plate tectonic theory

Topics: Plate tectonics, Volcano, Subduction Pages: 3 (1107 words) Published: November 3, 2014
“Evaluate how plate tectonics theory helps our understanding of the distribution of seismic and volcanic events” (40 marks) The theory of plate tectonics was first introduced by Alfred Wegener in 1912. He observed the continents an could see they interlock like a jig saw puzzle, for example the West African Coastline fits snugly into the South American coastline, he suggested that at one point in time there was only one giant continent called “Pangea”. Later evidence was found that proved this theory as the fossil remains of a dinosaur, the Mesosaurous was found along the coast of Brazil as well as along the coastline of Gabon, also fossilised pollen species and rock sediments were both found along these coastlines. This further demonstrated that Wegener’s theory was accurate. Wegener’s ideas were proved further right and built upon our understanding of tectonic activities. Sea floor spreading was discovered showing that rock is being created and destroyed, this lead us to believe that plates and plate boundaries existed. The mid-Atlantic ridge is a constructive plate boundary where by the Eurasian and North American plates are moving apart, this allows magma to rise creating new plate material. This has created the island of Iceland which in itself has rift valleys which are evidence so support the plates are moving apart. Carbon dating has helped prove this theory as the crust nearer to the UK is much older than the crust along the mid-Atlantic ridge. Paleomagnetism is where metallic elements in the crust are aligned in opposing layers. Every couple 1000 years the earth’s polarity flips, this means that every time the metallic elements align themselves in the opposite direction. In the case of constructive plate boundary plate tectonic theory has helped our understanding as we can now determine that at constructive pate boundaries fissure volcanoes are more common here, therefore suggesting the nature of a potential eruption may not be as destructive as a...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Plate Tectonics Theory
  • Plate Tectonics Essay
  • Plate tectonics essay
  • Comment on the extent to which the features shown in the image support the theory of plate tectonics. Essay
  • plates Essay
  • Evaluate How Plate Tectonics Theory Helps Our Understanding Of The Distribution Of Seismic And Volcanic Events Essay
  • Evaluate How Plate Tectonic Theory Helps Our Understanding of the Distribution of Seismic and Volcanic Events (40 Marks) Essay
  • “Discuss the Extent to which volcanic and seismic activity are evidence for plate tectonic theory” (40) Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free