Call us toll-free

Make research projects and school reports about continental drift …

Continental Drift Hypothesis

Approximate price


275 Words


Continental Drift Hypothesis - Crystalinks

Wegener's idea of continental drift had the continents floating around on semisolid oceanic rock. In contrast, plate tectonics suggests that Earth's entire crust is composed of a number of large plates that are in constant motion relative to each other. Some plates are sliding under other plates, some are sliding past each other, others are pulling apart, and still others are colliding. Each of these types of interactions produces unique geological consequences. The are formed as two continental plates collide. Along the northwest coast of North America, an oceanic plate is sliding under the North American plate. The resulting geological characteristic is a chain of volcanoes. As one plate is forced under the other, friction causes enormous amounts of heat that builds up until a volcano forms and erupts. Earthquakes are often the result of sudden movement of two adjacent plates. The plates "lock up" until enough force is generated to break them apart, causing the quake. One of the world's most famous earthquake zones, the San Andreas Fault, lies at the boundary of the Pacific and the North American plates.

What evidence did Alfred Wegener use to support his theory of continental drift?

1910 American physicist and glaciologist Frank Bursley Taylor proposed the concept of 'continental drift' to explain the apparent geological continuity of the American Appalachian mountain belt (extending from Alabama to Newfoundland) with the Caledonian Mountains of NW Europe (Scotland and Scandinavia), which now occur on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Continental drift - definition of continental drift by The …

Alfred Wegener proposed the theory of continental drift - the idea that Earth's continents move

Although Wegener's "continental drift" theory was discarded, it did introduce the idea of moving continents to geoscience. And decades later, scientists would confirm some of Wegener's ideas, such as the past existence of a supercontinent joining all the world's landmasses as one. was a supercontinent that formed roughly 200 to 250 million years ago, according to the (USGS) and was responsible for the fossil and rock clues that led Wegener to his theory. [

When Wegener proposed continental drift, many geologists were contractionists. They thought Earth's incredible mountains were created because our planet was cooling and shrinking since its formation, Frankel said. And to account for the identical fossils discovered on continents such as South America and Africa, scientists invoked ancient land bridges, now vanished beneath the sea.

Continental Drift: Theory & Definition - Live Science

"There's an irony that the key objection to continent drift was that there is no mechanism, and plate tectonics was accepted without a mechanism," to move the continents, said Henry Frankel, an emeritus professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of the four volume "" (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Benjamin Franklin and Ralph Waldo Emerson were amongst the earliest pre-supposers of what we now accept as Continental Drift or Tectonic Plates theorising.

Order now
  • Darwin, Continental Drift, and Evolution ..

    Early reactions to continental drift theory with comparison of Alfred Wegener's experiences to Darwin's and Galileo's.

  • Continental Drift Theory: Understanding Our Changing …

    15/01/2018 · What evidence did Alfred Wegener use to support his theory of continental drift?

  • CONTINENTAL DRIFT - Paleontology and Geology Glossary

    The best videos and questions to learn about Continental Drift. Get smarter on Socratic.

Order now

Continental drift hypothesis definition - Adventure Tours PA

Wegener thought all the continents were once joined together in an "Urkontinent" before breaking up and drifting to their current positions. But geologists soundly denounced Wegener's theory of continental drift after he published the details in a 1915 book called "." Part of the opposition was because Wegener didn't have a good model to explain how the continents moved apart.

Plate Tectonics: 2.1 Continental drift - OpenLearn - …

Despite his incredible evidence for continental drift, Wegener never lived to see his theory gain wider acceptance. He died in 1930 at age 50 just two days after his birthday while on a scientific expedition in Greenland, according to the .

2 From continental drift to plate tectonics 2.1 Continental drift

Some sources continue to show the Indian and Australian plates featured here as a single Indo-Australian plate.)

The fact that large portions of the ocean floor, as well as continental expanses, seem to be "solid plates" has tended to discredit the term - continental drift - and to establish the alternative term - plate tectonics.

Hardy-Weinberg - Kansas State University

Whilst several notable observers had previously suggested that the continents on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, (most notably, Africa and South America), seemed to be capable of fitting together, the hypothesis that the continents had once formed a single landmass, called Pangaea, before breaking apart and drifting to their present locations was first presented by Alfred Wegener to the German Geological Society on 6 January 1912.

Alfred Wegener - Biography, Facts and Pictures

continental drift, geological theory that the relative positions of the continents on the earth's surface have changed considerably through geologic time. Though first proposed by American geologist Frank Bursley Taylor in a lecture in 1908, the first detailed theory of continental drift was put forth by German meteorologist and geophysicist Alfred in 1912. On the basis of geology, biology, climatology, and the alignment of the continental shelf rather than the coastline, he believed that during the late and early eras, about 275 to 175 million years ago, all the continents were united into a vast supercontinent, which he called Pangaea. Later, Pangaea broke into two supercontinental masses—Laurasia to the north, and Gondwanaland to the south. The present continents began to split apart in the latter Mesozoic era about 100 million years ago, drifting to their present positions.

As additional evidence Wegener cited the unusual presence of coal deposits in the South Polar regions, glacial features in present-day equatorial regions, and the jigsaw fit of the opposing Atlantic continental shelves. He also pointed out that a plastic layer in the earth's interior must exist to accommodate vertical adjustments caused by the creation of new mountains and by the wearing down of old mountains by erosion (see ). He postulated that the earth's rotation caused horizontal adjustment of rock in this plastic layer, which caused the continents to drift. The frictional drag along the leading edges of the drifting continents results in mountain building.

Wegener's theory stirred considerable controversy during the 1920s. South African geologist A. L. Dutoit, in 1921, strengthened the argument by adding more exacting details that correlated geological and paleontological similarities on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1928, Scottish geologist Arthur Holmes suggested that thermal convection in the mantle was the mechanism that drove the continental movements. American geologist David Griggs performed scale model experiments to show the mantle movements.

The theory of continental drift was not generally accepted, particularly by American geologists, until the 1950s and 60s, when a group of British geophysicists reported on magnetic studies of rocks from many places and from each major division of geologic time. They found that for each continent, the magnetic pole had apparently changed position through geologic time, forming a smooth curve, or pole path, particular to that continent. The pole paths for Europe and North America could be made to coincide by bringing the continents together.

See ; .

See E. H. Colbert, (1985); T. H. Van Andel, (2d ed. 1994); W. Sullivan, (1995); N. Oreskes, (1999).

Order now
  • Kim

    "I have always been impressed by the quick turnaround and your thoroughness. Easily the most professional essay writing service on the web."

  • Paul

    "Your assistance and the first class service is much appreciated. My essay reads so well and without your help I'm sure I would have been marked down again on grammar and syntax."

  • Ellen

    "Thanks again for your excellent work with my assignments. No doubts you're true experts at what you do and very approachable."

  • Joyce

    "Very professional, cheap and friendly service. Thanks for writing two important essays for me, I wouldn't have written it myself because of the tight deadline."

  • Albert

    "Thanks for your cautious eye, attention to detail and overall superb service. Thanks to you, now I am confident that I can submit my term paper on time."

  • Mary

    "Thank you for the GREAT work you have done. Just wanted to tell that I'm very happy with my essay and will get back with more assignments soon."

Ready to tackle your homework?

Place an order