Wegener and the Theory of Continental Drift

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Prepared for
Dr. Heather Hauser
Shorter University
EASC 2060 The Natural World
Submitted by
Lillie Momon
December 6, 2011

Running head: Wegener and the Theory of Continental Drift
Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) was a German scientist in the fields of meteorology, astronomy, and geology. He was one of the first scientists to theorize about the continental drift or continents in motion, which supports the belief that the Earth's continents once were a single land mass. Wegener called this land mass, "Pangaea", because the continents began to break up, and various parts drifted away from one another. According to Wegener, “the eastern shoreline of Africa and the western shoreline of South America fit together like a piece of jigsaw puzzle, and when you align the continents at their continental shelves, their fit is even better” [ (Wegener, 2007) ]. When scientist and geologist began to traveler around the world, it was even more evident that Wegener’s theory of continental drift could be possible, because scientist had once thought that the continents had started off in their places, where they now lie. However, Wegener’s theory began to change the way people looked at the world. Based on the theory of continental drift, Wegener began to gather evidence from around the world from landforms, fossils, and climate and put it in a book titled “The Origin of Continents and Oceans,” which was published in 1915. Wegener’s theory was rejected because he could not provide evidence on the force that moved the continents. Base upon the reading of, Conceptual Integrated Science, Harry Hess and Robert Dietz, both scientists came up with a hypothesis that linked, Wegener’s theory of continental drift, to seafloor spreading. “The seafloor is repeatedly changing; as new lithosphere forms in mid ocean the older lithosphere is pushed from the ridge into a deep ocean trench, which causes the continents to shift” [ (Weil, 1997) ]. According to Dr....
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