7 Evidence of Continental Drift 1. Similarities in the coastlines
8 Evidence of Continental Drift 2. Fossils of the same plants and animals found in areas that had been adjoining part of Pangaea.
9 Mesosaurus Small extinct land reptile Lived 270 million years ago Fossils found in eastern South America and western Africa.
10 Glossopteris Fossilized fern found on 4 continents Continents with very different modern climates, led Wegener to believe these continents were once connected having a similar climate
11 Evidence of Continental Drift 3. Geologic EvidenceAge and types of rocksMountain age and structureClimatic patternDebris form glaciersCoal deposits
12 Did people accept Wegener’s theory? NO!The evidence Wegener had to support his theory was not enough to convince many people during his lifetime.Not until the 1960’s were his beliefs accepted by the scientific community.The truth was out there!
13 Seafloor SpreadingIn the 1960’s, Harry Hess developed his now famous and accepted theory of Seafloor Spreading.Hess proposed that hot, less dense material in the mantle is forced upward to the surface at a mid-ocean ridge.Example: Mid-Atlantic Ridge
16 Evidence of Seafloor Spreading 1. Age evidenceStudies by the Glomar Challenger in 1968 discovered that the youngest rocks were found at the mid-ocean ridges and rocks became increasingly older farther from the ridges on both sides.
18 Evidence of Seafloor Spreading 2. Paleomagnetism (Magnetic clues)Important evidence that led to the absolute belief in seafloor spreadingScientist found that rocks on the ocean floor showed many magnetic reversals.Reverse back and forth in strips parallel to the mid-ocean ridge.Evidence needed to solidify Wegener’s original hypothesis.
21 Theory of Plate Tectonics By the 1960’s Continental Drift was widely accepted and this led to the rise of another theory known as Plate Tectonics.The term tectonic comes from the Greek work tektonikos meaning “construction”Plate tectonics not only describes continental movement but also proposes a possible explanation of how and why the continents move.
22 The theory of Plate Tectonics states Earth’s crust and upper mantle are broken into sections. These sections, called plates, move around on the mantle.
24 About 30 lithospheric plates have been identified Some of these plates are moving towards each other, some are moving away from each other, and some are sliding past one another.
25 How fast do plates move per year? Plate movements vary, one example:
26 Lithospheric Plate Boundaries The boundaries or edges of the plates have been divided into three types of plate boundaries. They are:1. Divergent Plate Boundaries2. Convergent Plate Boundaries3. Transform Fault Boundaries
27 1. Divergent Plate Boundaries 2 plates moving away from each otherExamples:Mid-Atlantic RidgeThe Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa
28 2. Convergent Plate Boundaries Plate colliding (pushing in to) with neighboring plates.There are 3 types of Convergent Plate Boundaries, They are as follows:
29 1. Ocean-ContinentThe area where the oceanic plate descends into the upper mantle is called a subduction zone.
30 The oceanic crust subducts (moves under another) because it is less dense than the continental crust.Oceanic crust is generally basaltic in nature as continental crust generally granitic.Ocean trenches generally form along subduction zones.Many volcanic mountains also form along subduction zones.Examples: The Andes Mountains in South America where Nazca and South American Plates are colliding.Where does this happen in the U.S.?
31 2. Continent-ContinentWhen two colliding plates have the same density neither plate is subducted, the plates experience uplifting instead.
32 Example:The Himalayan MountainsFormed when the Indo-Australian Plate crashed into the Eurasian Plate.This is still going on today as the Himalayas are growing.
34 3. Ocean-OceanPart of the subducted plate melts, and the resulting molten rock rises to the surface along the trench to form a chain of volcanic islands, called an island arc.
35 Example:The islands of Japan are volcanic island arcs formed when two oceanic plates collided.
36 Review The Three types of Convergent Boundaries Ocean-Ocean (Subduction occurs)Ocean-Continent (Subduction occurs)Continent-Continent (Uplifting occurs)
37 3. Transform Fault Boundaries Forms when two plates are sliding past one another.Scrape and move in series of sudden spurts of activity separated by periods of little or no movement.Example: San Andreas Fault where the Pacific Plate is sliding past the North American Plate
40 Causes of Plate Tectonics Convection CurrentsThe entire cycle of heating, rising, cooling, and sinking is called a convection current.The same process occurring in the mantle is thought to be the force behind plate tectonics.
41 Convection occurs in a heated water filled beaker.
42 The same process is thought to happen in the mantle as it is also experiencing heat gain rising from the mantle.
43 Effects of Plate Tectonics 1. Tension forcesRift Valleys form where plates are diverging.Examples:Great Rift Valley of AfricaEarthquakesEast Pacific RiseTension also forms normal faults.
44 Effects of Plate Tectonics 2. Compression ForcesMountain BuildingIsland Arcs and Volcanoes formReverse Faults also occur.Earthquakes
45 Effects of Plate Tectonics Shearing forces create strike-slip faultsExample:San Andreas Fault, CaliforniaEarthquakes