I was wondering why so many earthquakes, with increasing magnitude have been occurring recently. I ran across several articles and found it to be of
Charles Hapgood was not a geologist; he was a professor of the history of science at Keene College in New Hampshire. He also pursued ancient
cartography. He noticed that a southern continent had been depicted on several maps, together with streams and pre-glacial topography. These Middle
Age’s maps show a continent about 30 degrees further north, in a temperate climate. Antarctica was not officially discovered until 1820.
With continental drift and plate tectonics it would take millions, if not hundreds of millions years for Antarctica to drift to it’s current polar
position. So Professor Hapgood developed a theory called Earth Crust Displacement (ECD) which could account the shift, and yet not contradict the
theory of continental drift. The basic notion of ECD is that the earth’s lithosphere, although composed of individual plates, can at times move as a
whole over the asthenosphere.
Now, visualize a loose-fitting jig-saw puzzle on a table. If you tried to move these pieces with uneven pressure, they would come apart and slip
underneath each other.
This is like plate tectonics and continental drift. Next, push evenly on the bottom edge, it is possible to slide the whole puzzle across the table
without disrupting the pieces. This is the core of Earth Crust Displacement. According to Steve Kruse, “Hapgood claimed that towards the end of the
last ice age, around 12,000 years ago, the extensive mass of glacial ice covering the northern continents caused the lithosphere to ‘slip’ over
the asthenosphere, moving Antarctica, during a period of at most several centuries, from a position in the middle latitudes to its current location,
and at the same time rotating the other continents. Antarctica’s movement to the polar region precipitated the development of its ice cap.
Similarly, by shifting the northern ice sheets out of the arctic zone, the end of the ice age was facilitated.” Interesting enough, Admiral Byrd
collected sedimentary cores from the bottom of the Ross Sea that provide evidence that great rivers carried down fine sediments into the sea.
This theory caught the attention of Professor Albert Einstein, who writes,” I find your arguments very impressive and have the impression that your
hypothesis is correct. One can hardly doubt that significant shifts of the crust have taken place repeatedly and within a short time.”
Hapgood then published his findings in the book Earth's Shifting Crust: a Key to Some Basic Problems of Earth Science (published in 1958 by Pantheon
Books, New York).
Professor Einstein even wrote the forward. Here is some paraphrasing of Dr Einstein’s forward.
“I frequently receive communications from people who wish to consult me concerning their unpublished ideas. It goes without saying that these ideas
are very seldom possessed of scientific validity. The very first communication, however, that I received from Mr. Hapgood electrified me. His idea is
original, of great simplicity, and -- if it continues to prove itself -- of great importance to everything that is related to the history of the
earth's surface... data indicate… climatic changes have taken place, apparently quite suddenly.
This is explicable if the virtually rigid outer crust of the earth undergoes, from time to time, extensive displacement over the viscous, plastic,
possibly fluid inner layers. Such displacements may take place as the consequence of comparatively slight forces exerted on the crust, derived from
the earth's momentum of rotation, which in turn will tend to alter the axis of rotation of the earth's crust. In a polar region there is continual
deposition of ice, which is not symmetrically distributed about the pole. The earth's rotation acts on these unsymmetrically(sic) deposited masses,
and produces centrifugal momentum that is transmitted to the rigid crust of the earth. The constantly increasing centrifugal momentum produced in this
way will, when it has reached a certain point, produce a movement of the earth's crust over the rest of the earth's body, and this will displace the
polar regions toward the equator. If the earth's crust is really so easily displaced over its substratum as this theory requires, then the rigid
masses near the earth's surface must be distributed in such a way that they give rise to no other considerable centrifugal momentum, which would tend
to displace the crust by centrifugal effect. I think that this deduction might be capable of verification, at least approximately. This centrifugal
momentum should in any case be smaller than that produced by the masses of deposited ice.”
Professor Einstein died, just 2 week after the publication.
Sadly, the geological community dispelled this theory, back in the 1960’s.
Enter Graham Hancock, a former correspondent for The Economist. He states Hancock states: “ that the great build-up of ice in the northern
hemisphere was not situated symmetrically, and that as the earth rotated on its axis, this imbalance caused the lithosphere to ‘slip’
catastrophically, much as the skin of an orange, if it were loose, might shift over the inner part of the orange all in one piece.” He reasoned if
Antarctica shifted south, and parts of the northern hemisphere moved out of the arctic zone, this implies other areas must have shifted into the
arctic area and become colder. Which would explain various flora and fauna have been found frozen.
There is a problem from the concept of isostacy, which is “the balance or equilibrium between adjacent blocks of crust resting on a plastic
mantle” (Plummer and McGeary, 1996, p. 521), and, the existence of hot spots, which are areas of “volcanic eruptions and high heat above a rising
mantle plume” (Plummer, 1996, p. 521). This goes beyond my college education. However, with the resent sun spot activity, the massive growth of
concrete and steel cities (similar to the heavy polar ice fields), and increase in earthquakes, this theory begs to be re-explored.