Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics History Review


Alfred Wegener was a professor at the University of Marburg. He had worked in the army but left after being inflicted with injuries. He came up with the idea of the continental drift after getting evidence from the university that some of the continents had similar plants or living organisms (Wegner, 2012). He concluded that the continents were once one land mass called the Pangea. He supported his idea by pointing to the continents fitting into each other like a jigsaw puzzle and the similarity of vegetation especially on the corresponding edge of the continents.

Other people after Wegener’s suggested that paleomagnetism was another evidence of the continental drift taking place. Paleomagnetism is the alignment of minerals when magma cools on the earth surface. The minerals aligned according to the magnetic north as they cooled.

The oceanic ridges are evidence that there that the plates moved apart from other while others moved towards each other forming mountain like Himalayas called fold mountains (Frisch et al., 2011). The oceanic ridges further from the ridge are older than those at the ridge since as they move away from each other more molten rock comes to form a new crust.

Plate tectonics involves the movement of the plates on the earth’s crust either to or from each other (Edwards, 2006). When plates move towards each other, they form hills or mountains, which are Fold Mountains. When they move away from each, they form ridges.


The continental theory provided an idea that was quite relevant, and that was supported later after the death of Wegener. The discovery of the continents being one landmass is quite impressive and the similarities between the supposed point an added mystery that the continents were once one landmass.

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