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The event and record of plate tectonics

Posted By: dodyharyadi at Mon, 28/12/2015No Comments

The event and record of plate tectonics

Plate tectonics arises from two words; plate and tectonic. Plate in geological terms suggests a large slab of challenging rock while you are tectonics in Greek implies’ to build’. Therefore’ plate tectonic are usually defined as how the earth’s builds on going the plate. It will probably also be well-defined like a segment for the Earth’s lithosphere that could be rigid moves distinctively from all those bordering it (Rodger, 1993).

Theory of plate tectonics states which the lithosphere of your earth is designed up of individual plates that fragmented into a couple of big and very small parts of sound rock. The plates move up coming to each other in addition to the decreased mantle to build diverse types of plate borders that have shaped the Earth’s landscape through scores of a long time. (Oreske & Legrand, 2001).

Alfred Wegener, a populous meteorologist, is known to be the founder of the plate tectonic principle. He noticed that the coastline of East South America and that from the 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) connected to a single colossal plate called Pangaea which gradually began to drift apart over 300 million several years ago (Rodger, 1993).

More scientific research on the plates’ coastline revealed that all the plate of earth’s continent somehow fit together. The principle, commonly known as continental drift principle, and Wegener became the founder in the theory on which scientist have based on their research.view publisher site

However, Alfred Wegener plate tectonics idea could not ascertain how exactly the continents drifted away from each and every other. He proposed the earth’s rotations and the centrifugal forces towards the equator as one within the possible 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 within the Earth’s continents. He based on heating and cooling cycle for the Earth’s mantle that caused the continents to move. The Wegner’s idea being borrowed by scientist community in their quest for earth’s shape.

Today scientist have researched and analyzed past pieces of evidence and findings by geologist and scientist to expound and come up with a better ways of explaining plate tectonic idea and forces that were behind the drifting on the plates. It is believed and proofed using geological evidence that earth’s plate at one time was one big supercontinent called Pangaea. Due to three main driving forces namely, mantle convection, gravity, and the Earth’s rotation led to the drifting away for the a multitude of plate from the main one. A couple of major plates (continents) formed which include North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Indo-Australian, Pacific, and Antarctica.

Expounding on the three main driving forces for the movement in 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 major convection current of molten material in the Earth’s upper mantle produces a lot of energies which is transferred to reduce mantle. The lower mantle material finds their way to the crust causing the embedded rock to move away and out from the ridge thus going the plate. Evident of this is present in mid-ocean ridges.

Gravity evidenced by the mid-ocean ridges where the elevation is higher than the bordering ocean floor. Convection currents within the Earth cause decrease 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 of your plates. Then lastly earth rotation is caused by centrifugal forces as the earth rotates (Oreskes $ Legrand, 2001).

Plates construct different variations within the boundaries as they interact with their movement. Some from the boundaries established include the Divergent boundaries form when a plate breaks along certain lines of weakness and shift away from each and every other forming a new crust, for instance, Mid-ocean ridges. The other boundary is called Convergent boundaries and created when two plates collide with one another causing the sinking of one plate below the other. Transform boundaries forms at the location where new crust created and without destroying it.

Today, through research, scientists have come up with shreds of evidence proving that earth plates were once super plate that split into the current Continent. One belonging to the evidence is the jig-saw fitting within the East coast of South America, west coast of Africa appear to fit into one another. Also, Fossils remains of plants and animals collected by scientist around the world showed similarities that were cumbersome to explain unless continents had once joined. For instance, Cynognathus was a land reptile; its Fossils remain present both Africa and South America. Thus proving which the two continents joined as one, millions of many years ago, (Oreskes $ Legrand, 2001). Scientists 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 form the basis why the landscape from the earth is the way it is, scientist community has advanced the methodology of studying the plate tectonic principle currently. They use the satellite to study evidences of plate tectonic where they position it loads of kilometers away from the earth surface. From the satellite statistics, it is evidenced which the plates transfer linearly and away from each individual other at the speed of 10mm to 100mm per year. Thus proving that plate tectonic idea that is definitely earth was once one plate that gradually drifted apart more than millions of years back to form the current continents.

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