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Earth Theories

Continental Drift, Sea Floor Spreading, Plate Tectonics

Alfred Wegener A German scientist who generated the theory of continental driftin 1910
Pangea The name of the single landmass that broke apart 300 million years ago and gave rise to today's continents
Continental Drift The hypothesis that states that the continents slowly move across Earth's surface
Evidence from Mountain Ranges Wegener noticed that a mountain range in South Africa lined up with a mountain range in Argentina
Evidence from Fossils Fossils of reptiles Mesosaurus and Lystrosaurus have been found in places now seperated by ocean
Evidence from Climate There have been tropical plant fossils found on the island of Spitsburgen which has a harsh polar climate
Glossopteris A fernlike plant that lived 250 million years ago
Deep Sea Vent Black smokers in the ocean
Mid-Ocean Ridge The undersea mountain chain where new ocean floor is produced; a divergent plate boundary
Sonar A device that determines the distance of an object under water by recording echoes of sound waves
Iceland An island that is part of the mid-ocean ridge that rises above the surface in the North Atlantic Ocean
Harry Hess He proposed the idea that the ocean floors move like conveyor belts, and carry the continents with them
Sea-Floor Spreading The process that continually adds new material to the ocean floor
Evidence from Pillow Magma This evidence showed that molten material has erupted again and again from cracks along the central valley of the mid-ocean ridge
Evidence from Magnetic Stripes This evidence shows that new seafloor is being made
Evidence from Drilling Samples This evidence shows that newer rock is closer to the mid-ocean ride and the older rock is near the continents
Deep Ocean Trenches A deep valley along the ocean floor through which oceanic crust slowley sinks towards the mantle
Subduction The process by which oceanic crust sinks beneath a ddeep-ocean trench and back into the mantle at a convergent plate boundary
Created by: pigs888