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It has long been theorized that the driving forces of plate movements are deep convection currents that well up beneath the mid-ocean ridges and then circle back down beneath the ocean trenches.The problem with this theory is that the mantle appears to be horizontally layered.Certain geologists have publicly recognized that these findings cast serious doubt on the original lithosphere-asthenosphere model of thin plates sliding over a lubricating layer.As it turns out, the plates are not really solid, intact, plates at all, but are instead composed of broken-up pieces of various shapes, sizes, structure, and strength.It is somewhat like trying to pull a train engine with dental floss.The theory of subduction has other problems as well.

The ocean trenches do not have enough sediment in them if subduction has truly occurred in these areas over the course of millions of years.The reason for this is because the plates themselves are not internally strong enough for forces along their edges to be transmitted across the entire plate.In other words, pulling or pushing forces would crush or fracture the crust before the forces could be transmitted to the rest of the plate.The existence of deep continental roots and the absence of a continuous, global asthenosphere to "lubricate" plate motions, have rendered the classical model of plate movements untenable.There is no consensus on the thickness of the "plates" and no certainty as to the forces responsible for their supposed movement.

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