The language of the earth – part IV

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  • Rock Cycle

Alfred Wegener 1880-1930

  • Wegener’s 1915 Reconstructions
  • ~250 Ma

Fossil Evidence

Similar Geologic Structures

  • Wegener’s Sketch (1931)

The Appalachian-Caledonian Mountains

  • ~250 Ma

Paleoclimate Evidence

  • ~300 Ma

General Dismissal of Wegner’s Theory

  • an amateur (not even a geologist!)
  • inadequate driving mechanism for horizontal motion of continents (tidal energy, earth’s rotation)
  • uncertainty about the seafloor and earth’s mantle
  • some supporters: DuToit (South Africa), Holmes (England), but many more detractors especially in the US
  • from J. Holden
  • Continental Drift (Wegner)

Paleomagnetism: New Evidence for Continental Drift in the 1950’s

Apparent Polar Wandering

Investigations of the Seafloor The Final Pieces of the Puzzle

Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Ocean Ridges, and Ocean Trenches

  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanoes
  • Ocean Trenches
  • Ocean Ridges

Benioff Zones Sites of Ocean Floor Subduction and Melting

Seafloor Spreading An “essay in geopoetry” by Harry Hess (1961)

Magnetic Striping of the Seafloor Confirmation of the Seafloor Spreading Hypothesis Vine and Matthews (1963)

Further Confirmation Youth of the Ocean Crust

Continental Drift + Seafloor Spreading = Theory of Plate Tectonics (late 1960’s)

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