The buy custom essays online Heritage of Plate Tectonics


Plate tectonics, chiefly buy custom essays online based mostly available the before concept of continental drift proposed by Alfred Wegener is probably some of the most pretty important geological theories at any time set up. This essay aims to buy custom essays online evaluation the evolution on the principle principally since it has progressed from Wagener’s do the trick with the recent buy custom essays online.

Continental drift understanding

This concept was espoused by Alfred Wegener in 1912. In accordance to Torsvik & Cocks (2012), Wegener, a German meteorologist came up with the proposal that all the continents initially formed a single super-continent which he called Pangea, which was surrounded by a vast ocean called Panthalassa. This supercontinent later drifted apart forming the existing day continents. Wegener’s primarily based typically his strategy associated with the similarity between the coastlines on opposite sides from the Atlantic Ocean. He further expanded his thought with the premise that Permian flora as well as carboniferous fossils were found in South Africa, South America, India, Madagascar, Australia and Eastern Antarctica only and nowhere else leading him to hypothesize that these continents, now separated by oceans, were at just one point joined together. Wegener hypothesized that the continents consist chiefly of lighter rocks resting on heavier crustal materials and that their relative position is not fixed, but are slowly moving at the rate of approximately a yard per century. He therefore postulated a lateral movement of continents (Torsvik & Cocks, 2012) buy custom essays online.

A significant criticism of Wegener basic principle is that there was no plausible mechanism to explain the lateral movement from the continents. Further, it would have been expected that due towards the lateral movements, there would have been physical evidence of massive thrust faults under the margins of continents, of which none existed further casting doubts on this approach.

Rolf, Coltice & Tackley (2012) affirms, and so do many researchers in this field that the fact that Wagener dependent much of his arguments over the apparently superficial similarity of symmetry belonging to the coastlines, especially of South America and the West Coast of Africa further weakens his principle buy custom essays online. Such a match can only be identified at the continental shelf level hence basing it on coastlines is inherently flawed.

It appears that the significant reason why there was much resistance to this theory is given that much of Wegener’s display successes buy custom essays online was theoretical in that he dwelt so much on building theories out of his observation as opposed to being empirical which would have involved quantitative applications to support his arguments.

Contemporary plate tectonics idea.

Significant technological advances inside the field of geological research especially during and after the Second World War yielded new data which led to your rejection of the vertical movements as proposed by Wegener. As Rolf et al. (2012) buy custom essays online succinctly puts it, three main discoveries provided the necessary stepping stones inside the development of the wider theory of Plate Tectonics, which was largely formulated between 1965 and 1968; Studies of your bathymetry from the ocean floor revealed massive ridges filled with magma from which it was believed the seafloor was spreading, mapping of your earth’s magnetic fields revealed irregular reversals from the magnetic fields polarity while studies for the paleomagnetic data from rocks of your same age from different continents showed different location of poles while that from rocks from different age from same location showed apparent reversal in polarity. The approach arose out of an attempt by geologists to explain these occurances.

According to Rolf et al. (2012), this concept postulates that the earth lithosphere is built up of plates that move relative to each other across the earth. These lithospheric plates consist of seven large and 18 smaller plates that diverge, converge and slip past one another along their boundaries. These plates can be either continental or oceanic or a combination of both and lie atop a layer of partly molten rock called the athenosphere.

The continental plates are primarily buy custom essays online built up of granite and are lighter while the oceanic plates are designed up of basalt and are denser. The continental plates hence float on top within the oceanic ones high up in the earth’s mantle. The interaction of these plates forms various types of plate boundaries; convergence boundaries are formed when plates collide/push against each other. Depending from the type of plates colliding, various features may be formed, for instance oceanic to oceanic plate convergence leads to formation of volcanic islands inside of the ocean, oceanic to continental convergence gains into volcanoes along the continental edges while continental to continental convergence leads to formation of mountain ridges like the Himalayas. Divergent boundaries are formed when plates move away from each other, this mostly happens at mid-ocean ridges leading to your formation of new crust at these boundaries. Lastly, transform boundaries are formed when plates slide past buy custom essays online each other, they are characterized by much seismic activity, an example is the San Andreas fault zone in California (Rolf et al., 2012).


Comparison of Wegener’s continental principle and the plate tectonics buy custom essays online basic principle bear many similarities. Wagener’s original approach had little objective content apart from the fit across the Atlantic coupled by the fact that the driving mechanisms behind his principle were unknown. In contrast, the present idea is backed by hard quantitative data and advanced technology. Nevertheless, Wegener’s thought played a key part buy custom essays online with the development of plate tectonics.

Current advances in technology including seabed mapping using advanced geophysical and sonar software utilizing 3-dimensional analytics may further advance the next revolution as far as earth sciences and plate tectonics is concerned.


Rolf, T., Coltice, N., & Tackley, P. J. (2012). Linking continental drift, plate tectonics and the thermal state for the Earth’s mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 351, 134-146.

Torsvik, T. H., & Cocks, L. R. M. (2012). From Wegener until now: the development of our understanding of Earth’s Phanerozoic evolution (Andre Dumont medallist lecture 2012). Geologica Belgica.

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