Plate Tectonics Essay

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Plate tectonics is the belief the lithosphere is separated into a few dozen plates that move around across the earth 's surface relative to each other, like big pieces of ice on a lake. If we were able to lay the earth flat to see where the plates were positioned, it would have the appearance of an orange peel; with the earth 's crust as the orange color shell and the white as the lithosphere. The break points would be fault lines, the plate’s outer perimeter that aligns and intersects them. In its early history, geologists believe that the continents and ocean basins of the earth did not move. In the post-World War II era, the scientific advances assisted geologists to delve to confirm or advance theories behind stationary earth. This …show more content…
Alfred Wegener, who was a German meteorologist and geophysicist, established the continental drift hypothesis. His theory was very advanced for this point in history. The geological community, when first introduced, conversely ridiculed Wegener. Though the theory would not be deemed correct for several years, scientists were able to confirm the earth having plates and plate boundaries. With the comparative movement of the plate tectonics, the interaction between them occurs along the boundaries. Plate boundaries, known as divergent, convergent, and transform, work differently yet have a unified impact on the movement and structure of the land. Almost all the Earth 's new crust forms at divergent boundaries, but most remain unknown because they lie within the bottom of the oceans. These are areas where two plates depart from each other and allow magma from the mantle to rise up and make a new crust. The divergent boundaries are where the plates separate. Divergent boundaries are known to be found along the crest of oceanic ridges. They are similar to …show more content…
The formation of the Isthmus of Panama played a major role in the biodiversity of our world. The Isthmus made the migration for animals and plants between North and South America possible. For example, the opossum, armadillo, and porcupine all trace back to ancestors that came across the Isthmus of Panama from South America. Conversely, the ancestors of bears, cats, dogs, horses, llamas, and raccoons all made the journey south across the isthmus (NASA, 2003). As the strip of land made an impact on the animals millions of years ago, the formation made a significant impact on the fossil discovery today. While the Great American Interchange was believed to be 3 million years ago, discoveries were made as far back as 17 million years. It is personally nerve wracking to think about the movement of plates affecting the land around us, no matter if it takes millions of years to notice the difference. The movements of Pacific and Caribbean plates that form the Isthmus of Panama confound scientists to this day. The more fossils that paleontologists acquire, the closer we get to the understanding of planetary origin. Who really knows if the photo of Titanus Walleri is an accurate depiction or not? The same goes for Toxodon. It is very interesting to acquire knowledge

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