The buy custom essays online Historic earlier of Plate Tectonics


Plate tectonics, based mostly towards the earlier than idea of continental drift proposed by Alfred Wegener is most probably pretty much the most critical geological theories ever formed. This essay aims to buy custom essays online assessment the evolution of the strategy mostly mainly because it has progressed from Wagener’s run on the existing buy custom essays online.

Continental drift principle

This principle 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 current day continents. Wegener’s primarily buy custom essays online primarily based his theory around the similarity between the coastlines on opposite sides belonging to the Atlantic Ocean. He further expanded his concept round 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 one particular point joined together. Wegener hypothesized that the continents consist mostly 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 important criticism of Wegener idea is that there was no plausible mechanism to explain the lateral movement with the continents. Further, it would have been expected that due to your 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 idea.

Rolf, Coltice & Tackley (2012) affirms, and so do many researchers in this field that the fact that Wagener based mainly much of his arguments on the apparently superficial similarity of symmetry for the coastlines, especially of South America and the West Coast of Africa further weakens his theory 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 strategy is due to the fact much of Wegener’s give proper results 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 plan.

Significant technological advances inside of 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 on the development belonging to the wider concept of Plate Tectonics, which was largely formulated between 1965 and 1968; Studies from the bathymetry within the ocean floor revealed massive ridges filled with magma from which it was believed the seafloor was spreading, mapping for the earth’s magnetic fields revealed irregular reversals from the magnetic fields polarity while studies in the paleomagnetic data from rocks of the 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 theory arose out of an attempt by geologists to explain these occurances.

According to Rolf et al. (2012), this strategy postulates that the earth lithosphere is done 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 previous 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 principally buy custom essays online created up of granite and are lighter while the oceanic plates are made up of basalt and are denser. The continental plates hence float on top belonging to the oceanic ones high up from 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 inside of 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 benefits 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 theory and the plate tectonics buy custom essays online idea bear many similarities. Wagener’s original strategy had little objective content apart from the fit across the Atlantic coupled by the fact that the driving mechanisms behind his approach were unknown. In contrast, the current theory is backed by hard quantitative data and advanced technology. Nevertheless, Wegener’s approach played a key part buy custom essays online in 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 significantly 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 from 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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