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Essential Questions Ch. 17. Section 1 – Drifting ContinentsWhat are the lines of evidence that led Wegener to suggest that Earth’s continents have moved? How does evidence of ancient climates support continental drift? Why was continental drift not accepted when it was first proposed? Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Drifting Continents
Vocabulary Review New hypothesis continental drift PangaeaDrifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Early Observations With the exception of events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides, most of Earth’s surface appears to remain relatively unchanged during the course of a human lifetime. On the geologic time scale, however, Earth’s surface has changed dramatically. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Drifting Continents
Early Observations In the late 1500s, Abraham Ortelius, a Dutch cartographer, noticed the apparent fit of continents on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. He proposed that North America and South America had been separated from Europe and Africa by earthquakes and floods. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Drifting Continents
Early Observations The first time that the idea of moving continents was proposed as a scientific hypothesis was in the early 1900s. In 1912, German meteorologist Alfred Wegener presented his ideas about continental movement to the scientific community. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Drifting Continents
Continental Drift Wegener developed a hypothesis that he called continental drift. He proposed that Earth’s continents had once been joined in a single landmass, a supercontinent called Pangaea, that broke apart about 200 mya and sent the continents adrift. Drifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Continental Drift Evidence from rock formationsWegener observed that many layers of rocks in the Appalachian Mountains in the United States were identical to layers of rocks in similar mountains in Greenland and Europe. These similar groups of rocks, older than 200 million years, supported Wegener’s idea that the continents had once been joined. Drifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Continental Drift Evidence from fossilsWegener gathered evidence of the existence of Pangaea from fossils. Similar fossils of animals and plants that once lived on or near land had been found on widely separated continents. Drifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Continental Drift Climatic evidenceFossils of the plant Glossopteris had been found on many parts of Earth, including South America, Antarctica, and India. Wegener reasoned that the area separating these fossils was too large to have had a single climate. Drifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Continental Drift Climatic evidenceWegener argued that because Glossopteris grew in temperate climates, the places where the fossils had been found had been closer to the equator. This led him to conclude that the rocks containing these fossil ferns had once been joined. Drifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Continental Drift Climatic evidenceCoal forms from the compaction and decomposition of accumulations of ancient swamp plants. Wegener used the existence of coal beds in Antarctica to conclude that Antarctica must have been much closer to the equator sometime in the geologic past. Drifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Continental Drift Climatic evidenceGlacial deposits nearly 300 million years old on several continents led Wegener to propose that these landmasses might have once been joined and covered with ice. The extent of the ice is shown in white. Drifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
A Rejected Notion Although Wegener had compiled an impressive collection of data, the hypothesis of continental drift was not accepted by the scientific community. Two unanswered questions—what forces could cause the movement and how continents could move through solids—were the main reasons that continental drift was rejected. Drifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
A Rejected Notion It was not until the early 1960s, when new technology revealed more evidence about how continents move, that scientists began to reconsider Wegener’s ideas. Drifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Review Essential Questions VocabularyWhat are the lines of evidence that led Wegener to suggest that Earth’s continents have moved? How does evidence of ancient climates support continental drift? Why was continental drift not accepted when it was first proposed? Vocabulary continental drift Pangaea Drifting Continents Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education
Midterm Schedule Thursday January 28 (Periods 1 and 5)
Chapter 17: Plate Tectonics
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Section Drifting Continents
Alfred WegenerAlfred Wegener Alfred Lothar Wegener (November 1, 1880 – November 1930) was a German polar researcher, geophysicist and meteorologist.
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The Continental Drift Hypothesis Text Pages 216 to 222.
Drifting Continents 6th Grade.
Has the continents always looked as they do now on the map, or have they changed shape or location throughout Earth's history? Write your ideas on a sheet.
17.1 Drifting Continents. Early Observations In the late 1500s, mapmakers noticed the apparent “fit” of the continents on either side of the Atlantic.
Guided Notes about Continental Drift
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SECTION 3 DRIFTING CONTINENTS. 1. ALFRED WEGENER hypothesized that all of the continents had once been joined together in a SINGLE LANDMASS and have since.
C. Continental Drift Looking at a map of the Earth, it appears that the continents could fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Alfred Wegener (1912) proposed.
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