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Essay to the development and background of plate tectonics

Essay to the development and background of plate tectonics

Plate tectonics arises from two text plate and tectonic. Plate in geological phrases usually means a significant slab of tough rock whilst tectonics in Greek implies’ to build’. Therefore’ plate tectonic may be described as how the earth’s is built on shifting the plate. It could possibly even be well-defined as being a rigid segment of your Earth’s lithosphere that moves individually from all those bordering it (Rodger, 1993). Concept of plate tectonics states which the lithosphere of the earth is created up of specific plates which have been fragmented into many large and smaller parts of reliable rock. The plates shift subsequent to each other in addition to the lower mantle to build diverse kinds of plate borders which have formed the Earth’s landscape above numerous years.(Oreskes & Legrand, 2001). Alfred Wegener, a popular meteorologist, is known to be the founder on the plate tectonic theory; He noticed 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 decades ago (Rodger, 1993). More scientific research on the plates’ coastline revealed that all the plate of earth’s continent somehow fit together. The principle was commonly known as continental drift idea, and Wegener became the founder of your principle on which scientist have based their research on. However, Alfred Wegener plate tectonics theory could not ascertain how exactly the continents drifted away from just about 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 theory of thermal convection to explain the gradual drift of the Earth’s continents. He based on heating and cooling cycle of your Earth’s mantle that caused the continents to go. 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 theory 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 a number of plate from the main one. A number of 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 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 idea. The huge convection current of molten material in the Earth’s upper mantle produces a lot of energies which is transferred to decreased mantle. The reduced mantle material finds their way to the crust causing the embedded rock to move out and away from the ridge thus shifting 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 encompassing ocean floor. Convection currents within the Earth cause reduce 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 in the plates. Then lastly earth rotation is caused by centrifugal forces as earth rotates (Oreskes $ Legrand, 2001). Plates form different sorts of boundary as they interact with their movement. Some from the boundaries formed include Divergent boundaries form when a plate breaks along certain lines of weakness and transfer away from each and every 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 various evidences proving that earth plates were once super plate which split into the current Continents. Some with the evidences include: the jig-saw fitting of your 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 which 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 of your 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 a lot of kilometers away from the earth surface. From the satellite statistics, it is evidenced the plates move linearly and away from each individual other at the speed of 10mm to 100mm per year.

References Oreskes, N., & LeGrand, H. E. (2001). Plate tectonics: An insider’s history in the modern idea of the Earth. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press. Rogers, J. J. W. (1993). A heritage from the earth. New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.