{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

112lect6 - GY 112 Lecture Notes D Haywick(2006 1 GY 112...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
GY 112 Lecture Notes D. Haywick (2006) 1 GY 112 Lecture Notes Evolution of Plate Tectonics as a Theory Lecture Goals : A) Mountain Building before Plate Tectonics B) The evidence in favor of Plate Tectonics C) New ideas Textbook reference: Levin 7 th edition (2003), Chapter 5; Levin 8 th edition (2006), Chapters 1, 2 and 5 (and a lot of stuff that Doug read somewhere) A) Mountain Building before Plate Tectonics By now, most of you should already be familiar with Alfred Wegener and his “radical ideas”. In the early 1900’s, Wegener proposed that the continents has shifted positions relative to each other over time. His evidence was centered around South America and Africa. Any child (and even some GY 112 students) can see how the two continents look like they fit together and to be fair, we should again point out that Wegener was not the first to see this fit. Sir Francis Bacon in 1620 mentioned it and in 1782, Benjamin Franklin even stated that the surface of the Earth resembled a shell, “capable of being broken and distorted by the violent movements of the fluid on which it rested”. Noted French scientist Antonio Snider- Pellegrini suggested that the continents were connected during the late Carboniferous Period (Pennsylvannia to those of us that reside in the USA) based upon similar plant fossils in Europe and North America. Edward Suess, an Austrian geologist, took this one step further when he recognized similar plant fossils between South America, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctic. In the late 1800’s, he proposed that all of these continents were part of an ancient larger continent which he called Gondwanna , a name we still use today. So why do we give most of the credit for continental drift to Wegener? Because he reviewed all of the data, first proposed a true super continent and put it all together into a book. I guess the saying “he who publishes first, is first” holds here. The hypothesis of Continental Drift was official born in 1915 with the publishing of his book Die Entstehung der Knontinente und Ozeane (Translation: The Origins of Continents and Oceans) which you can still buy from Amazon.com and other sources. Here is the reference to the translated copy:
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
GY 112 Lecture Notes D. Haywick (2006) 2 Wegener, A., 1966. The Origin of Continents and Oceans (Translated by John Biram),Dover Publications, New York, 246p. As stated previously, few scientists at the time supported Wegener’s “new radical idea”. I have several old geology textbooks (circa 1940) that pooh-poohed Wegener’s idea. They state (and this was correct at the time), “that apart from circumstantial data, there was absolutely no supporting evidence for this new idea of Continental Drift”. For example, no mechanism of movement was given (In fact, we still don’t really know how this works today!). Interestingly, the authors that were most negative about Wegener’s ideas were those most silent about how mountains actually formed. They went into great detail about the types of rocks forming mountains, their ages and their geomorphology, but their origins were not discussed. Well this is not entirely true. Volcanic mountains were
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern