Physical Geology concepts.pdf


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PLATE TECTONICS
Continental Drift Theory – ‘Alfred Wegener’ (1880 – 1930) proposed the concepts of
Continental Drift and the supercontinent Pangaea in his book ‘The Origin of Continents and
Oceans’ (1915).
1.) Identical fossil organisms are evident in both South America and Africa.
Glossopteris – a fossil subpolar plant with large seeds and tongue-shaped leaves unlikely to
become airborne. Mesosaurus - an aquatic reptile that lived during the Permian
(about 260 mya). Lystrosaurus- a land-living reptile.
2.) Matching mountain ranges in the U.S.A. (Appalachians) and North Atlantic (British Isles and
Caledonian Mountains).
3.) Paleoclimatic research had showed evidence of glacial striations in bedrock, suggesting a
glacial period in the late Paleozoic (300 mya) in S. Africa, S. America, Australia
and India.

Paleomagnetism - The Earth has a magnetic field, similar to the
magnetic field of a bar magnet.
Magnetite (a magnetic, ironrich mineral found in basaltic lavas)
grains will become oriented with the Earth’s magnetic field as the
lava cools. Early studies of rock magnetism suggested that either the
locations of the magnetic poles moved over time, or the rocks moved.