Grade 7 Science Unit 4: The Earth's Crust

Grade 7 Science Unit 4: The Earth's Crust

Grade 7 Science Unit 4: The Earths Crust PLATE TECTONIC THEORY Alfred Wegener

1880 1930 German meteorologist He noticed that the continents fit together like a puzzle.

He said that at one time all continents were joined together in one large land mass, he called Pangaea. He proposed that this super-continent broke apart

200 million years ago. Wegener proposed the Theory of Continental Drift which suggests that the continents change position

slowly by a few cm a year. He could not explain how. Continental Drift Theory of

Supporting Evidence... Biological Evidence Fossils Similar fossils found on one continent have been found on others. Ex. NL and Wales

Refer to page 361 Wegener believed that at one time there had been a land bridge that has now disappeared to join

continents together. Geological Evidence Rocks and Rock Layers Geologists found rocks that were similar on both sides of the Atlantic

Ocean. The ages of these rocks are also the same. These rocks look as though they had been pushed up into mountains

together before they were separated. Meteorological Evidence Climate Change Location of coal beds. These should be found in

tropical, swampy area BUT have been found in cold and moderate climates. Glacial evidence. There are warm areas that

show evidence that they were once covered in glaciers. Accepted or Rejected? Because he was unable to explain HOW the

continents move, his theory was rejected by the scientific community. Plate Tectonics Developed from the earlier

Continental Drift Theory due to new evidence. New technological advances include the following... 1. Sonar: provides a more

detailed picture of the sea floor. (pg. 364) 2. Magnetometers: provide evidence for sea floor spreading. (pg. 365) 3. Deep sea drilling:

provides evidence for the internal structure of the crust. (pg. 366) Evidence Collected... Discoveries on the sea

floor showed that magma produces new crust which pushes the plates of the Earths crust. The plates can be pushed in three ways.

1. Divergent boundaries: plates moves away from each other. 2. Convergent boundaries: plates move towards each other

3. Transform Boundaries: plates slide past each other. *This idea was developed by J. Tuzo Wilson (Canadian Scientist) during the 1960s.

New Theory... Wilsons ideas form a new theory in the 1970s. Because it was discovered that the sea floor as well as the continents were

moving, the plate tectonic theory was born. This theory states that Earths crust is broken up into pieces, called plates

that are always moving on Earths mantel. Satellites are helping to measure plate movements. Convection Currents One explanation to the

HOW. These convection currents, that move the plates, are in the mantel. Convection

Currents Canadian Contributions... J. Tuzo Wilson He mapped out where

earthquakes and volcanoes had occurred over the Earths surface, thereby defining the Earths plates.

Joseph Tyrell Discovered dinosaur fossils in Alberta, which proved that the local climate was warmer at an earlier time.

Harold Williams Highlighted plate tectonic activity that occurred regionally along the eastern edge of the

North American continent. Plate Tectonics Theory CORE STSE

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