Attempt on the enhancement and background of plate tectonics

Attempt on the enhancement and background of plate tectonics

Plate tectonics emanates from two words plate and tectonic. Plate in geological conditions usually means a big slab of challenging rock when tectonics in Greek implies’ to build’. Therefore’ plate tectonic can be described as how the earth’s is built on shifting the plate. It could even be well-defined as a rigid segment of your Earth’s lithosphere that moves independently from those people surrounding it (Rodger, 1993). Theory of plate tectonics states that the lithosphere of your earth is produced up of specific plates which are fragmented into quite a few big and little pieces of sound rock. The plates transfer next to each other in addition to the reduce mantle to make numerous kinds of plate borders that have shaped the Earth’s landscape about a lot of a long time.(Oreskes & Legrand, 2001). Alfred Wegener, a popular meteorologist, is known to be the founder in the plate tectonic theory; He noticed that 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 admission college essay idea that all plates (continents) were connected to a single big plate called Pangaea which gradually began to drift apart over 300 million a long time ago (Rodger, 1993). More scientific research over the plates’ coastline revealed that all the plate of earth’s continent somehow fit together. The concept was commonly known as continental drift concept, and Wegener became the founder of your concept 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 idea of thermal convection to explain the gradual drift in the Earth’s continents. He based on heating and cooling cycle from the Earth’s mantle that caused the continents to move. 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 idea and forces that were behind the drifting of your 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. Several major plates (continents) were formed which include North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Indo-Australian, Pacific, and Antarctica. Expounding on the three main driving forces for the movement on 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 theory. The big convection current of molten material in the Earth’s upper mantle produces a lot of energies which is transferred to reduce mantle. The reduce mantle material finds their way to the crust causing the embedded rock to go 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 bordering ocean floor. Convection currents within the Earth cause decreased 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 of your 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 in the boundaries formed include Divergent boundaries form when a plate breaks along certain lines of weakness and transfer away from each individual 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 numerous evidences proving that earth plates were once super plate which split into the current Continents. Some on the evidences include: the jig-saw fitting in the 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 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 on the earth is the way it is, scientist community currently advanced methodology of studying the plate tectonic theory. They use satellite to study evidences of plate tectonic where they position it quite a few kilometers away from the earth surface. From the satellite statistics, it is evidenced that the plates transfer linearly and away from each other at the speed of 10mm to 100mm per year.


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

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