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Science and Tech

Continental Drift

QuestionAnswer
Who was Alfred Wegener? He was a scientist who received a doctorate in astronomy, yet became interested in meteorology. He pioneered the use of weather balloons to track atmospheric circulation. His most famous work was about continental drift.
What is the Themodynamics of the Atmosphere? A textbook on physics of the atmosphere
What year did Wegner theorize a unified continent? 1912: theorized that 300 million years ago the earth was connected as one continent, called Pangaea (meaning all-Earth) surrounded by one ocean Panthalassa (all sea)
How did Wegner develop the theory of Continental Drift? Continental Drift Theory was based partially on how the coastlines of Africa and South America it together. Additionally, as he studied fossil records, rocks and rock layers of the continents were also similar.
Who believed the moon had originally been part of Earth in his book The Physics of the Earth’s Crust? Osmond Fisher
How did Wegner conclude that the continents were moving? Wegener concluded from his measurements that various cities were moving farther apart, while others were getting closer, believing that the continents were moving
Why was Wegener’s book, The Origin of Continents and Oceans (1915) not accepted by the science community? because it did not explain how the continents moved
Who believed that instead of one supercontinent there were two? the 1920’s geologist, Alexander Logie Du Toit
How did Wegner die? Wegener died on his journey from the Eismitte camp, due to exposure of the harsh climate in Greenland
What are the four layers of the Earth? the inner core, the outer core, the mantle, and the crust
What is the lithosphere? the lithosphere is the mantle and crust, and is divided in to sections called plates
Where does magma flows in convection currents? The asthenosphere
How many tectonic plates does the Earth have? the crust contains 14 major tectonic plates
What are Fold Mountains? Fold mountains are caused when plates push against each other and the layers of earth (strata) buckle under pressure forcing rock upwards, with sharp peaks. Rocky Mountains (Pacific and American plates), Himalayas, Andes, and the Alps are all examples.
What are trenches? Trenches form when the ocean’s crust pushes against a continental plate, and slips beneath the plate. The Mariana Trench, in the Pacific Ocean, is the earth’s deepest point
What are faults? the pressure created when plates move cause rocks to split and forms cracks, called faults
What causes earthquakes? Most earthquakes happen along the fault line between 2 tectonic plates. The pressure from the plates pushing against each other causes them to break. The energy released at the break causes shock waves, to ripple through the earth’s surface.
What is an epicenter? The starting point of an earthquake is called the epicenter.
Created by: jhelsc