Essay On Plate Tectonics Theory

Conclusion

Plate tectonics is the grand, unifying theory of Earth sciences, combining the concepts of continental drift and sea-floor spreading into one holistic theory that explains many of the major structural features of the Earth's surface. It explains why the oceanic lithosphere is never older than about 180 Ma and why only the continents have preserved the Earth's geological record for the past 4000 Ma. It provides the framework to explain the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes and a mechanism for the slow drift of the continents across the Earth's surface. The theory has now reached such a level of scientific acceptance that the movement of plates, both relative to one another and to the hot-spot reference frame, are being used to infer movement of the hot-spot reference frame with respect to the Earth's rotational axis.

Plate tectonics is an expression of the convective regime in the underlying mantle, but the link between individual convection cells and plate boundaries is not direct because plate boundaries are not fixed and, like the plates, move relative to one another. Plate movements are driven by gravity, largely by cold, dense lithospheric slabs pulling younger lithosphere towards a destructive boundary. A less-powerful driving force is generated by the potential energy of spreading centres, elevated some 2-3 km above the general level of the abyssal plains.

As ideas concerning plate tectonics have evolved since the 1970s, it has become apparent that while the theory can be applied rigorously to the oceans, the same cannot be said of the continents. Because of the strength and rigidity of oceanic plates, deformation is focused into narrow linear zones along plate margins. By contrast, when continental lithosphere approaches a plate boundary, deformation can extend hundreds of kilometres into the continental interior because continental plates are less strong. Such deformation gives rise to the major mountain belts of the Earth, as exemplified by the Alpine Himalayan Chain.

Plate Tectonics Essay

1.0 Topic Definition
Plate Tectonics is a scientific theory which study how the Earth’s plates are driven and shaped by geological forces to keep them in constant movement. The theory explains the present-day tectonic behavior of the Earth, particularly the global distribution of mountain building, earthquake activity, and volcanism in a series of linear belt. (Pitman, W.C., 2007)
Plate Tectonics explains geomagnetic and geothermal phenomena, magma and orogenesis, and it clarify the global mid-ocean ridges and rift system, etc. The theory also analyzes geological issues such as the origin of oceanic crust. Plate Tectonics has a significant effect on all fields of geology because it helps explain many geological phenomenons.
Figure1. Earth Plate

2.0 History
Way back to 1915, scientist Alfred Wegener proposed his theory of “Continental Drift”, which clarified that the continents plowed through crust of ocean basin s. It helped explain why the outlines of many coast lines, such as South America and Africa looked like a puzzle when they fitted together. However, Wegner’s theory was controversial because it lacked of explanation of why continents moved.
In 1929, Arthur Holmes elaborated on one of Wegner’s hypotheses: the mangle undergoes thermal convection. In the early of 1960s, Holmes’ idea received many attractions. Harry Hess and R. Deitz developed a similar hypothesis, known as “Sea floor spreading”.
In 1965, J.T. Wilson proposed a new theory, which was “Plate Tectonics”. In 1967, Xavier Le Pichon published a complete model based on 6 major plates with their relative motions, which refined the theory of “Plate Tectonics”. He also explained the principle of the movement of the plates.

3.0 Science Organization
Plate Tectonics belongs to Geology. Plate Tectonics covers geophysics, tectonics, marine geology, geomorphology, volcanology and seismology. Geology is a subject which studies the Earth, the materials of it, the structure of those materials and the movement of them. Plate Tectonics studies the movement, evolution, composition, portfolio construction, distribution and mutual relations of the Earth’s lithosphere plates, which is similar to subject of geology.

4.0 Knowledge
In junior high school, I have learned the Continental Drift Theory, and my geography teacher told me there was a new theory based on the Continental Theory, i.e. Plate Tectonics. I accessed to the Internet to find the information about Plate Tectonics.

There are three distinct types of plate boundaries existing, which are supported by geological observation, geophysical data, and theoretical considerations. Their names and categories are based on if adjacent plates move apart from each other (divergent plate margins), toward one another (convergent plate margins), or slip past one another in a direction parallel to their common boundary (transform plate margins) (Pitman, W.C., 2007).

The new volcanic material welling up into the...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Plate Tectonics Theories Analysis

1261 words - 5 pages Plate Tectonics Theories Analysis Since the beginning of human kind there has been a cloud of wonder regarding the natural processes and patterns of our planet. Scientist interested in this field through out the years, have developed many different theories to how our planet geological features have come about. The most widely accepted theory in this field is that of plate tectonics. For those who...

Information for Plate Tectonics Essay

975 words - 4 pages Information for Plate Tectonics "Viewed from the distance of the moon, the astonishing thing about the Earth, catching the breath, is that it is alive. Photographs show the dry, pounded surface of the moon in the foreground, dead as an old bone. Aloft, floating free beneath the moist, gleaming membrane of bright blue sky, is the rising earth, the only exuberant thing in this part of the cosmos. If you could look long enough, you would see...

Essay On The Evidence That Supports The Theory Of Continental Drift And Plate Tectonics

783 words - 3 pages The initial theory of continental drift was put forward by a German meteorologist Alfred Wegener in 1915. This theory did not seem credible until it was connected with the plate tectonic theory in the mid 1960's. The Tectonic plate theory had an advantage over previous predictions as it could be supported by observed occurrences. One...

Continental drift

733 words - 3 pages Continental Drift Continental drift is the theory that the positions of the earth's continents have changed a lot through geologic time. The German meteorologist Alfred Wegener proposed the first comprehensive theory of continental drift in 1912, on the basis of the way the continents fit together on the opposing Atlantic coasts and paleontology correlation on both sides of the Atlantic. He proposed the theory that about 200 million years ago...

Planet Earth (SCI350 Astronomy)

843 words - 3 pages Planet EarthWelcome to planet Earth. Although Earth's basic structure is similar to several other planets, Earth is the only planet that is able to sustain life. Actually, Earth is unique and special in many ways. Why does Earth, the third rock from the Sun, have the unique ability to allow humankind to thrive on its...

Land Feature

1297 words - 5 pages AbstractThis paper will discuss how the Pacific Southwest region was formed according to the theory of plate tectonics. It will explain the theory of plate tectonics, which is the theory of how the continents move around on the mantle, and identify factors that influence the location and intensity of earthquakes...

Sedimentary Rocks

777 words - 3 pages Sedimentary Rocks PAGE 4 Sedimentary RocksSedimentary RocksSedimentary rocks are rocks, which are formed when parts of deceased organisms or pieces of rocks that already exist form deposits on the surface of the Earth. Sedimentary rocks have three main classifications. The classifications...

Earth's crust is in a state of dynamic equilibrium

1505 words - 6 pages The surface of the Earth is broken up into large plates. The Earth is dynamic because of its inner heat, which comes from deep in the mantle where heat, rising and falling inside it, creates convection currents generated by radioactive breakdown in the core. The convection currents move the plates. Where convection currents diverge near the Earth's crust, plates move apart. Where convection currents converge, plates move towards each...

Convection

620 words - 2 pages Introduction Heat is transferred through convection, conduction and radiation. Convection is the transfer of heat through the movement of matter. Conduction is the transfer of heat or energy between two objects that are in contact with each other. Radiation is the transfer of energy through electromagnetic waves. In this lab we conducted four separate...

The Ring of Fire.

1046 words - 4 pages Most volcanoes are located on the continents edges, along island chains or beneath the sea forming long mountain ranges. More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level encircle the Pacific Ocean to form the circum-Pacific "Ring of Fire." The ring of fire makes up seventy five percent of the worlds dormant and active volcanoes. More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level are part of the ring. The Ring of Fire...

The Ring of Fire

1048 words - 4 pages Most volcanoes are located on the continents edges, a long island chains or beneath the sea forming long mountain ranges. More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level encircle the Pacific Ocean to form the circum-Pacific "Ring of Fire." The ring of fire makes up seventy five percent of the worlds dormant and active volcanoes. More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level are part of the ring. The Ring of Fire...

0 thoughts on “Essay On Plate Tectonics Theory”

    -->

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *