PLATE TECTONICS

PLATE TECTONICS - PLATE TECTONICS The theory of global...

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PLATE TECTONICS ** The theory of global dynamics in which the lithosphere is believed to broken into individual pieces or plates that move in response to convection in the upper mantle. History of the theory: *** Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, gave it serious consideration in 1915, and was the first to suggest that continents were moving, and to supply some evidence for it . His Theory of Continental Drift took awhile to be fully accepted by the established scientific community * evidence : similarities of fossils, climate records, and geologic record between distant continents, esp South America and Africa A EX: * the land dwelling, mammal-like reptile Lystrosaurus, whose fossils have been found in South America, Africa, Antarctica and Asia * Mountain belts of similar age, rock sequence, fossils & structural style appear on both sides of the Northern Atlantic (Appalachians & those of Ireland, Scotland & Norway) * Wegener proposed that one landmass existed about 200-225 MYBP (Triassic-Jurassic Periods) and called it Pangea . This began to split over the next 10-20 million years.
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* by about 135 MYBP (early Cretaceous) it had broken into 2 large pieces, Laurasia (basically present-day North America, Europe, & Asia) & Gondwana (the southern continents) * 1940-1960's, Atlantic Ocean floor mapping enhanced our knowledge of tectonic processes * 1960's, Harry H. Hess & Robert S. Dietz proposed a theory of Sea -Floor Spreading - * Sea-floor spreading: the movement of crustal material
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