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Continental drift. Land relief

Continental drift. Land relief


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At the beginning of the 20th century, in the year 1912, the German meteorologist and geophysicist Alfred Wegener formulated what would be the first explanation of the current formation of the land relief, the Continental Drift Theory. As can be seen in the image, Wegener concluded that during the geological history of the Earth a displacement of the continents had taken place.

According to Wegener, more than 300 million years ago there was a large and unique compact continent called Pangea that began to fragment. Two continents emerged from this process in the Secondary Era, Gondwana to the south and Laurasia to the north, which subsequently gave rise to the current continents. As for how the continents moved, Wegener argued that they moved on another denser layer of the Earth made up of the ocean floor, in the same way that a carpet is moved on the floor of a room

His theory was based on the fact that the shape of the continents can be fitted like the pieces of a puzzle, and by the similarities that exist between the geological structures and the paleogeographic evolutions of both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Wegener's theory was correct regarding the displacement of the continents, but the scientists of the time rejected his explanation of the mechanism that produced the movement. Half a century later, the Continental Drift served as the basis for Plate Tectonics Theory. With it, science finally admitted the expansion of the ocean floor that Wegener had proposed.

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Album: Photos of the Earth and the Moon Gallery: The land relief