar older floors that now are on the other side.

12. I have explained deep coastal trenches everywhere as tensile features -- and by this assertion I reject their association with ocean floor subduction; I reject the process of ocean floor subduction itself, along with the implied hypothetical convection currents in the mantle.

13. An additional piece of evidence, of which I was aware when I wrote but which I forgot to mention, is a small patch of detached Paleocene ocean floor in the Atlantic, east of the West Indies ridge. This is the only irregularity in the chronological symmetry of the Atlantic. Surrounded on all sides by Eocene floor, this Paleocene patch clearly has been pinched off during the Eocene when, as a result of Antarctica's partition from the East Pacific, South America was pushed eastward for a while. This event also appears to have bent the West Indies ridge northward.

My "Three Perspectives on Mountain Formation," in the Athens essay, essentially are those that are given in the video script. I have never taken the time to check what other expansionists and makers of terrella models have written on that subject. The general process of mountain formation, which I have described within the framework of Expansion Tectonics, seems to me to be common sense. I would indeed be very surprised if it turned out that I was the first to say these things.

My primary innovation pertains to identifying some of the sequences in which the deep oceans were formed. The process of their formation, evident from ocean floor chronology, does in the final analysis demonstrate Earth expansion. The main differences between the expansion sequence that I present, and the solutions presented by others, appear to have resulted from the fact that these others are still laboring under the influence of Wegener’s Atlantic-centered Pangaea model. This and subsequent models were constructed essentially on the basis of continental contours. Like everyone else, I too have constructed my first terrella model primarily based on continental contours, in 1979. But I did so free of Wegener’s influence. Therefore, even back then my end result looked different than the conclusions of other expansionists. Today the new ocean floor chronology supports my 1979 placement of Antarctica and Australia upon a reduced globe, together with my theory of Pacific Evacuation.