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EESA06H3 (560)
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Lecture

Lecture2a

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Department
Environmental Science
Course
EESA06H3
Professor
Nick Eyles
Semester
Summer

Description
LECTURE  2     • Its  not  the  continents  that  are  drifting  but  the  (larger)  plates  in  which  the   continents  are  embedded   • Alfred  Wegner  received  criticism  because  he  claimed  that  the  continents   were  plowing  through  the  oceans   • The  term  “continental  drift”  is  redundant     Reassembling  Pangaea  (Alfred  Wegner,  1912)   • Wegener  was  actually  a  meteorologist   • Made  contributions  to  lunar  geology   o Observed  that  the  craters  were  caused  by  meteor  impact   o Up  until  then  they  were  regarded  as  volcanic   • Intrigued  by  fact  that  continentsth  fit  together  like  pieces  of  puzzle   o Actually  noticed  back  in  16  century   o Trade  required  better  maps  and  were  more  observed   • Proposed  that  continents  moved  by  plowing  through  the  sea  floor   o “Continental  drift”   o Was  rejected  by  most  geologists  because  he  wasn’t  able  to  propose  a   mechanism   • Pangaea  consists  of:     o Laurasia  (N.  America  &  Asia)   o Gondwana  (Southern  continents)   • Supercontinent  was  “c”  shaped   • India  moving  north  destroyed  the  Tethys  Sea  (void  partially  surrounded  by   continents)   • Proved  by  climate  belts  (Fig.  1.1)   o As  seen  in  rocks  of  the  same  age   o Tropical,  and  temperate  areas  form  a  band  when  continents  are  re-­‐ assembled   o There  was  an  ice  sheet  that  covered  Antarctica,  some  parts  of  Africa,   India,  Australia,  and  South  America   • Also  made  sense  in  terms  in  paleobiology  (fossil  organisms)   • Mesosaurus  is  perhaps  most  famous   o Found  in  rocks  of  South  America  and  South  Africa   o Was  a  freshwater  organism   o No  way  it  swam  across  open  southern  Atlantic  ocean   o So  the  animal  roamed  in  shallow  lakes  across  joined  continents   • Other  fossils  belonged  to  land  organisms  which  couldn’t  have  swam  either     • 250  million  year  old  glaciers  show  old  connectedness  between  continents   • Striations  –  scratches  made  by  ice   o Tell  us  direction  that  ice  flowed   o In  Canada  most  ice  flows  from  the  north   • We  find  mineral  deposits  in  an  area  that’s  been  glaciated  and  much  of  the   bedrock  has  been  covered  by  thick  glacial  sediments
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