Continental drift and plate tectonics

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Continental drift

continental drift and plate tectonics

Continental drift describes one of the earliest ways geologists thought of continental drift has been replaced by the science of plate tectonics.

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There are several theories that explain how the present continents were formed. In this article, we take a closer look at two of the more popular theories — continental drift and plate tectonics — to learn how they differ from each other. In , Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, was the first to present a comprehensive theory concerning the continental drift. Wegener believed that the continents are composed of lighter rocks resting on heavier crust material just like an iceberg floating on the water. Wegener presented a good amount of evidence to back up his theory but failed to give plausible explanations as to how the continents might have drifted. He further asserted that the relative positions of the continents are not as strong as it should be. This caused the continent to move ever so slowly at a speed of a single yard per century.

Continental drift is the theory that the Earth's continents have moved over geologic time relative to each other, thus appearing to have "drifted" across the ocean bed. The concept was independently and more fully developed by Alfred Wegener in , but his theory was rejected by many for lack of any motive mechanism. Arthur Holmes later proposed mantle convection for that mechanism. The idea of continental drift has since been subsumed by the theory of plate tectonics , which explains that the continents move by riding on plates of the Earth's lithosphere. Abraham Ortelius Ortelius , [4] Theodor Christoph Lilienthal , [5] Alexander von Humboldt and , [5] Antonio Snider-Pellegrini Snider-Pellegrini , and others had noted earlier that the shapes of continents on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean most notably, Africa and South America seem to fit together. Kious described Ortelius' thoughts in this way: [7].

According to the theory of continental drift , the world was made up of a single continent through most of geologic time.
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Plate tectonic is newer form of Continental drift with more evidence and an proposed mechanism for the movement of the Continents. Continental drift was rejected at the time it was proposed despite substantial evidence to support the theory. The rejection was based on several factors. Continental drift challenged the prevailing theories of uniform processes, and the geosyncline theory of mountain building. The evidence for Continental drift indicated that the Continents had separated at timeline that went against the proposed evolutionary timeline for the fossil record. Most telling there was no proposed mechanism for what force could move the massive continents. Plate tectonics was developed after World War II.

Colliding Skyward The collision of the Indian subcontinent and Asian continent created the Himalayan mountain range, home to the world's highest mountain peaks, including 30 that exceed meters 24, feet. Because continental drift is still pushing India into Asia, the Himalayas are still growing. Also called lithospheric plate. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Difference between Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics

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continental drift




Find information about continental drift and plate-tectonics, along with other facts about world geography.
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2 thoughts on “Continental drift and plate tectonics

  1. In the 20th century, researchers realized that the Earth's crust is not one piece, but is made up of many huge tectonic plates upon which the.

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