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Continental Drift Theory Alfred Wegener German meteorologist Found papers describing similar fossils on opposite sides of the Atlantic Researched more.

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Presentation on theme: "Continental Drift Theory Alfred Wegener German meteorologist Found papers describing similar fossils on opposite sides of the Atlantic Researched more."— Presentation transcript:

1 Continental Drift Theory Alfred Wegener German meteorologist Found papers describing similar fossils on opposite sides of the Atlantic Researched more cases of similar organisms separated by oceans 1912 Proposed single supercontinent Pangaea

2 Continental Drift Theory 5 Types of Evidence Fit of the Continents Distribution of Fossils Sequence of Rocks Glacier Scraping Patterns Ancient Climates and Wandering Polar Regions

3 Wegener’s Continental Drift Evidence: Continents ‘fit’ together in a single land mass 250 mya CLICK Simulations ey.edu/geology/anim1. html ey.edu/geology/anim1. html

4 Wegener’s Continental Drift Evidence: Plant and animal fossils of the same species were found on several different continents.

5 Wegener’s Continental Drift Evidence: Similar sequence of rock or rock formations have the same age

6 Wegener’s Continental Drift Evidence: Glacial deposits, striations, and scraping patterns

7 Wegener’s Continental Drift Evidence: Climate distribution Past Present Coal exists under the ice in the rock of Antarctica – yet coal can only form from plants that grow in warm climates.

8 Wegener’s Theory Problems 1) Wegener had no convincing mechanism (did not explain the forces) of how the continents might move. Continents plowing through the crust would destroy the crust. 2) Continents are not moving apart at the speed Wegener proposed. Wegener = 250cm/yr Actual = 2 cm/yr

9 Holmes Breakthrough: Heat trapped in the Earth caused convection currents in the mantle. As a substance is heated its density decreases and rises to the surface until it is cooled and sinks again.

10 Convection Currents Gravity causes the heated mantle to sink The mantle heats up near the core and then rises again Conduction is the transfer of heat between 2 materials in direct contact with each other library.thinkquest.org/C003124/images/convect.jpg Click animation

11 Volcanic rocks on the seafloor have magnetization because, as they cool, magnetic minerals within the rock align to the Earth’s magnetic field. New Evidence: Magnetic pattern of rock

12 North Magnetic Pole in No. Hemi

13 North Magnetic Pole in So. Hemi

14 Present Day North Magnetic Pole in No. Hemi

15 Sea-Floor Spreading Hypothesis by Hess & Deitz CLICK Animation:

16 Plate Tectonics Theory Plates ‘float’ on the Asthenosphere Plates have oceanic and continental crust

17 Earth’s Layers Inner Core Outer Core Mantle Crust Atmosphere Lithosphere – crust and upper mantle, plates move independently Asthenosphere-region below the Lithosphere

18 Continental Crust Cooling rate - slow Crystal size - large Density – less dense Thickest portion of the Earth’s outer layer Composition – made mainly of granite rock

19 Oceanic Crust Cooling rate - fast Crystal size - small Density – more dense Thinnest portion of the Earth’s outer layer Composition – Made mainly of basalt rock

20 Volcano - opening or rupture in the Earth’s crust that allows molten rock to escape og%20Resources/Images/Plate%20Tectonics/Plate%20Tectonics/VolcanoStructure.jpg

21 Earthquake - result of sudden energy release in the Earth’s crust creating seismic waves.

22 More Evidence: Location of mountain ridges, rift valleys, mid-ocean ridges, and trenches on plate boundaries. Convergent, Divergent and Transform SIMULATIONS ON ALL BOUNDARY TYPES CLICK

23 Andes Mountains Convergent Oceanic & Continental Plates move toward each other blue.utb.edu/paullgj/images/Conv_Cont_Ocean.JPG CLICK A trench, a steep walled valley on the sea floor, forms here. Denser oceanic crust subducts under less dense continental crust

24 Convergent Boundary Oceanic & Continental CLICK

25 Japan or Aleutian Islands Convergent Oceanic & Oceanic ceeps.colostate-pueblo.edu/.../smM1P1Fig15.gif Denser oceanic crust subducts under less dense oceanic crust

26 Convergent Boundary Oceanic & Oceanic

27 Himalayas Convergent Continental & Continental: Faulting and Folding

28 Convergent Boundary Continental & Continental

29 Mid Atlantic Ridge Divergent Oceanic At a divergent boundary lithosphere plates move away from each other

30 Divergent Boundary Oceanic Mid-Ocean Ridges – a structure formed from seafloor spreading. CLICK

31 East African Rift Valley Divergent Continental Rift Valley – Pulling apart of crust due to tensional forces ceeps.colostate-pueblo.edu/.../smM1P1Fig15.gif

32 Divergent Boundary Continental Rift Valley

33 San Andreas Fault Transform Plate Boundary Plates slide past each other

34 Transform Boundary TRANSFORM SIMUALTIONS CLICK CLICK

35 Evidence - Location of earthquakes and volcanoes

36 Hot Spots

37 The Hawaiian-Emperor volcanic chain is the result of the drifting of the Pacific Plate over a fixed hot spot.

38 The bend in the (Hawaiian – Emperor) volcanic chain is the result of a major change in the direction of the movement of the Pacific Plate.

39 Location of Hot Spots Hot spots result from hot, narrow plumes of material that rise deep within the mantle.

40 Plate Movement in the future It is even possible to measure the speed of continental plates extremely accurately, using satellite technology.

41 External Energy For Earth Sun & Moon keeps air and sea in motion, shapes surface Sun warms atmosphere & crust unevenly creating winds Winds drive ocean currents and water cycle Erosion from winds, rains, rivers, glaciers, and waves shape surface Weathering from winds and rains Sun & Moon Gravitational Energy, produces tides Planetesimal collisions

42 Internal Energy for Earth Radioactive element decay Core heat from layers pressure Convection currents Volcanoes Hot Springs Earthquakes

43 Evidence for Plate Tectonics Continents fit together Fossil distribution Common rock formations: same age Glacier evidence: deposits, striations, scraping Climate distribution New evidence Magnetic pattern of rock Location of earthquakes and volcanoes Location of mountain ridges, rift valleys, mid-ocean ridges, and trenches First evidence used for Continental Drift Theory


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