Horizontal Motions on Earth

We are able to precisely detect various horizontal motions on Earth thanks to devices like GPS today. Geodetic stations around ridges move as the ridges generate new and new basalts. Wait. Do they really move?

In order to correctly interpret such motions in centimeters or millimeters, we need to look at the situation from a planetary view.

There is a group of satellites orbiting the Earth. They are able to localize a geodetic station. If the station was put on the north pole, the localization would indicate 90° N. If it was relocated to a new position, say 1000 meters from the pole, the GPS localization would give a new locality 1000 meters farther away from the previous one on the north pole. It is evident that a forced motion of the station from A to B indicates a change of its position. It is no problem to evaluate a distance between the points A and B and if needed, also the velocity, if the station was relocated for example over a period of one week.

What would happen, if the station was put inside a rock massif and was left to the mercy of Earth? The station will probably move again. Now, we have got two options how to explain it.

Positions and horizontal motions of geodetic stations (DGFI-TUM – http://www.dgfi.tum.de/research/reference-systems/).

Earth with Constant Radius

The first option that crosses your mind would be that the station moves because of some forced motion (like in our previous example). This means that a certain area of Earth’s crust really moved – slided over Earth from A to B. Like a train going from one station to another station. Or like a person going to work and then back home. This is one of the foundation stones of plate tectonics and the measured motion is considered to be a proof of continental drift.

Move of a station from A to B on Earth with constant radius.

Earth with Variable Radius

Some of you wonder, how is it possible that I continue with a list of possible explanations. In addition, the paragraph will be divided into two.

A complement – if a body with constant mass changes its size, we may take it as a point. Thus the influence of volume changes on the GPS satellite trajectory won’t be taken into consideration from the physical point of view. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether the Earth changes its size or not, the satellite’s orbit and orbital period will be the same. There will be the pole (90°) according to the reference net all the time.

Expansion over the Whole Surface

An example of expansion over the whole surface is a balloon. When we blow up a balloon, all points on its surface move at a roughly constant velocity and direction. Since they have united directions, they don’t change their coordinates. The station at the pole would stay at the pole. We wouldn’t be able to measure any horizontal motion. The only motion would be the vertical one.

Move of a station from A to B on Earth with expansion over the whole surface.

Expansion with Expansive Ruptures

The second option is to tear the balloon to pieces and change its size by adding new (balloon) material inside the ruptures. The added material doesn’t expand after addition. Now, only the area of the ruptures expands – surrounding parts are rigid and don’t expand.

This kind of expansion goes for Earth. It leads to changes of positions of geodetic stations. With this expansion, the station doesn’t stay on the pole. It moves away with respect to closest expansive ruptures (ridges). The motion occurs perpendicularly to the ridges.

There occurs a move of a station with the expansion with expansive ruptures.

So what?

Let’s take India. When we have a look at the measured vectors on India (picture above), we see that they lead somewhere to NE. As with the vectors in other parts of Eurasia. Now, there is a question whether we push India towards Eurasian mass like a high-tonnage icebreaker or whether we realize that there is a massive expansive rupture to the south from India. This rupture leads from Alaska to Europe through the Red Sea. And that the spread of this rupture makes those cm-shifts measured in Eurasia or also India.

India and a massive spreading expansive rupture to the south (modified after https://portal.gplates.org/cesium/).

If you stand on an idea of an icebreaker, then this idea from plate tectonics doesn’t make sense, well, we would assume that the Earth’s radius is constant. If we stand on the idea of spreading expansive rupture, the Earth’s radius will slightly change in reaction to measured horizontal motions.

The (angular) position of the geodetic station (position 1 vs position 2) is changed in reaction to radius increase. An example with one ridge.

We learned at school how one calculates the circumference of a circle, the circumference equals roughly 6.28 times the radius. In other words, the change in radius from 1 to 2 results in the change in circumference from 6.28 to 12.56. We see that the surface change is more evident than the radius change in absolute numbers. Thus our chances for measurement of radius increase are lower.

14 Replies to “Horizontal Motions on Earth”

  1. You bet I am! Mastering ex-nihilo matter creation would be awesome!

    I discovered EE from a 2007 documentery by Franz Fitzke, and you?

  2. What is your answer to “Three optical observatories at Canberra, Honolulu, and Tokyo have telescopes capable receiving reflected laser light from a lunar corner-cube. […] According to the ‘plate tectonics’ hypothesis these three observatories are approaching each other at a rate of several centimeters per year. According to the expanding earth model they are separating at a few centimeters per year. Remeasurement after a few years would establish the truth.” (Samuel Carey, The Expanding Earth, 1976 [42 years old], p. 443)?

    1. Yes, this could be interesting, but still very very challenging. Maybe I will contact the observatories in order to discuss some future research options. It would be nice to try to measure over the subduction zone – directly.

  3. So your answer is “no answer”. Amazing. Or not.

    I suggest you to stop wasting your time in EE.

    PS: Stop claiming that “Plate tectonics is a pseudoscientific belief.”

    1. I recommend to measure directly over the ‘subduction zone’, this would be great. I did some math and it is really very challenging, but not impossible. We are talking about cms or mms per year. I recommend the mainstream stop claiming that EE is a pseudoscientific belief 😀

  4. “I recommend to measure directly over the ‘subduction zone’, this would be great.”

    The satellite measurements that your own above article include, show that Canberra, Honolulu, and Tokyo are converging at several cm/year. https://sideshow.jpl.nasa.gov/post/links/STR2.html
    So, according to Samuel Carey (father of modern EE) himself, Earth is not expanding (see previous quote of him).

    You can also compare GPS location on both side of some subduction zone, like in Grece or around Philippine sea.

    “stop claiming that EE is a pseudoscientific belief”


    Also: feel free to reply to doi:10.5194/hgss-5-135-2014 in a mainstream scientific journal.

    PS: Stop claiming that “Plate tectonics is a pseudoscientific belief.” It is not.

    1. Dear Nicolas,

      even an expansion ‘over expansive ruptures’ leads to horizontal motions, I made few 2D models here:


      As you may notice, the stations may move and the motion is sometimes opposing, the stations may separate from each other or they may move to each other.

      I am working on full 3D models, I strongly recommend to think about direct measurement over the ‘subduction zone’. This means – absolute measurement, show me such an absolute measurement, some direct results. I don’t know any.


  5. The work from Sudiro (doi:10.5194/hgss-5-135-2014) is full of mistaken models and declarations.

    First of all, Sudiro says that high density bodies don’t exist, which is not true, they do exist and we already found them, just have a look at the recent catalogues of exoplanets.

    Next thing, Sudiro uses extremely unsuitable maps for the reconstruction of Pacific expansion, he even makes it completely wrong since he puts Australia directly to South America. This is wrong.

    Here, I did it right: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322896799_THERE_IS_BEAUTY_IN_SIMPLICITY_ZEALANDIASOUTH_AMERICA_RENDEZVOUS_ON_THE_EXPANDING_EARTH

    I don’t understand why the ‘Plate People’ (Carey’s famous term) ignore Zealandia and basic relief of Earth’s oceanic floor. I really don’t understand it.

  6. “show me such an absolute measurement, some direct results”

    It doesn’t work like this. You challenge the scientific consensus, then you bear the burden of proof. You have to show measurement of Earth expansion. (Measurements showing that all diverging boundaries are actually converging boundaries would be good for EE, also.)

    “Sudiro uses extremely unsuitable maps for the reconstruction of Pacific expansion, he even makes it completely wrong since he puts Australia directly to South America. This is wrong.”

    Are you talking about figure 1?

    “Here, I did it right:”

    No, here it is right: http://nachon.free.fr/GE/southpacific/southpole.gif You have nothing against subduction zones.

    “the ‘Plate People’ […] ignore Zealandia”


    “the ‘Plate People’ […] ignore […] basic relief of Earth’s oceanic floor.”


    1. Nicolas, there exist basic relief features on the oceanic floor. It is about looking at them. To Sudiro: I mean the picture of Pacific reconstruction, he completely ignores Zealandia, that’s a fact. How is that possible that the journal accepted such a paper? He also ignores exoplanetary catalogues. His paper is simply a waste of time. We are in 2018, we have great maps of oceanic floor, we know a lot about exoplanets and we ignore it? I don’t understand it.

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