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Lab 8 notes - Lab 7 Plate Tectonics and the Origin of Magma...

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Lab 7. Plate Tectonics and the Origin of Magma 1. Plate Tectonics : The strong rigid lithosphere is broken into numerous pieces called plates that are in motion with respective to each other. History : -Continental Drift : the fit of the coastline of South America and Africa was first recognized by Francis Bacon in 17 th century. Centuries later, Alfred Wegener postulated a supercontinent Pangaea in 1915. In his mind, the continents are plowing through oceanic crust, which is wrong. He collected a lot of evidences (e.g. similarity of fossils and modern organism, paleoclimate, rock age and structures and paleomagnetism, etc.) but failed to give a reasonable driving mechanism. -Seafloor Spreading : Harry Hess in the 1960s. Basic idea: seafloor itself moves and carries the continents with it. Four steps of seafloor spreading: unwarping, rifting, generation of oceanic crust (linear sea), formation of ocean basin and MOR (mid-ocean ridge). Spreading rates can be calculated by dividing the distance from ridge by the age of rock. Note the rate’s unit is cm per year.
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