The Theory Of Plate Tectonics And Continental Drift

950 WordsOct 1, 20154 Pages
The concept of plate tectonics is that the lithosphere, which is the higher layers of the Earth’s surface, is separated into a number of plates that float independently over the mantle and along the boundaries that initiate the development of new crust, the building of mountains, and the seismic movement that triggers earthquakes (Geosystems 340). Scientists have discovered that the landforms and geographic regions we know and live on today were formed when plate tectonics shift and create movement on the Earth, forming many land structures. In 1977 two scientists created the most elaborate and detailed picture of the earth that has ever been designed, called the Tharp-Heezen map of the seafloor (National Geographic, PT). Because of this map, the theory of plate tectonics and continental drift was accepted widely across the world and still known today. A German geophysicist, Alfred Wegener, presented an idea in his book Origin of the Continents and Oceans, evoking the topic of continental drift, which is the gradual movement of the continents across the earth’s surface through geological time. He named the large supercontinent “Pangaea”, meaning “all Earth” (Geosystems 340). The two types of tectonic plates are the oceanic and continental plates. The plate’s shift and slide over the asthenosphere, the molten upper portion of the mantle. The two types of plates meet at the boundaries that cross our planet and since 71% of the earth covered in water the majority of the
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