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Copy of Alfred Wegener and Continental Drift
Transcript of Copy of Alfred Wegener and Continental Drift
1900s - Scientists have been explaining the creation of mountains using the "Raisin" theory.
Why do we have mountains?
Born in Berlin, Germany on
November 1, 1880.
Received a doctorate in astronomy in 1904.
Began studying the new science of meteorolgy.
1910 - Wegener notices that the coastlines of Africa and South America fit together like puzzle pieces.
Fossils that matched up across continents.
In 1915, Wegener publishes his ideas in the book "The Origin of Continents and Oceans".
The Origin of Continents and Oceans
"Doesn't the east coast of South America fit exactly against the west coast of Africa, as if they had once been joined? This is an idea I'll have to pursue."
In his book, Wegener introduces the idea that all of the continents were once connected, but slowly drifted apart from each other - an idea he called continental drift.
He names the large continent Pangaea, which is Greek for "all lands".
"It is just as if we were to refit the torn pieces of a newspaper by matching their edges and then check whether the lines of print ran smoothly across. If they do, there is nothing left but to conclude that the pieces were in fact joined in this way."
Wegener couldn't explain how the continents moved; just that his evidence showed that they had.
But how do the continents move??
Some of his suggestions included:
- centrifugal force from the spinning planet.
-the gravitational forces of the sun and the moon.
Wegener kept revising his book to incorporate new evidence; he never let the reaction of the scientific community stop him from sharing his theory of continental drift.
In 1930, Wegener returned to Greenland on an expedition to study the ice cap and its climate.
During the expedition, he and a colleague set off to deliver some supplies to a remote camp.
They arrived 40 days later, and celebrated Wegener's 50th birthday while they were there.
After the party, Wegener and his colleague left to head back to the base camp.
They were never seen alive again....
Wegener's body was found on May 21, 1931. He was wrapped up in a reindeer skin and a sleeping bag. His eyes were open, and he had a peaceful look on his face.
His friends made a masoleum of ice and put up a 20 ft. iron cross to mark the site. Both have now vanished under the snow.
Know Wegener's ideas about continental drift. Understand that the earth’s crust is divided into plates that move.
- Demonstrate that the continents fit together like a jigsaw.
- Describe Wegener's theory of continental drift.
- Explain the evidence Wegener used to try and prove his theory.
Fill in the worksheet on Wegener's theory and match up the pictures with the correct time.
Cut out your continents and arrange them like Wegener did. Remember Wegener said that the matching fossils and rocks suggested the places where the land was joined together.
Complete the diagram.