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How did the theory of plate tectonics develop?

Question:

How did the theory of plate tectonics develop?

Plate Tectonics

Plate tectonics is a theory that explained that Earth's lithosphere is divided into plates that are moving at approximately 2-3 inches per year. This theory revolutionized Earth sciences by providing a uniform understanding for mountain-building processes, volcanoes, and earthquakes. It also gave clues to Earth's surface and in reconstructing its oceans and past continents.

Answer and Explanation:

The theory of plate tectonics was developed in the 1950's to the 1970's and is a modern version of continental drift. When the concept of seafloor spreading came along, scientists recognized that plate tectonics was the mechanism to explain how plates move and the theories of seafloor spreading and continental drift merged into the theory of plate tectonics. Technology also helped to prove the theory of plate tectonics. Scientists set up seismographs to see if enemy nations were testing atomic bombs. What the noticed was that the epicenters of the earthquakes that were recorded outlined the plates where they were occurring.


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Plate Tectonics: Theory & Definition

from General Studies Earth & Space Science: Help & Review

Chapter 7 / Lesson 5
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