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Lecture 7

EPSC201 Lecture 7 Notes.doc

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Earth & Planetary Sciences
EPSC 201
Anthony Williams- Jones

EPSC201Lecture 7 NotesContinental DriftThe continents fit together like puzzle pieces which suggests the continents used to be connected Alfred Wegner a meteorologist and glaciologist from Swisszterland found signs of glaciations in places where there shouldnt be He fit the continents together and called the massive one continent Pangaea He concluded that the continents must have slowly drifted togetherKey line of evidenceplaces where there shouldnt be glaciations have signs of it Glaciers tend to polish and erode the rock They have a scraping and scratching effect Glacial striation along the side of mountains can indicate flow of glacierWhen plaining wood one direction is very smooth and the opposite direction is very rough The exact same phenomenon is observed with glaciations striations From this you can extrapolate what direction the glacier was flowingGlaciers scrape huge grooves in the land which form lakes These lakes will be all scraped in the same directionWegner noticed this glaciations all over the world like South Australia and South Africa These signs were millions of years old He measured the directions and noticed they all seemed to be moving radially and Northward Wegners arguments were that the areas that were glaciated must have been located near the South pole They must have migrated Northward over timeGondwanalandthe Southern continent pictured by Wegner This was Wegners key piece of information the supported the theory of continental driftLaurasiathe Northern continent pictured by Wegner much trickier then GondwanalandPangaeathe combination of Laurasia and GondwanalandWhen Wegner presented his idea in the 1920s people laughed at him because he couldnt explain HOW the continents drifted
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