Continental Drift: Exploring the Theory.

Essay by fallunderHigh School, 12th gradeA-, June 2003

download word file, 3 pages 3.5

For many of years geologists have been searching for ways to prove the Continental Drive Theory to the world. Yet the lack hard evidence, rather have a collection of theories and semi-relevant evidence. If one takes a step back and observes every item closely, it is obvious that Continental Drift is more than a theory. It very well could be a fact. The evidence is there. The seemingly coincidental fit of continental shapes, fossil correlation, paleomagnetism, paleoglaciation, and paleoclimatology evidence all are valid pieces of evidence that the plates on the earth are in fact drifting.

Close examination of a globe often results in the observation that most of the continents seem to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle: the west African coastline seems to snuggle nicely into the east coast of South America and the Caribbean sea; and a similar fit appears across the Pacific. The fit is even more striking when the submerged continental shelves are compared rather than the coastlines.

In 1912, Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) noticed the same thing and proposed that the continents were once compressed into a single super continent, which he called Pangaea, and over time they have drifted apart into their current position. He believed that Pangaea was intact until the late Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago, when it began to break up and drift apart. However, Wegener's hypothesis lacked a geological mechanism to explain how the continents could drift across the earth's surface as he proposed. Searching for evidence to further develop his theory of continental drift, Wegener came across a paper suggesting that a land bridge had once connected Africa with Brazil. This proposed land bridge was an attempt to explain the well known observation that the same fossilized plants and animals from the same time period were found...