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EESA06H3 (240)
Nick Eyles (207)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 (beginning)

3 Pages
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Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA06H3
Professor
Nick Eyles

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Chapter 2
What is Plate Tectonics?
- tectonics is the study of the origin and arrangement of the broad structural
features of earth’s surface
- plate tectonics: earth’s surface divided into a few large, thick plates that move
slowly and change in size
- intense geologic activity occurs at plate boundaries
-where plates move away from one another, past one another, or toward
one another
- plate tectonics
-continental drift
-continents move freely over the earth’s surface, changing their
positions relative to one another
-sea-floor spreading
-sea floor forms at the crest of mid-oceanic ridges, then moves
horizontally away from the ridge crest toward an oceanic trench
-two sides of ridge move in opposite directions like conveyor belts
How did the Plate Tectonics Theory Evolve?
-continents fit together like a puzzle
-Pangea/Pangaea
-laurasia, northern supercontinent
-includes north America and Eurasia (excluding India)
Gondwanaland, southern supercontinent
-all southern continents and India(which drifted north)
-Wegener proposed that continents ploughed through the oceanic crust, perhaps
crumpling up mountain ranges on the leading edges of the continents where they
pushed against the sea floor
Study of the Sea Floor
-sidescan sonar: measures the intensity of sound reflected from the ocean floor
and provides detailed images and information about sediments and bedforms on
the sea floor.
Geophysical Research
Polar wandering: apparent movement of earth’s poles
-magnetic poles stay close to geographic poles as they move
-magnetism of old rocks can determine the direction and strength of the magnetic
field in the past
-study of ancient magnetic fields is called paleomagnetism
-magnetic inclination steep as north magnetic pole approach
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Description
Chapter 2 What is Plate Tectonics? - tectonics is the study of the origin and arrangement of the broad structural features of earths surface - plate tectonics: earths surface divided into a few large, thick plates that move slowly and change in size - intense geologic activity occurs at plate boundaries -where plates move away from one another, past one another, or toward one another - plate tectonics -continental drift -continents move freely over the earths surface, changing their positions relative to one another -sea-floor spreading -sea floor forms at the crest of mid-oceanic ridges, then moves horizontally away from the ridge crest toward an oceanic trench -two sides of ridge move in opposite directions like conveyor belts How did the Plate Tectonics Theory Evolve? -continents fit together like a puzzle -PangeaPangaea -laurasia, north
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