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Continental Drift

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Micaela Cors

on 18 May 2015

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Transcript of Continental Drift

Continental Drift
What is Continental Drift?
The Google dictionary states that Continental Drift is "the gradual movement of the continents across the earth's surface through geological time". So in other words Continental Drift is the way continents move because of the tectonic plates over time.
Theory of Continental Drift
The theory of continental drift was presented by Alfred Wegener in 1915. He believed that the continents used to be a big super continent that he named pangaea. Unfortunaly not many people believed him at the time, so he started to look for evidence to his theory.
Occurrences of the Continental Drift
Alfred Wegener
Evidence of Continental Drift
piece of evidence#1
Alfred Wegener saw while studying a map that South America and Africa could fit together like puzzle pieces.
Evidence of Continental Drift
piece of evidence #2
Another piece of evidence that Alfred Wegener discovered from books he found in the library is about fossils. One example is the remains of an ancient fresh water reptile called the Mesosaurus, that Paleontologists have found at the tail end of South America and the tail end of Africa. This proves that Africa and South America must have been connected during the time of the dinosaurs. The following picture shows more examples.
Evidence of Continental Drift
Fun Facts
When glaciers scrape down the earth they make scratches like these.
He was married to Else Koppen
He was born on November 1,1880
Alfred died from heart failure from smoking
His full name is Alfred Lothar Wegener
Alfred earned a Ph.D in astronomy
He was always interested in geophysics
Continental Drift was mentioned in the bible (Genesis 10:25)
Some of these were found in places that are now close to the equator as seen in the diagram.
This proves that these places used to be away from the equator.
Continental Drift is always occurring, just very slowly. The continents move about the speed your fingernails grows or 0.12 inches per month (1.44 in per year). In fact the continents move about 0.03 inches a week and about 0.004 inches a day. So in 10 years it will take 0.15277777777 seconds longer to get from Tulare to Africa by Commercial Airlines.
How Shifting Happens
The continents shift because of convection currents in the mantle and plate tectonics. They will keep moving apart until eventually there is another large land mass like Pangaea and separate again to form smaller continents like in today's world. The process will repeat forever.
Damage and Death

Even though continental drift does not cause damage or death to anybody we now have to use oversea transportation such as boats and planes .
Plate Tectonics
Our Earth project is about Continental Drift. Continental Drift is not a natual disaster, but an amazing way the earth moves because of several reasons and causes many things you will learn about in this presentation.
As you can see, continental drift is an amazing thing that is caused by plate tectonics and caused a need of boats and planes.
Plate tectonics play a big role in Continental Drift. Plate tectonics is the theory that Earth's outer shell is divided into several plates that move over the mantle. The plates are hard and rigid compared to Earth's mantle.
Earth's Layers
Right and Wrong
Even though Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift was correct, and it was an amazing discovery, he was incorrect when he said that "the continents might have plowed through the ocean crust like icebreakers smashing through ice."
Alfred Wegener compared the continents moving to an "ice breaker smashing through ice."
piece of Evidence #4
The fourth and final piece of evidence that Alfred discovered was about the geographical features of the earth. he noticed that the places he thought used to be connected, had similar mountains and other similar geographical features.
Full transcript