Tectonic Plates

Topics: Plate tectonics, Continental drift, Seafloor spreading Pages: 3 (720 words) Published: August 12, 2013
Tectonic Plates

1.Wegener’s Theory-Continental Drift
Wegener’s developed the continental drift theory at the beginning of the 19th Century. He claimed that all the continents were joined together at one point in time, and drifted apart gradually over millions of years. Wegener stated that continents are not rigidly fixed, but moving at one yard per century.

Wegener published a book, The Origins of Continents and Oceans, which explained how billions of years ago the continents were once joined together in a large mass that he called “Pangaea”. Overtime this landform separated into small areas like “Gondwana”, “Laurasia” and finally to the positions we have now.

Why Was It Rejected?
Wegener’s theory was rejected because he had no direct proof to prove his theory. Also scientists of the time rejected this because at the time it was hard to believe as previous scientists had stated different facts, which clashed with Wegener’s theory, which proves that new information is hard to understand after you have been told a different thing for many years.

2.Evaluating Evidence for Continental Drift
The Plate Tectonics theory states that the outer layer of the earth, or lithosphere, is separated into different large slabs called plates, which are holding the continents and oceans. These plates are slowly moving and this helps us to understand that the continents were never in a fixed position, but also helps us to understand mountains, volcanoes, and other geologic events came to be.

Three pieces of evidence

* The coastlines of continents that are separated by ocean look as though they fit together (e.g. coastlines of Africa- coastlines of South America). I believe that this evidence is somewhat reliable because it is a very good observation that could lead to the theory that these continents once fit together and prove the tectonic plates, however just because they look like they might have fit together at one stage is not a lot of evidence...

Bibliography: "Wegener and Continental Drift Theory." The Church and Science:Conflict or Complement. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2013. http://www.scientus.org/Wegener-Continental-Drift.html

"Continental Drift and Plate-Tectonics Theory | Infoplease.com." Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free online reference, research & homework help. | Infoplease.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2013. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001765.html
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