When strain on a rock system comes to an end, a process of crystallization may take
place from silica units fragmented during the strain regime. Garnet is an example
of this and can be found in the areas which were once under maximum tension. Continuing
with the toffee analogy, this would mean crystals of sucrose subsequently forming
in the stretched margins of the two toffee pieces.
Spaces between chains or rings (interstitial spaces) are usually filled with cations
such as sodium - which are weakly bonded with the oxygen atoms. Glass is described
as a solid electrolyte (Boolchand P, and Bresser M.J.) and these ions can be pulled
through them when a magnetic field is applied. T Kaneko of the Nippon Kogaku KK Research
Laboratory, described the dilation of glass by field assisted ion exchange. Silver
ions can displace sodium ions and because of their greater ionic radius (30% larger),
there is a resultant increase in the volume of the material.
So it appears that silica chain structures can ‘relax away’ from each other to accommodate
ions of greater radius. The interstitial spaces become more open with increasing
temperature and so larger cations are then able to diffuse through them, displacing
In this way we should expect that rocks formed from alkaline ultramafic lavas, more
than a billion years ago, will have had their sodium ions replaced by larger and
heavier elements and these, in turn, may have been later substituted for even larger
elements. The heaviest element uranium may be the most recent in a long series of
displacements within some rocks. Each displacement sequence would bring about considerable
volume change and this will have caused temperatures and pressures to rise in confined
rock systems, enough to cause distortion of overlying rocks and often their folding
into mountain ranges.
It is easy to see how sodium ions displaced could have been shunted into aqueous
solutions and would eventually find their way to oceans and cause them to become
Planetary Core Growth
It is likely that some metals are differentiated at the core. This means that the
core of rocky planetesimals may comprise of light metals such as lithium - but increasingly
heavier metals will differentiate at the core as the planet migrates towards the
Sun. These heavier metals will displace the lighter ones in radial fractionation.
The Earth’s core now comprises mainly of iron and some nickel. Older planets such
as Venus and Mercury may also have cores of iron but these are likely to be alloyed
with much heavier metals.
If asteroids and meteorites are the debris of previous planets (as Planetary Metamorphosis
suggests) then the iron structures of some of them may describe the nature of the
core materials of these previous planets.
A 4.6 billion year old meteorite (iron) - Oxford Natural History Museum
Cosmic rays may also add mass to the planet - although perhaps in a much less significant
way than in the way previously described. These rays comprise of protons (H ions
positively charged- 89%) and neutrons (helium nuclei -with no charge - 10%) and heavier
elements of all species - 1%.
These cosmic rays originate from the Sun and other stars. Immediately after Solar
storms, however, the flow from the Sun briefly interrupts the flow from outside the
These cosmic rays (primary cosmic rays) hit the outer atmosphere at a point 20 km
up from the surface of the Earth and create a jet of secondary particles (secondary
cosmic rays) which carry on in roughly the same direction until they collide with
oxygen and nitrogen in the Earth’s atmosphere (Leeds University Department of Astrophysics).