Explain (using your own words) the theory of Plate Tectonics (or Continental Drift) and what evidence we have that the plates are moving. Include the two main processes that drive Plate Tectonics (although Chapter 13 introduces some plate tectonic details, Chapter 14 goes much further into what drives Plate Tectonics). You must use TWO (no more/no less) quotes (include page numbers for each quote) from the textbook to support your answer to this reflection question. IF YOU HAVE USED A PREVIOUS EDITION (10TH OR 11TH), PLEASE STATE THAT IN YOUR RESPONSE.
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For additional help, please see the Chapter 13 Narrated Lecture video (posted in this week’s module) for details on Plate Tectonics (students in the past have found this lecture helpful in answering this week’s question). This lecture toward the last half of video lists the two main processes behind plate tectonics. Keep in mind, though, that you still must use quotes from the textbook (not from the video).
Please note that your quotes CANNOT constitute more than two sentences of your answer (i.e., find two one-sentence quotes and frame your answer around these quotes). Your answer must be at least 3 paragraphs, at least 5 sentences each paragraph,
Preferred language style Simple (Easy vocabulary, simple grammar constructions)
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The Theory of Plate Tectonics
The “Theory of Plate Tectonics” is a geological hypothesis that forms a framework for teaching various topographic patterns and internal processes on the earth surface as well as their relationship. It involves slow movement of hot large solid rocks in the mantle, which result to faulting, volcanism or folding processes. Such processes are responsible for the formation of relief features and creation of mountains on the earth’s surface. This theory came into acceptance in the year 1968 by the scientific society after exhibiting enough evidence. According to the model, the earth’s continents are always moving, as evidenced by similarities in geological composition of various coastal areas and the continental borders that can potentially fit like a jigsaw pattern.
Geographical and geological composition of various coastal regions are used as proof of plate tectonics model. According to Darrel and McKnight, “Wegener’s Evidence for Continental Drift,” includes various efforts made by the geologist towards supporting his theory particularly, the significant similarities between the geological features along the walls of Atlantic Ocean (400). He further discovered that the border margins of South America and Africa fit perfectly in a jigsaw-puzzle like pattern. More evidence was found on all oceans where a continuous ridge feature runs across the ocean floor. The convectional movement within the mantle is the major driving mechanism for the formation of geological features. Therefore, the formation of the ocean floor is used as a way of validating the framework.
The scientist’s community applied different approaches to explain major processes that contributed to Plate Tectonics. In particular, the authors used what is commonly referred to as “Mechanism for Plate Tectonics” (Darrel and McKnight 411). A process of slow thermal convection currents is thought to be occurring within the mantle leading to Plate Tectonics Processes. Most Plate Tectonics actions occur along their boundaries resulting in three distinct forms of plate boundaries (Darrel and McKnight 411). The three include a divergent boundary, where plates slide apart, a convergent boundary where they move closer, and a transform boundary where they laterally slide past one another. Therefore, the theory of “Plate Tectonics” plays a great role in physical geography as it provides a clear framework for understanding the internal earth processes and their relationship.
Hess, Darrel, and Tom L. McKnight. Mcknight’s Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation. , 2016.