Unexplained Movement: Continental Drift

698 Words3 Pages
Unexplained Movement The land we know to be certain continents, today, may not have existed in their current positions long ago. As technology has advanced in oceanography, it has been learned that there are many activities below the surfaced of the land and oceans, which can contribute to changes in, land mass. Those changes include wave erosion, volcanic activity, and lithospheric pressures. Plate tectonics was developed through a theory once named continental drift. In developing plate tectonics, continental drift helped form hypothesis of a shifting landmass and sea floor. In 1850, scientist with the US Navy Dept. of Charts and Instruments discovered the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, while attempting to make a map of the sea floor (Salem 1999). Technology of the time didn’t extend into an ability to measure the depth or features of the ridge. During the mid 1900’s, additional sea floor surveys found the Mid-Atlantic Ridge had a valley, which showed to seismically correlate with many earthquakes (Salem 1999). These findings supported the claim of movement of landmass. Furthermore, findings lent themselves to the possibility of new sea floor created from the aftermath of seismic activity since valleys were found along the ridge, rather than canyons. Wegener’s Theory Continental Drift was a far-fetched theory when German scientist Alfred Wegener first proposed it in 1915. At the time, many geologists were convinced “that the continents and ocean basins had fixed geographic positions.” (Lutgens Tarbuck 2014). Wegener was a meteorologist by profession, not a geologist. He studied the atmosphere and weather patterns (Hoffman 2012) and went on scientific expeditions to measure temperatures or factors contributing to his studies. His experien... ... middle of paper ... ...h along the boundaries of each major ridge along the sea floor has also helped develop plate tectonic theories. These theories better explain why some boundaries of land diverge versus converging or transforming and the impacts to the land and sea floor. As satellite technology advances to measure movement of the various areas, civilizations can prepare themselves for changes in climate and living conditions. References Salem, P. (1999). Hess Identifies Seafloor Spreading as the Cause of Continental Drift. In , Great Scientific Achievements (p. 718). US: Salem Press. Conniff, R. (2012). When the Earth Moved. Smithsonian, 43(3), 36-38 Hoffman, P. F. (2012). The Tooth of Time: Alfred Wegener. Geoscience Canada, 39(3), 102-111. Lutgens, F.K. and Tarbuck, E.J. (2014). Foundations of Earth Science. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

More about Unexplained Movement: Continental Drift

Open Document