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geo ch.2 notes - Ch.2 Plate Tectonics Key Figures changed...

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Ch.2 - Plate Tectonics Key Figures : changed the way we look at the Earth Alfred Wegener J. Tuzo Wilson Harry Hess Antonio Snider-Pellegrini : 1858 he looked at maps and saw they seemed to fit together Continental Drift : the hypothesis that continents are mobile Proposed by German meteorologist, Alfred Wegener He published The Origins of Oceans and Continents in 1915 he hypothesised a former super continent, Pangaea idea was founded on strong evidence - “fit of continents” - location of glaciations - fossil organisms - rock type and structural similarities - paleoclimates preserved in rocks Wegener’s idea was debated and ridiculed - most scientists didn’t believe him - lack of a mechanism for drift a major criticism Wegener died in 1930 at age of 40 lacking an advocate, the drift hypothesis faded the idea was revived in the 1950s
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Continental “Fit” : Wegener noted that continents seemed to fit together he argued the fit could not be coincidental present shorelines make a rough fit the continental shelf edges make a better fit Glacial Evidence : Permian glacial till is found on 4 continents the tills in Africa and India are now near the equator A cooler earth? No. Permian tropical plants are known Paleoclimactic Evidence : Placing Pangaea over the Permian South Pole He correctly predicted where to find: - tropical coals - tropical reefs - subtropical deserts - subtropical evaporites Fossil Evidence : Identical fossils found on widely separated landmasses - Mesosaurus : freshwater reptile found in Africa and South America - Glossopteris : subpolar plant with heavy seeds found on every continent - Lystrosaurus : non-swimming
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