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Ch 61: Basics of Plate Tectonics

About This Chapter

Review foundational information about plate tectonics by reviewing the lessons in this study guide. You will cover theories describing the early landmass of Pangaea and changes on the earth's surface.

Basics of Plate Tectonics - Chapter Summary

Refresh your memory on the land on the earth's surface by completing the lessons in this study guide. These lessons include facts about plate tectonics and continental drift, as well as the evidence that the continental drift occurred. Other topics covered include the spreading of the sea floor and polar reversal. At the completion of this study guide you will be able to do the following:

  • Evaluate Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift
  • Explain Pangaea
  • Summarize the evidence of continental drift
  • Describe sea floor spreading and polar reversal

As you completed the lessons, use the personal dashboard to check your progress. This feature can also be used to set goals for learning and pacing. The personal dashboard only records the quizzes you have passed so it can be used to ensure that you are making the progress you desire. If you are not doing well on the quizzes, you can use the ask-an-expert tool to get extra help.

5 Lessons in Chapter 61: Basics of Plate Tectonics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Pangaea? - Theory & Definition

1. What is Pangaea? - Theory & Definition

The continents you know have existed for a long time, but not in their current locations. In fact, over 200 million years ago Pangaea broke apart by plate tectonic movement to form the continents we see today.

Plate Tectonics: A Unified Theory for Change of the Earth's Surface

2. Plate Tectonics: A Unified Theory for Change of the Earth's Surface

After many years of trying to solve the mystery of the moving continents, enough data and evidence was collected to develop a unifying theory of how the surface of the earth changes. It's called plate tectonics.

Alfred Wegener's Theory of Continental Drift

3. Alfred Wegener's Theory of Continental Drift

People used to think that Earth was static, and that it never changed. Gradually, a body of evidence was gathered that made no sense in this model. Alfred Wegener, Geologic Supersleuth, laid the groundwork for a whole new theory for the large-scale changing nature of the earth.

Evidence for the Mechanism of Continental Drift

4. Evidence for the Mechanism of Continental Drift

As scientists began to explore the ocean floor after World War II, they discovered many new clues to help them solve a mystery that had begun decades earlier - how the continents moved about on the surface of the earth.

Sea Floor Spreading and Polar Reversal

5. Sea Floor Spreading and Polar Reversal

Sea floor spreading is the process by which new oceanic crust is formed by the upwelling of magma through diverging tectonic plates. Learn about the relationship between sea floor spreading and polar reversals detected on the ocean floor.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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