Continental Drift, Plate Tectonics, the North American Plate

Topics: Plate tectonics, Earth, Lithosphere Pages: 2 (765 words) Published: February 12, 2013
Continental Drift, Plate Tectonics, The North American Plate
The experts and scientists have theories on how the the world's plates move and how earthquakes occur. These theories on how the world's plate move is called continental drift and the theory on how earthquakes occur is called plate tectonics. They also have a lot of information on the North American Plate and in which direction it is moving and information like that. Now let me tell you more about each of these topics.

Continental drift is when the Earth's plates move in different directions. Scientists think that Continental Drift is caused by the heating and cooling of the Earth's mantel which makes currents. These currents make the plates slide and move over the liquid and molten rock in the mantel. These currents made by the heating and cooling are called convection currents. The person who developed the theory of continental drift was named Abraham Ortelius in 1956. He thought of this theory by noticing that the land of South America seemed to fit Africa like a jigsaw puzzle. He then thought up that the land must've been torn apart by earthquakes and floods. Later on Alfred Wegener made a fully developed hypothesis on how the continents came to be where they are today. This was that the Earth's crust was once a supercontinent known as Pangeae. But the continents broke off not by earthquakes and flooding as Abraham Ortelius stated, but by volcanic activity due to thermal expansion. Then the new continents drifted by further expansion of the rip-zones. But then a theory without any expansion involved was developed by Frank Bursley Taylor. He proposed that the continents were dragged towards the equator by a lunar gravitational pull. But both of these theories were wrong, as I mentioned before, the continents move by convection currents in the mantel. This idea was founded by geologist Arthur Holmes. This is what continental drift is.

Plate tectonics are plates that make up all of the Earth's...
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