Essay around the advancement and record of plate tectonics

by admin on June 3, 2015

Essay around the advancement and record of plate tectonics

Plate tectonics arises from two words and phrases plate and tectonic. Plate in geological conditions means a large slab of difficult rock while tectonics in Greek implies’ to build’. Therefore’ plate tectonic may be described as how the earth’s is built on moving the plate. It may possibly also be well-defined for a rigid phase of the Earth’s lithosphere that moves individually from those bordering it (Rodger, 1993). Theory of plate tectonics states the lithosphere on the earth is manufactured up of individual plates which are fragmented into several big and small parts of strong rock. The plates transfer subsequent to each other along with the reduce mantle to develop assorted types of plate borders that have shaped the Earth’s landscape about lots of decades.(Oreskes & Legrand, 2001). Alfred Wegener, a popular meteorologist, is known to be the founder with the plate tectonic idea; He noticed which 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 huge plate called Pangaea which gradually began to drift apart above 300 million several years ago (Rodger, 1993). More scientific research about the plates’ coastline revealed that all the plate of earth’s continent somehow fit together. The principle was commonly known as continental drift theory, and Wegener became the founder from the principle on which scientist have based their research on. However, Alfred Wegener plate tectonics principle 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 concept of thermal convection to explain the gradual drift of the Earth’s continents. He based on heating and cooling cycle with the Earth’s mantle that caused the continents to transfer. 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 concept 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 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 numerous plate from the main one. Several major plates (continents) were formed which include North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Indo-Australian, Pacific, and Antarctica. Expounding over the three main driving forces for the movement of your 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 theory. The big convection current of molten material in the Earth’s upper mantle produces a lot of energies which is transferred to decrease mantle. The reduce mantle material finds their way to the crust causing the embedded rock to move 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 bordering 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 from the plates. Then lastly earth rotation is caused by centrifugal forces as earth rotates (Oreskes $ Legrand, 2001). Plates form different kinds 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 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 a number of evidences proving that earth plates were once super plate which split into the current Continents. Some on the evidences include: the jig-saw fitting in the 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 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 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 from 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 numerous kilometers away from the earth surface. From the satellite statistics, it is evidenced which the plates go linearly and away from just about every other at the speed of 10mm to 100mm per year.

References Oreskes, N., & LeGrand, H. E. (2001). Plate tectonics: An insider’s background of your modern idea in 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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