TOPIC 6 - TOPIC 6 Plate Tectonics PART I HISTORICAL...

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TOPIC 6 – Plate Tectonics PART I. HISTORICAL SUGGESTIONS FOR MOVING CONTINENTS Pre-Twentieth Century Suggestions of Continental Movement Dating back to 1596, multiple scientists and mapmakers made suggestions regarding the connection of the continents. Earthquakes and floods could’ve driven the continents apart. Gondwanaland – the term, created by Austrian geologist D. E. Seuss, referred to the supercontinent composed of India and the other southern land masses Continental Drift Theory Theory of Continental Drift – continental displacement (created by the A.L. Wegener) Wegener proposed that approximately 300 million years ago all land masses were united into a single supercontinent called Pangaea. Laurasia – the term which referred to a northern supercontinent comprised of North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia. Physicists revealed that it was physically impossible for there to be forces adequate to make continents drift; therefore, continental drift wasn’t widely accepted until much later. The “Stepping Stone” theory called for island hopping of taxa across the Atlantic, requiring islands no longer in existence. PART II. FOSSIL AND GEOLOGIC EVIDENCE FROM THE CONTINENTS THAT WAS LARGELY THE BASIS OF CONTINENTAL DRIFT THEORY Fit of the Continents The edge of a continent is not the shoreline because the shoreline is always changing. However, the edge of a continent is where continental crust transition to oceanic crust. Compatible Ages of Geologic Provinces Evidence in rocks on both sides of the Atlantic reveal that mountain building or rifting processes sometimes influenced both continental margins at similar times. The end of the Paleozoic was characterized by widespread mountain building along the southern margin of North America, the eastern margin of North America, northwestern Africa, and southern Europe. There are many structural trends that match across the Atlantic.
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This note was uploaded on 07/16/2008 for the course GLY 1102 taught by Professor Ciesielski during the Summer '08 term at University of Florida.

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TOPIC 6 - TOPIC 6 Plate Tectonics PART I HISTORICAL...

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