Endeavor on the growth and historical past of plate tectonics

Endeavor on the growth and historical past of plate tectonics

Plate tectonics originates from two text plate and tectonic. Plate in geological conditions usually means a big slab of tough rock whilst tectonics in Greek implies’ to build’. Therefore’ plate tectonic can be defined as how the earth’s is created on transferring the plate. It could possibly even be well-defined as a rigid phase with the Earth’s lithosphere that moves individually from all those surrounding it (Rodger, 1993). Principle of plate tectonics states the lithosphere of your earth is produced up of unique plates that happen to be fragmented into a number of substantial and tiny parts of sound rock. The plates shift following to one another in addition to the lessen mantle to build various kinds of plate borders that have shaped the Earth’s landscape about numerous decades.(Oreskes & Legrand, 2001). Alfred Wegener, a popular meteorologist, is known to be the founder with the plate tectonic theory; He noticed the coastline of East South America and that of west coast of Africa seemed to fit together in a jigsaw manner like to form a bigger plate. He then proposed an idea that all plates (continents) were connected to a single large plate called Pangaea which gradually began to drift apart more than 300 million yrs ago (Rodger, 1993). More scientific research to the plates’ coastline revealed that all the plate of earth’s continent somehow fit together. The concept was commonly known as continental drift concept, and Wegener became the founder with the theory on which scientist have based their research on. However, Alfred Wegener plate tectonics concept could not ascertain how exactly the continents drifted away from every other. He proposed the earth’s rotations and the centrifugal forces towards the equator as the mechanism for continental drift. He said that Pangaea started at South Pole and earth’s rotation finally caused it to break up, sending continents toward the equator. His theories were discarded by the scientific community (Rodger, 1993). Arthur Holmes, (1929), a British geologist, came up with the theory of thermal convection to explain the gradual drift on the Earth’s continents. He based on heating and cooling cycle of the Earth’s mantle that caused the continents to shift. The idea has been borrowed by scientist community in their quest for earth’s shape. Today scientist have researched and analyzed past evidences and findings by geologist and scientist to expound and come up with a better ways of explaining plate tectonic theory and forces that were behind the drifting with the plates. It is believed and proofed using geological evidence that earth’s plate at one time was one super plate called Pangaea. Due to three main driving forces namely, mantle convection, gravity, and the Earth’s rotation led to the drifting away of quite a few plate from the main one. Many major plates (continents) were formed which include North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Indo-Australian, Pacific, and Antarctica. Expounding to the three main driving forces for the movement from the Earth’s tectonic plates; Mantle convection is the most extensively studied technique of tectonic plate movement. It was widely discussed by Holmes in 1929, in his principle. The significant convection current of molten material in the Earth’s upper mantle produces a lot of energies which is transferred to lessen mantle. The lower mantle material finds their way to the crust causing the embedded rock to go out and away from the ridge thus transferring the plate. Evidence of this is shown at mid-ocean ridges. Gravity is evidenced by the mid-ocean ridges where the elevation is higher than the surrounding ocean floor. Convection currents within the Earth cause reduced mantle material to rise and spread away from the ridge, causing the older material to flow toward the ocean floor due to gravity and aid in the movement with the plates. Then lastly earth rotation is caused by centrifugal forces as earth rotates (Oreskes $ Legrand, term paper help 2001). Plates form different sorts of boundary as they interact with their movement. Some on the boundaries formed include Divergent boundaries form when a plate breaks along certain lines of weakness and shift away from every other forming a new crust, for instance, Mid-ocean ridges. The other boundary is called Convergent boundaries and is created when two plates collide with one another causing the sinking of one plate below the other. Transform boundaries forms at location where new crust created and without destroying it. Today, through research, scientists have come up with various evidences proving that earth plates were once super plate which split into the current Continents. Some of your evidences include: the jig-saw fitting of your East coast of South America and west coast of Africa appear to fit into one another; Fossils remains of plants and animals collected by scientist around the world showed similarities that were difficult to explain unless continents had once been joined. For instance, Cynognathus was a land reptile. Its Fossils remains have been found in both Africa and South America, thus proving that the two continents were once joined (Oreskes $ Legrand., 2001). Scientist have also found out from the evidence of earthquakes happened continually and occurred along certain lines, near the boundaries between tectonic plates. As Wegener’s ideas forms the basis why the landscape in the earth is the way it is, scientist community currently advanced methodology of studying the plate tectonic concept. They use satellite to study evidences of plate tectonic where they position it quite a few kilometers away from the earth surface. From the satellite statistics, it is evidenced which the plates transfer linearly and away from every other at the speed of 10mm to 100mm per year.


Oreskes, N., & LeGrand, H. E. (2001). Plate tectonics: An insider’s history on the modern theory from the Earth. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press. Rogers, J. J. W. (1993). A historical past in the earth. New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.

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