Essay about Understanding The Plate Tectonics Theory

Essay about Understanding The Plate Tectonics Theory

Length: 1021 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Understanding the plate tectonics theory is very important, especially when investigating natural disasters like earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. It is also gives scientists the ability to understand how mountains were formed between two tectonic plates. There are three types of interactions between plate boundaries: convergent, divergent and transform. Looking back at the history of these three different interactions, earthquakes, like the one in Haiti, volcanic eruptions, like at Mount St. Helens, and the creation of mountain belts, like the Mid-Atlantic Oceanic ridge, gives information on future consequences of tectonic movement, and what can happen when the plates interact with each other.
Tectonic plate theory is a relatively new theory that has evolved over the last century. The history of the theory can date back all the way to the twentieth century. Before the 1960s a majority of geologists believed that ocean basins and continents had a fixed position and were of great antiquity (Tarbuck & Lutgens, 2015). Alfred Wegener was a German meteorologist and geophysicist who lived from 1880 to 1930. He was the first to propose the hypothesis of continental drift and hypothesized that there was once a single supercontinent that contained all of the Earth’s landmasses, which he called Pangaea. The evidence of Pangaea can be seen by fitting together different shorelines of the continents, and Wegener was able to find out that there were similar rock types and fossils in the areas where the continents used to connect. His theory in general was not accepted by the scientific community because there were inaccurate details to his theories and many did not accept that continents could move simply because there was no evidence of...

... middle of paper ...

... the crust (Tarbuck & Lutgens, 2015). It is important to understand how these ranges are created, especially because they can give scientists an idea on when new islands or continents may be formed. It also allows scientists to understand what may cause other plates to diverge from one another.
In conclusion, geologic events like earthquakes, volcanos and mountain belts all occur due to the movement of tectonic plates. Even though the theory is relatively new, there is ample evidence to help prove its validity. Scientists are still unable to successfully pinpoint when geologic events will happen, but they can now estimate when they may happen due to the recorded history of past events. Hopefully, in the near future, earth science will have a break-through that will allow scientists to accurately predict future events and save any lives that would be potentially lost.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Plate Tectonics Essays

- Plate Tectonics Ever since the beginning on time, Humans believed the ground is solid and immobile. But this is not true whatsoever. The Earth is every-changing and continually in motion. The stability of the Earth is not at all what we think it is. Thinking about the rotational axis of the Earth, and possibly of what the Earth may become at a certain point in time, has a great influence on understanding all aspects of living things, either in the past, present, or future. The Theory of Plate tectonics is accredited to most of the creations of Mountain Ranges, the Centennial drifting Theory, for earthquakes, and volcanic activity....   [tags: Geophysics, Pangaea]

Better Essays
2433 words (7 pages)

Plate Tectonics Essay

- 1.0 Topic Definition Plate Tectonics is a scientific theory which study how the Earth’s plates are driven and shaped by geological forces to keep them in constant movement. The theory explains the present-day tectonic behavior of the Earth, particularly the global distribution of mountain building, earthquake activity, and volcanism in a series of linear belt. (Pitman, W.C., 2007) Plate Tectonics explains geomagnetic and geothermal phenomena, magma and orogenesis, and it clarify the global mid-ocean ridges and rift system, etc....   [tags: Geology ]

Better Essays
1311 words (3.7 pages)

Plate Tectonics Theories Analysis Essay example

- Plate Tectonics Theories Analysis Since the beginning of human kind there has been a cloud of wonder regarding the natural processes and patterns of our planet. Scientist interested in this field through out the years, have developed many different theories to how our planet geological features have come about. The most widely accepted theory in this field is that of plate tectonics. For those who do not know much about the theory of plate tectonics; it states that there are twenty plates that cover most of the Earth's surface area....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
843 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Plate Tectonics

- Plate Tectonics Since the beginning of human kind there has been a cloud of wonder of how our planet was formed. Scientist interested in this field through out the years have developed many different theories to how our planet came about. Before the Twentieth Century, scientists and geologists thought that mountain structures were due to the massive tightening of the earth caused by the gradual cooling of molten rocks. In 1900, American scientist Joseph Le Conte, published an article in the Appleton's Popular Scientific Monthly....   [tags: Geology]

Free Essays
1326 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Studying Plate Tectonics to Help in the Future

- Studying Plate Tectonics to Help in the Future Prior to World War II, humans were conformed with the idea that the Earth and its continents had been basically unchanged since the beginning of time. A German meteorologist, Alfred Wegener observed that the coastlines of the seven continents could be fitted together almost perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. If fitted together, the geological dating the land would match as well as other geological features. He believed that this was more than coincidence, which happened to be the belief at the time....   [tags: Free Essays]

Free Essays
403 words (1.2 pages)

The Planet Of The Earth Essay

- The universe is a vast, mysterious place filled with an estimated one hundred billion galaxies, within each galaxy, there are one hundred billion stars, and an estimated 〖10〗^24 planets. The Milky Way galaxy contains eight planets, one of them is the complex Earth. Earth is a rich planet containing things such as icy mountain peaks, steep canyons, lava, and towering waterfalls. All these things are what make it possible for our planet to sustain all of its beautiful life from the numerous plant and animal species....   [tags: Plate tectonics, Volcano, Earth]

Better Essays
1614 words (4.6 pages)

Volcanic And Seismic Events Describe The Activity Of Volcanoes And Earthquakes

- Volcanic and seismic events describe the activity of volcanoes and earthquakes, that can be recorded and used alongside other data to further enhance our understanding of plate tectonics. This process is the large scale motion of the Earth’s lithosphere; crust that is split into large sections known as tectonic plates move relative to one another, and can converge, diverge and subduct. This causes the formation of volcanoes, and triggers earthquakes of both large and small magnitudes. Recently, we have witnessed the effects of a major earthquake in central Italy....   [tags: Plate tectonics, Subduction, Volcano, Earth]

Better Essays
1029 words (2.9 pages)

The Theory Of Plate Tectonics Essay

- Research Paper For one to fully understand the processes of the Earth and how it functions in its entirety, we must first observe, study and work to expand our on-going comprehension of the geological processes that occur on our planet. The Theory of Plate Tectonics is a great place to begin as it is very accomplished in explaining our planet’s past and how it came to look like it does today, and it also happens to be one of the most important geological theories ever developed. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that a man named Alfred Wegener hypothesized a theory to explain some of the strange phenomena that occurred on Earth’s surface (“Continental Drift”, 2011)....   [tags: Plate tectonics, Earth, Lithosphere, Geology]

Better Essays
1392 words (4 pages)

Essay on The Earth Is Truly A Cosmic Miricacle

- Since the beginning of human time man has long grappled with the idea of space and time. Where did we come from. Why are we here. But one question has presented itself to be extremely elusive and challenging in its nature. How does our world work and why does it work the way it does. Well The Earth is truly a cosmic miricacle. Perfectly placed in proportion to the sun, precisely the correct chemistry, and the gift of life. As we delve deeper into the makeup of the Earth we come across certain aspects that take 13 billion years in the making to explain....   [tags: Plate tectonics, Earth, Convergent boundary]

Better Essays
1346 words (3.8 pages)

The Continental Drift Theory And Plate Tectonics Theory Essay

- Background The continental drift theory and plate tectonics theory was first put forward by the German geologist and meteorologist Alfred Wegener at the beginning of the 20th century. He proposed that there was a single continental in 200 million years ago, and the Earth’s crust slowly separate to pieces by the centrifugal pseudo force because of the rotation of the Earth. On the basis of plate tectonics theory there are two components in the Earth which are lithosphere and asthenosphere, the upper layer is lithosphere and the lower layer is asthenosphere....   [tags: Earthquake, Plate tectonics, Seismic hazard]

Better Essays
1331 words (3.8 pages)