plate tectonics and time dilation

To continue the thread from my last post, there's two big areas of difficulty I had with 10.5 Apocalypse. Plate tectonics and time dilation. There were plenty of other problems but those two bothered me.

Now time dilation is a problem with lots of movies and TV shows so it's not much of a surprise that it popped up here but I mention it because it was integral to the plot. When I say 'time dilation' what I mean is that in the show it took less time to do something than it would in the real world. We see this all the time in TV shows where they drive across a city in 20 minutes when we know it takes an hour--if you're lucky.

In 10.5 Apocalypse there were scenes important to the plot like where Dr Jordan Fisher noticed the hot spots in Lake Mead and flew there to investigate personally and found temperatures to be rising quickly just as they had noticed via satellite. However, the Hoover Dam is 750 miles away from where they were in Denver and if you assume they were flying around 120mph it would take 6 hours to fly there. I guess those temperatures were on hold during that interval. Or when the rescue teams were able to get to Las Vegas within an hour and set up. Kim Delaney's father barely had time to get his group up two floors before the teams were entering the building. Pretty remarkable that time dilation thing.

Looking around the Internet I didn't find one favorable review of this movie by a critic but even with all that bad science and some questionable acting (esp Delaney and the girl that played the President's daughter) I enjoyed Apocalypse. Go figure.

Anyway, then there's the continental drift situation. In terms of geology the rocks we see about us are the lightweight stuff. Essentically the landmasses are the mineral foam that is resting on top of the denser mantle. The movie would have you believe that the continents are moving about on their own, in a way, masters of their fate. In reality all the land in the world is just piggybacking, totally unnoticed and inconsequential, atop the tectonic plates. When tectonic plates meet and land masses are on top--the land just buckles and forms mountains, or is forced under where "the land" melts and floats back to the top in the form of magma amidst volcanic activity.

Our continent of North America is actually formed from a number of collisions like that with the Rocky Mountains being relatively recent evidence though much older chains like the Appalachian and Adirondack Mountains exist to illustrate how long this has been going on.

Another odd thing was the supposition that if you opened a channel from the midwest to the Gulf of Mexico that the entire middle section of the country would disappear. If that was true, any river that empties into the gulf would serve as a conduit for such a flooding. Of course that doesn't happen because the middle of the country isn't below sea level. As can be seen in this picture, there's river systems already in this area--and the water flows from the middle of the country down to the gulf. From a higher place to a lower.

And that's another thing! Why would a fault like that "flow" down the country like a river would? That was so silly. Rifts like that open up as a result of a faultline fracturing. That doesn't run in a temporally and geographically ordered fashion like a river, it's more hit or miss with seemingly random places hit.

But despite all that, I liked the movie. Too bad Delaney was the lead.


Oreo said…
Oh, oh, you know what else?!?!?!? If you watched the original the night before & then watched the new one, effurybody put on a lot of weight & changed in other ways just OVERNIGHT!!!
K said…

That photo looks HUGE...

Thanks for the great write-up. but I'm afraid of my new persona.. Yikes ;)

Here again from Michele..Well, I'm curious...What was it about the movie that you liked? Cause it sounds like there was so much wrong with's to like, my dear?
Ciera said… did have Dean Cain in it...that was something nice about it...LOL!!! I only watched the first half, and didn't like it that much.
Ryan said…
Only saw about 10 minutes of it. I couldn't get past the acting and effects long enough to dispute the science.

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