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Students will learn:
- Continental drift
- Unified theory of plate tectonics
- Major plates of the lithosphere
- Plate boundaries
- Paleomagnetism and hot spots
- Sea floor spreading and polar reversal
- Causes of tectonic plate movement
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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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Major Plates of the Lithosphere: Earth's Tectonic Plates
The outer shell of the earth, the lithosphere, is broken up into tectonic plates. The seven major plates are the African plate, Antarctic plate, Eurasian plate, Indo-Australian plate, North American plate, Pacific plate and South American plate.
6. Plate Boundaries: Convergent, Divergent, and Transform Boundaries
In the theory of plate tectonics, the earth's crust is broken into plates that move around relative to each other. As a result of this movement, three types of plate boundaries are formed: divergent, convergent, and transform boundaries.
7. Ocean Drilling as Evidence for Plate Tectonics
The Deep Sea Drilling Project extracted samples of the ocean floor that provided evidence to support the hypothesis of seafloor spreading and the theory of plate tectonics. Learn how these samples provided proof.
8. Paleomagnetism and Hot Spots: Evidence for Plate Tectonics
Paleomagnetism is the study of past magnetic fields. Hot spots are fixed pockets of heat that well up to form volcanic features. Learn how paleomagnetism and the study of hot spots provide evidence that supports the theory of plate tectonics.
9. 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.
10. Causes of Tectonic Plate Movement
In this lesson, we explore the causes of plate movement, including thermal convection, ridge push and slab pull. Students will learn how these processes complement each other and form a theory for tectonic plate movement.
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Other chapters within the Prentice Hall Earth Science: Online Textbook Help course
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 1: Introduction to Earth Science
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 2: Minerals
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 3: Rocks
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 4: Earth's Resources
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 5: Weathering, Soil, and Mass Movements
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 6: Running Water and Groundwater
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 7: Glaciers, Deserts, and Wind
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 8: Earthquakes and Earth's Interior
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 10: Volcanoes and Other Igneous Activity
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 11: Mountain Building
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 12: Geologic Time
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 13: Earth's History
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 14: The Ocean Floor
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 15: Ocean Water and Ocean Life
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 16: The Dynamic Ocean
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 17: The Atmosphere: Structure and Temperature
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 18: Moisture, Clouds, and Precipitation
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 19: Air Pressure and Wind
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 20: Weather Patterns and Severe Storms
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 21: Climate
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 22: Origin of Modern Astronomy
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 23: Touring Our Solar System
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 24: Studying the Sun
- Prentice Hall Earth Science Chapter 25: Beyond Our Solar System