Try around the growth and historical past of plate tectonics

Try around the growth and historical past of plate tectonics

Plate tectonics emanates from two phrases plate and tectonic. Plate in geological conditions suggests a big slab of hard rock when tectonics in Greek implies’ to build’. Therefore’ plate tectonic may be described as how the earth’s is created on shifting the plate. It can even be well-defined as being a rigid section of the Earth’s lithosphere that moves independently from individuals bordering it (Rodger, 1993). Idea of plate tectonics states the lithosphere of your earth is manufactured up of individual plates that happen to be fragmented into several substantial and compact parts of good rock. The plates move following to one another along with the lower mantle to produce various types of plate borders that have formed the Earth’s landscape over lots of yrs.(Oreskes & Legrand, 2001). Alfred Wegener, a popular meteorologist, is known to be the founder in the plate tectonic concept; He noticed that 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 above 300 million years ago (Rodger, 1993). More scientific research on the plates’ coastline revealed that all the plate of earth’s continent somehow fit together. The idea was commonly known as continental drift theory, and Wegener became the founder in the idea on which scientist have based their research on. However, Alfred Wegener plate tectonics idea could not ascertain how exactly the continents drifted away from every single 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 principle of thermal convection to explain the gradual drift with the Earth’s continents. He based on heating and cooling cycle on the Earth’s mantle that caused the continents to go. 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 principle and forces that were behind the drifting of 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 various plate from the main one. Various major plates (continents) were formed which include North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Indo-Australian, Pacific, and Antarctica. Expounding on the three main driving forces for the movement of 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 idea. The huge convection current of molten material in the Earth’s upper mantle produces a lot of energies which is transferred to reduce mantle. The reduced mantle material finds their way to the crust causing the embedded rock to shift out and away from the ridge thus shifting 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, 2001). Plates form different forms of boundary as they interact with their movement. Some in the boundaries formed include Divergent boundaries form when a plate breaks along certain lines of weakness and move away from every single 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 several evidences proving that earth plates were once super plate which split into the current Continents. Some of your evidences include: the jig-saw fitting with the East essays on money 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 really hard 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 which 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 with the earth is the way it is, scientist community currently advanced methodology of studying the plate tectonic theory. They use satellite to study evidences of plate tectonic where they position it many kilometers away from the earth surface. From the satellite statistics, it is evidenced that the plates move 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 background of your modern concept on the Earth. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press. Rogers, J. J. W. (1993). A heritage of your earth. New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *