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This Dynamic Earth The Story of Plate Tectonics

The Earth's outermost layer is fragmented into a dozen or more large and small plates that are moving relative to one another as they ride atop hotter, more mobile material.
supercontinent that formed around 300 million years ago and began to break apart around 175 million years ago

How long ago did Pangaea start to break up? 225-200 million years What were Laurasia and Gondwanaland? Pangaea first broke into two large continental landmasses, Laurasia in the northern hemisphere and Gondwanaland in the southern hemisphere. Laurasia and Gondwanaland then continued to break apart into the various smaller continents that exist today. 3. What was the theory of continental drift? The supercontinent Pangaea began to break up about 225-200 million years ago, eventually fragmenting into the continents as we know them today How were each of the following pieces of evidence used by Wegener? Apparent fit of SA and Africa- the presence of identical fossil species along the coastal parts of Africa and South America was the most compelling evidence that the two continents were once joined. Identical fossils ( name them)- distinctive fossil ferns (Glossopteris) Evidence of climate change coal deposits in Antarctica, polar dinosaurs in Australia What was the major flaw that kept Wegeners theory from being accepted? He couldnt answer the question what force moved them and said the continents simply plowed through the ocean floor. 4. Inside the Earth: Draw a diagram of the Earth and label the lithosphere asthenosphere mantle inner and outer core 5. What is a tectonic plate? (lithospheric plate) is a massive, irregularly shaped slab of solid rock, generally composed of both continental and oceanic lithosphere) How are continental plates different from oceanic plates? Continental plates are thicker and less dense, mainly granitic in composition, makes up land masses, rock a lot older. Oceaning plates basaltic in composition, underlies the oceans. 6. How does each of the following pieces of evidence support the theory of plate tectonics? Age of ocean floor Magnetic striping and polar reversals Seafloor spreading Earthquake and volcano patterns 7. Describe the ecosystem that exists around a smoker.

This Dynamic Earth The Story of Plate Tectonics What are some specific organisms found in this ecosystem? Where does the energy for these ecosystems come from? 8. Explain what happens at each type of plate boundary. Where is new crust formed and where is crust destroyed? Divergent- where new crust is generated as the plates pull away from each other convergent: where crust is destroyed as one plate dives under another. when ocean plates converge? the plate that is older, therefore colder and denser, is the one that will sink. a subduction zone forms and a curved volcanic mountain chain forms above the subducting plate. Of course, this time the volcanoes rise out of the ocean, so we call these volcanic mountain chains island arcs. An ocean and a continent plate converge? the overriding continental plate is lifted up and a mountain range is created. Even though the oceanic plate as a whole sinks smoothly and continuously into the subduction trench, the deepest part of the subducting plate breaks into smaller pieces, which then cause earthquakes Continental plates converge? neither one can sink, Huge slivers of rock, many kilometers wide are thrust on top of one another, forming a towering mountain range Transform- where crust is neither produced nor destroyed as the plates slide horizontally past each other 9. What are hotspots? Besides the Hawaiian Islands, what are some other hotspots? a location on the Earth's surface that has experienced active volcanism for a long period of time. existed below the plates that would provide localized sources of high heat energy to sustain volcanism 10. What forces are thought to cause the movement of the tectonic plates, and how do they work? the slow movement of hot, softened mantle that lies below the rigid plates. Explain what convections currents are. Hot magma in the Earth moves toward the surface, cools, then sinks again. Creates convection currents beneath the plates that cause the plates to move What are the sources of heat in the Earths interior? radioactive decay and residual heat 11. Read about plate tectonics and people. After you have read about the disasters, make sure that you read the section about minerals and ore deposits.
Bonus: what went on before the breakup of Pangaea? Why is Easter Island significant ?