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continental drift

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Introduction

Continental drift

In this essay I will be explaining what continantal drif is and discuss the arguments regurding continental drifting. I will investigate scienteist statements and prove why continental drifting is a fact and cause todays natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes and vocanic eruptions.
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Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents relative to each other. Alfred Wegener, the German scientist and meteorologist began his theory of continental drifting in 1915; he predicted that the continents were slowly ‘drifting’ around the Earth. To make his prediction Wegener had evidence he presented to prove continental drifting had happened like these:

  • Coastlines of Africa and South America join together like a jigsaw
  • Fossils are found deep underground or high up in mountains.
  • Radio active decay in the mantle produces enough heat for convection currents.
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Middle

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At the time none believed his theory as:

  • No-one could provide a good explanation of how whole continents could move apart.
  • Wegener was not a geologist - he trained as an astronomer and meteorologist.
  • There were other, simpler, explanations for the same evidence.
  • It was felt his idea was too big for the evidence at hand.

Yet today, scientists believe that 200 million years ago, yes, the Earth's continents were joined together to form one gigantic supercontinent, called Pangaea (proving Wegener’s theory right). As the rock plates that the continents sit on moved, the supercontinent broke up over millions of years and began to move apart which is what we now see today.

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The theory of plate tectonics was developed in the 1960's.

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Conclusion

 The plates are moving at a speed that has been estimated at 1 to 10 cm per year. Most of the Earth's seismic activity (volcanoes and earthquakes) occurs at the plate boundaries as they interact. Continental drift only occurred because of the tectonic plates.image02.png

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In conclusion I believe that yes, continental drifting is a fact, evidence I have collected have shown me that. I believe that Alfred Wegener’s theory of Pangaea is true and this was due to the tectonic plates. If the plates didn’t move how else would we have mountains and volcanoes? Also it is too convenient that the plates fit together so easily if they were never together as one. Also volcanoes and mountain ranges are often on these plate boundaries explaining how they were formed.

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