The Plate Tectonics Theory

Topics: Plate tectonics, Earth, Volcano Pages: 2 (588 words) Published: March 16, 2013
Plate Tectonics
Plate tectonics is the science and study of causes and relative motions of earth’s lithosphere plates. This theory proposes that earth’s outer layer is made up of plates which have moved throughout earth’s history. It is the scientific theory that attempts to explain the movements of the Earth's lithosphere that have formed the landscape features seen across the world today. The primary natural hazards facing the islands of the Caribbean are earthquakes and hurricanes. Some of the islands are also subjected to instances of volcanic activity. This essay is aimed towards outlining the theory of plate tectonics, accounting for earthquake and volcanic occurrences in the Caribbean as well as evaluating the measures implemented at the regional level to mitigate the impact of natural disasters. Plate tectonics grew out of a theory that was first developed in the early 20th century by a meteorologist, Alfred Wegener. Wegener noticed that the coastlines of the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa seemed to fit together like a jig-saw puzzle. Further investigations of earth revealed that some continents show matching geological sequences (rocks of similar age, type, formation, and structure). Similar plant and animal fossils as well as a number of climatic conditions anomalies existed in some continents. Therefore, a conclusion was made that all the continents were all at one time connected in a single supercontinent called a Pangaea. The gradual drifting away of the Pangaea into seven sections namely: North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Antarctica, and Australia around 300 million years ago is known today as the continental drift. Plate tectonics is accountable for the majority of Earth's geologic features. It is responsible for the formation of mountain ranges and the shape and position of the oceans and continents. However, these processes are tremendously time-consuming and take millions of years to produce...
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