Sunday, 19 October 2014

Continental Drift Theory

The Physical Map of the World
Wikimedia Commons by Central Intelligence Agency
It is the hypothetical tendency or the ability of continents to drift on the earth’s surface. It is because of the weakness of sub-oceanic crust. Observing that a close fit can be made between the continental shelves of Western Hemisphere, Europe and Africa; many geologists believe that the continents were once a part of single landmass, which has since been slowly drifted apart.

This theory was first propounded in 1921, by Alfred Wagner, a German geologist. He named the original land and mass as “Pangea” (Panjia), and the whole sea as “Panthalassa”. 
After the division of the continents in two parts, the northern part was named as “Augura Land” and the southern part was called as “Gondwanaland”. The sea in between was named as “Tethys sea”, when there were only two major continents.

Alfred Wegener analyzed either side of the Atlantic Ocean for rock type, geological structures and fossils, and found the similarity between matching sides of the continents, to prove the continental drift theory.

Whereas in order to propose continental drift as an explanation, Abraham Ortelius( the creator of the first modern atlas), had imagined and underlined the geometrical coincidence between the coasts of America and Europe-Africa.