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How Plates Die . . . Or Do They?

A nice successful Earth theory, like a properly running civilization, should have a sustainable recycling system. In plate tectonics the waste-disposal stage corresponds to subduction, the process that takes old plates away from the game of continental drift. We know that while a plate is being subducted the volatile part, mostly water, gets mobilized and rises off the plate to reenter the rock cycle in volcanoes.
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