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历年考研英语阅读理解1998年05

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http://online2.tingclass.net/lesson/shi0529/0008/8686/A_1998_5.mp3
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[00:06.01]1998 Passage5

[00:08.41]Scattered around the globe are more than

[00:10.82]100 small regions of isolated volcanic activity

[00:15.23]known to geologists as hot spots.

[00:18.86]Unlike most of the world's volcanoes,

[00:21.38]they are not always found at the boundaries

[00:23.80]of the great drifting plates

[00:25.50]that make up the earth's surface;

[00:28.23]on the contrary, many of them lie deep

[00:30.85]in the interior of a plate.

[00:33.58]Most of the hot spots move only slowly,

[00:36.90]and in some cases the movement of the plates

[00:39.52]past them has left trails of dead volcanoes.

[00:43.76]The hot spots and their volcanic trails are milestones

[00:47.09]that mark the passage of the plates.

[00:50.07]That the plates are moving is now beyond dispute.

[00:54.12]Africa and South America, for example,

[00:57.15]are moving away from each other as new material

[01:00.18]is injected into the sea floor between them.

[01:03.61]The complementary coastlines and certain geological features

[01:07.54]that seem to span the ocean are reminders of

[01:10.87]where the two continents were once joined.

[01:14.49]The relative motion of the plates carrying these continents

[01:18.33]has been constructed in detail,

[01:20.96]but the motion of one plate with respect to another

[01:24.09]cannot readily be translated into motion

[01:27.31]with respect to the earth's interior.

[01:30.14]It is not possible to determine

[01:32.05]whether both continents are moving in opposite directions

[01:35.55]or whether one continent is stationary

[01:37.57]and the other is drifting away from it.

[01:40.60]Hot spots, anchored in the deeper layers of the earth,

[01:44.02]provide the measuring instruments

[01:45.73]needed to resolve the question.

[01:48.56]From an analysis of the hot-spot population it appears

[01:52.08]that the African plate is stationary

[01:55.01]and that it has not moved

[01:56.16]during the past 30 million years.

[02:00.00]The significance of hot spots is not confined to

[02:03.01]their role as a frame of reference.

[02:05.84]It now appears that they also have an important influence

[02:09.26]on the geophysical processes

[02:11.59]that propel the plates across the globe.

[02:14.77]When a continental plate comes to rest over a hot spot,

[02:18.59]the material rising from deeper layers creates a broad dome.

[02:23.63]As the dome grows, it develops deep fissures (cracks);

[02:28.87]in at least a few cases the continent

[02:31.80]may break entirely along some of these fissures,

[02:34.93]so that the hot spot initiates the formation of a new ocean.

[02:39.66]Thus just as earlier theories

[02:41.78]have explained the mobility of the continents,

[02:44.40]so hot spots may explain their mutability (inconstancy).

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