The theory of plate tectonics explains the structure and motion of the Earth’s lithosphere. The theory states that the Earth’s crust is split into large sections called tectonic plates, and these move relative to one another creating boundaries at which the plates converge, diverge or move past each other. These plates are either continental or oceanic and are powered by convection currents, which is the circular movement of magma that comes from within the mantle. These currents are powered by the core, which heats the magma, causing it to rise, cool and fall back down. This circular motion causes the plates, which float on the mantle, to move.
In 1912, Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, was the first man to state that the continents were once joined in a super continent called Pangaea, conversely he couldn’t explain why and what happened to cause the plates to move apart. He based his theory on the extraordinary fit of the South American and African continent coastlines. Notably the eastern edge of South America and the western edge of Africa showed very similar geological features suggesting that at some point in the Earth’s history the landmasses were joined together. Another indicator that the continents were once distributed differently was geological evidence of glaciations in India – it is unlikely that glaciers could ever reach such low latitudes, but this problem can easily be explained by the theory of continental drift. Fossil distribution also provided some of the earliest evidence for plate tectonics. Interestingly, plant and animal fossils were found on the matching coastlines of South America and Africa. These are now widely separated by the Atlantic Ocean, therefore he reasoned that is physically impossible for most of these organisms to have swum or have been