Early history[ edit ] Abraham Ortelius Ortelius Theodor Christoph Lilienthal Alexander von Humboldt and Antonio Snider-Pellegrini Snider-Pellegriniand others had noted earlier that the shapes of continents on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean most notably, Africa and South America seem to fit together.
Continental Drift The notion that the continents have moved across the surface of the planet has been tossed around for quite some time. It is no doubt that even the earliest coastal maps must have alluded to the similarities between coastlines.
Although the idea had been suggested many times before none of the early hypothesis was ever capable of explaining how continents might be capable of drfited to their present location. Then, in the early s debate was reignited when Alfred Wegner published his book: Furthermore, Wegner proposed that around million years ago Pangea began breaking apart and the continents slowly drifted to their present position.
So what made Wegner so different from everyone else? As I stated previously this notion isn't anything new and had been proposed many times in the past. What made Wegner's hypothesis different was not that he had finally discovered the process but the vast ammount of evidence he collected.
Some of the first evidence collected to support the idea of continental drift was that collected by Edward Seuss and this evidence had nothing to do with geology.
What Seuss noticed was that fossils of an extinct plant known as glossopteris could be found in many locations, including: On the surface this may not seem that odd but glossopteris was a seedplant; meaning that in order for it to have grown in all four areas where its fossil is found, the seeds would have to be distributed in those areas.
But if glossopteris seeds were able to be distributed thousands of miles away across vast oceans, why werent they distributed everywhere else? This puzzle lead Seuss to surmise that at one point the these four continents must have been together as one super continent.
Seuss called this super continent Gondawanaland, after the Indian province in which he discovered the glossopteris fossil. Unfortunately, Seuss, like those before him, could not provide a mechanism to show how these continents could have moved over time.
Then in Frank Taylor and his colleague Howard Baker showed how, when lined up, rock formations within the Caledonian and Appalachian mountain ranges seemed to match.
Taylor knew that this was evidence of the break up of a super continent but if his evidence for continental drift was to survive he needed to provide a mechanism.
Taylor hypothesised that when the Eath captured the moon, roughly million years ago, the tidal forces generated pulled the continents that were then situated near the poles to equatorial positions. Unfortunately for Taylor none of these ideas were testable and, like those before him, Taylor's theory recieved little attention.
Today, scientist believe that the moon formed during a cataclysmic collision that nearly destroyed the Earth 4. In the talk Wegener challenges the belief that land bridges a hypothesis promoted by other scientist to explain similar species on distant lands, could have existed.
However, Wegener was a meteorologist not a geologist and so his theories were met with much contempt. In fact Wegner was considered, by some, a trespasser of science.
This did not deter him. Three years later Wegener published "On the Origin of Continents and Oceans " with three other volumes printed in, and Each text provided more and more evidence to support continental drift. After all, Wegner argued, if fossil evidence suggested that continents were once linked and sunken land bridges do not obey accepted theory of isostacy only one conclusion remains.
One of the greatest questions concerning continental drift was how continents, made of solid rock, could move throughout the Earth's solid rock crust. To begin answering this Wegner likened the Earth to a piece of pitch natural asphalt.
At normal condition of temperature and pressure pitch behaves like a brittle solid; if it is struck by a hammer it will shatter. However, if placed under a continued pressure pitch will begin to deform plastically.
Perhaps, Wegener hypothesised, the earth behaved in a similar manner. Under constant pressure from the continents maybe the ocean floors behaved more plastically and continents were able to move through the ocean crust much like an icebreaker moves through ice.Find and save ideas about Alfred wegener on Pinterest.
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Unlike Wegener, Harry Hess lived to see his major theory confirmed and accepted. He helped to plan the U.S. space program and died of a heart attack on August 25, , a month after the Apollo 11 ’s successful mission to . Alfred Wegener produced evidence in that the continents are in motion, but because he could not explain what forces could move them, geologists rejected his ideas.
Almost 50 years later Harry Hess confirmed Wegener’s ideas by using the evidence of seafloor spreading to . Alfred Wegener Essay Examples. 11 total results. An Analysis of the Plate Tectonic Theory.
The story of Alfred Wegener and his theory of continental drift is, above all, a tale of change. Wegener’s idea, first proposed early in the 20th century, provided a . A review set for the Earth Science Plate Tectonics Unit. Plate Tectonics Review study guide by rbartlett includes 40 questions covering vocabulary, terms and more. Quizlet flashcards, activities and games help you improve your grades. With all of the mounting data it was hard for anyone to ignore the possibilty of Continental Drift, but final proof was not far off. In the mid s a research vessel tugging a magnetometer performed a detailed study of the magnetic intensity of the Pacific sea floor. What they found seemed puzzling.
words. 1 page. The Features of Plate Tectonics. words. 2 pages. An Overview of Alfred Wegener's Theory of Continental Drift and Harry Hess' Theory of Ocean Floor Spreading. 1, words. Alfred Wegener proposed the theory of continental drift - the idea that the Earth's continents move over hundreds of millions of years of geologic time - long before the idea was commonly accepted.
ALFRED WEGENER & HARRY HESS. 2 3 Alfred Wegener showed evidence in that Continental drift Wegener studied the atmosphere as a meteorologist.
He was earning rec- The theory was that they later sunk into the ocean. Wegener wanted to end that theory. He also disputed the theory of the time that mountains formed.