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What new information led to the theory of plate tectonics?

Question:

What new information led to the theory of plate tectonics?

Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics theory explains the Earth's structure and landscape as being due the moving plates on the lithosphere of the Earth. It is an important geologic concept as it fills in the gaps to Earth's geologic history.

Answer and Explanation:

After Wagener's theory of continental drift was not accepted because he did not have a way to explain why continents move. Evidence that was uncovered years later through the work of paleomagnetic studies. These studies which examine the Earth's past magnetic field, showed that the magnetic pole seemed to wander around all over the globe. This meant that either the plates were moving, or else the north pole was. Since the north pole is essentially fixed, except during periods of magnetic reversals, this piece of evidence strongly supported the idea of plate tectonics. Later in World War II more evidence was discovered with the use of seismographs that picked up earthquakes and volcanoes aligned along the distinct belts around the world defining the edges of tectonic plates. More palemagnetic studies revealed that magnetic reversals in the crust of ocean basins.


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Plate Tectonics: Theory & Definition

from General Studies Earth & Space Science: Help & Review

Chapter 7 / Lesson 5
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