continental drift

climate

Coral reefs are found only in warm water. Coal swamps are also found in tropical and subtropical environments. Wegener discovered ancient coal seams and coral reef fossils in areas that are much too cold today. Wegener thought that the continents have moved since the time of Pangaea.

textbook_image

fossil plants and animals

Wegener also found evidence for continental drift from fossils (Figure 6.7). The same type of plant and animal fossils are found on continents that are now widely separated. These organisms would not have been able to travel across the oceans. Fossils of the seed fern Glossopteris are found across all of the southern continents. These seeds are too heavy to be carried across the ocean by wind. Mesosaurus fossils are found in South America and South Africa. Mesosaurus could swim, but only in fresh water. Cynognathus and Lystrosaurus were reptiles that lived on land. Both of these animals were unable to swim at all. Their fossils have been found across South America, Africa, India and Antarctica. Wegener thought that all of these organisms lived side by side. The lands later moved apart so that the fossils are separated.

glaciation

Wegener also looked at evidence from ancient glaciers. Glaciers are found in very cold climates near the poles. The evidence left by some ancient glaciers is very close to the equator. Wegener knew that this was impossible! However, if the continents had moved, the glaciers would have been centered close to the South Pole.

the continental drift idea

Alfred Wegener was an early 20th century German meteorologist. Wegener believed that the continents were once all joined together. He named the supercontinent Pangaea, meaning all earth. Wegener suggested that Pangaea broke up long ago. Since then, the continents have been moving to their current positions. He called his hypothesis continental drift.

magnetic evidence

Some important evidence for continental drift came after Wegeners death. This is the magnetic evidence. Earths magnetic field surrounds the planet from pole to pole. If you have ever been hiking or camping, you may have used a compass to help you find your way. A compass points to the magnetic North Pole. The compass needle aligns with Earths magnetic field (Figure 6.8). Some rocks contain little compasses too! As lava cools, tiny iron-rich crystals line up with Earths magnetic field.

textbook_image

rocks and geologic structures

Wegener found rocks of the same type and age on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. He thought that the rocks formed side by side. These rocks then drifted apart on separate continents. Wegener also matched up mountain ranges across the Atlantic Ocean. The Appalachian Mountains were just like mountain ranges in eastern Greenland, Ireland, Great Britain, and Norway. Wegener concluded that they formed as a single mountain range. This mountain range broke apart as the continents split up. The mountain range separated as the continents drifted.

evidence for continental drift

Wegener and his supporters collected a great deal of evidence for the continental drift hypothesis. Wegener found that this evidence was best explained if the continents had at one time been joined together.

instructional diagrams

description_image

The diagram shows the changes of Pangaea, which is a supercontinent of continents on the earth. The left upper sub figure shows the configuration of Pangaea in 200 million years ago. The right upper sub figure shows the configuration of Pangaea in 180 million years ago. The left lower sub figure shows the configuration of Pangaea in 65 million years ago. The right lower sub figure shows the current configuration of Pangea.

description_image

This diagram shows one of the pillars of Wegener's theory of the previous existence of Pangaea: the localization of fossils. Fossils are the remains or impression of prehistoric animals. Many fossils of the same organisms have been found on widely separated places. Wegener thought the existence of Pangaea allowed movement to said organisms that would be impossible nowadays. The diagram shows the area where some species had lived and the suspected routes allowed by the existence of the supercontinent.

description_image

The diagram shows how the earth looked according to the continental drift hypothesis. All the continents were fused together as one big land mass called pangaea. Panthalassa was the vast global ocean that surrounded the supercontinent Pangaea. Gondwana is the part of Pangaea that lay in the Southern Hemisphere. Gondwana included most of the landmasses in today's Southern Hemisphere- South America, Africa, India, Australia, and Antarctica. The part of Pangaea that lay in the Northern Hemisphere was called Laurasia. It included most of the present-day North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia. Tethys Sea was an ocean that existed between the continents of Gondwana and Laurasia.

questions

To develop the theory of plate tectonics, scientists first had to accept the idea that

a. Earths core consists of molten metals.

b. some organisms can cross the oceans.

-->  c. Earths continents are able to move.

d. all of the above

Mountain ranges located on both side of the Atlantic Ocean

a. are the same height and width

-->  b. have the same rock types, structures and ages

c. have ancient fossils and coal seams

d. are just separate mountain ranges

The idea of continental drift was first proposed in the early

a. 1700s.

b. 1800s.

-->  c. 1900s.

d. 2000s.

Scientists didnt accept the continental drift idea because

a. there was almost no evidence for it

b. Wegener was not liked and no one listened to him

c. there were many other ways to explain the evidence

-->  d. none of these

Magnetic minerals in volcanic rock point to

a. the current north magnetic pole

-->  b. the north magnetic pole at the time they crystallized

c. the north magnetic pole on the adjacent continent.

d. none of these

Evidence for continental drift comes from ancient

a. magnetic compasses.

b. maps of Pangaea.

-->  c. coal seams.

d. all of the above

Wegeners idea is correctly referred to as

-->  a. the continental drift hypothesis

b. the continental drift theory

c. the plate tectonics hypothesis

d. the plate tectonics theory

Wegener observed that the Appalachian Mountains in eastern North America matched mountain ranges in

a. western North Americ

b. South America.

-->  c. Greenland.

d. Africa.

What was Wegeners continental drift idea?

a. The continents have always been located at their current locations.

b. The continents are moving slowly together from their current locations.

-->  c. The continents have moved slowly apart to their current locations.

d. None of these

What was Alfred Wegeners role in the development of the theory of plate tectonics?

a. He proposed the hypothesis of continental drift.

b. He provided evidence that continents have moved.

c. He identified magnetic evidence for plate tectonics.

-->  d. two of the above

In Pangaea, the present continent of South America was attached to present-day

a. Australi

b. Eurasia.

-->  c. Africa.

d. India.

region of magnetic force surrounding a magnet

a. plate tectonics

b. fossils

c. magnetite crystals

d. continental drift

e. Pangaea

-->  f. magnetic field

evidence for continental drift identified after Wegeners death

a. plate tectonics

b. fossils

-->  c. magnetite crystals

d. continental drift

e. Pangaea

f. magnetic field

hypothesis that continents move over Earths surface

a. plate tectonics

b. fossils

c. magnetite crystals

-->  d. continental drift

e. Pangaea

f. magnetic field

evidence for continental drift identified by Wegener

a. plate tectonics

-->  b. fossils

c. magnetite crystals

d. continental drift

e. Pangaea

f. magnetic field

Similar fossil records across continents was evidence for continental drift.

-->  a. true

b. false

former supercontinent that consisted of all the present continents

a. plate tectonics

b. fossils

c. magnetite crystals

d. continental drift

-->  e. Pangaea

f. magnetic field

The magnetic north pole and geographic north pole are in the same location.

a. true

-->  b. false

theory that explains how continents can drift

-->  a. plate tectonics

b. fossils

c. magnetite crystals

d. continental drift

e. Pangaea

f. magnetic field

If an ancient coral reef is found in the arctic it means that the continent it is on has drifted.

-->  a. true

b. false

The continents have never all been together as a single whole continent.

a. true

-->  b. false

The locations of ancient climate zones provide evidence for continental drift.

-->  a. true

b. false

The theory of plate tectonics was developed before the idea of continental drift.

a. true

-->  b. false

Wegener believed that all the continents were once joined together.

-->  a. true

b. false

Wegeners hypothesis of continental drift was widely accepted as soon as it was introduced.

a. true

-->  b. false

Wegener and his supporters provided a lot of evidence for continental drift.

-->  a. true

b. false

Wegener found rocks of the same type and age on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

-->  a. true

b. false

Wegener suggested that Pangaea broke up a short time ago.

a. true

-->  b. false

Wegener developed a theory to explain how continents can drift.

a. true

-->  b. false

diagram questions

question_image

Identify North America in this map of the Pangaea

-->  a. A

b. P

c. P

d. J

question_image

Which label refers to India?

a. A

-->  b. H

c. C

d. P

question_image

During the time when Pangea existed, Eurasia was attached to which continents?

a. P AND C

b. J AND H

-->  c. A AND J

d. A AND P

question_image

Which section will become Antarctica?

-->  a. F

b. K

c. H

d. P

question_image

Which continent does the letter P correspond to?

a. AFRICA

b. EURASIA

c. NORTH AMERICA

-->  d. SOUTH AMERICA

question_image

Which is the most recent diagram of the continental drift theory?

a. N

b. A

-->  c. S

d. R

question_image

Which label refers to the Earth now?

a. R

b. F

c. A

-->  d. S

question_image

Which option represents how the earth looks now?

a. F

b. N

c. A

-->  d. S

question_image

Which photo represents that all continents were once connected?

a. 100 Million Years Ago

-->  b. 225 Million Years Ago

c. 150 Million Years Ago

d. Earth Today

question_image

During what time is Earth's landmass known as Pangaea?

-->  a. 225 million years ago

b. 150 million years ago

c. Today

d. 100 million years ago

question_image

What was Antarctica connected to 100 million years ago

a. Gondwana

-->  b. Australia

c. India

d. Pangaea

question_image

How many continents were there 100 million years ago?

a. 5

b. 9

c. 7

-->  d. 8

question_image

How many continents were there on Earth 225 million years ago?

a. 5

-->  b. 1

c. 7

d. 2

question_image

What are the names of the Continents 150 million years ago?

a. Antartica

b. Africa

c. Pangaea

-->  d. Laurasia, Gondwana

question_image

What would happen to Pangaea if the tectonic plates didn't move?

a. It would still be the same

b. It would split in a faster rate

-->  c. It would stay the same

d. It would split in a slower rate

question_image

How many continents did Pangaea consist of?

a. 6

b. 3

c. 4

-->  d. 5

question_image

How many of the continents shown have fossil evidence of Lystrosaurus?

-->  a. 3

b. 4

c. 2

d. 5

question_image

What is directly above Antarctica?

a. South America

b. Africa

c. Australia

-->  d. India

question_image

Approximately how many million years ago did Pangaea exist?

a. 200

b. 135

-->  c. 225

d. 65

question_image

Which landmass preceded Laurasia and Gondwanaland?

-->  a. Pangaea

b. America

c. Permian

d. Africa

question_image

How many continents were present in the Permian era?

-->  a. 1

b. 2

c. 3

d. zero

question_image

How many photos of the earth are shown?

a. 7

b. 3

c. 1

-->  d. 5

question_image

Which one was 200 million years?

a. Permian

-->  b. Triassic

c. Cretaceous

d. Jurassic

question_image

Which of these is no longer a single land mass?

a. Australia

b. South America

-->  c. Laurasia

d. North America

question_image

North America is connected to which other continent to form Laurasia?

a. South America

-->  b. Eurasia

c. Australia

d. Africa

question_image

Which sea sits between Eurasia, Africa and India?

a. Irish

b. Pacific ocean

c. Meditteranean

-->  d. Tethys sea

question_image

How many Continents have been formed by Continental drift at this stage?

a. 9

-->  b. 6

c. 8

d. 7

question_image

How many countries can be found at 0_ latitude?

a. 1

-->  b. 3

c. 5

d. 4

question_image

Which two continents were once together during Laurasia and Gondwana period?

-->  a. Antartica and Australia

b. South America and North America

c. Eurasia and Africa

d. North America and India

question_image

How many diagrams are represented about the continental drift theory?

a. 5

b. 1

-->  c. 3

d. 4

question_image

How many oceans are mentioned?

-->  a. 4

b. 6

c. 5

d. 1

question_image

Which one do we live in now?

a. Pangaea

b. Gondwana

-->  c. Modern World

d. Laurasia

question_image

Identify the continent that North America was a part of 120 million years ago.

a. Gondwana

b. South America

c. Pangaea

-->  d. Laurasia

question_image

Which of the following continents would have originated in Laurasia?

a. Australia

b. South America

-->  c. Eurasia

d. Africa

question_image

How many continents are shown in the third globe?

a. 4

-->  b. 2

c. 1

d. 3

question_image

How many photos of the earth are shown?

a. 1

-->  b. 4

c. 3

d. 6

question_image

How long ago was Pangaea?

a. 120 Million Years Ago

-->  b. 200 Million Years Ago

c. 250 Million Years Ago

d. 500 Million Years Ago

question_image

When Pangea was present, South America was connected to which other continent?

a. India

-->  b. Africa

c. Antarctica

d. Australia

question_image

Where is New Guinea in relation to the other countries?

a. South

b. North

-->  c. On the east

d. West

question_image

How many continents are shown in the map below?

a. 2

b. 9

-->  c. 7

d. 8

question_image

How many regions are shown that fit next to South America?

-->  a. one

b. four

c. three

d. five

question_image

Is the world map the same now as is shown in the diagram?

a. Yes

b. Somewhat similar

-->  c. No

d. Maybe

question_image

How many continents are shown in the map?

a. 5

b. 3

c. 4

-->  d. 2

question_image

How many seas are shown in the diagram?

a. 4

b. 3

-->  c. 1

d. 2

question_image

As a supercontinent, which modern day continent was between South America and Antarctica?

a. Australia

b. India

c. North America

-->  d. Africa

question_image

How many of the current continents were adjacent to the India plate in Pangaea?

-->  a. 3

b. 1

c. 4

d. 2

question_image

Which part of the map drifted to the bottom of the earth?

a. South America

b. India

c. Africa

-->  d. Antarctica

question_image

200 million years ago, Australia was connected directly to:

a. Africa

-->  b. Antarctica

c. South America

d. North America

question_image

Which continent sits between Africa and Australia?

a. North America

-->  b. Antarctica

c. South America

d. Eurasia

question_image

How many countries fit in Pangaea 200 million years ago?

a. 2

-->  b. 6

c. 1

d. 5

question_image

What is the singular mass of land called where all continents are connected as one?

a. cambria

-->  b. pangaea

c. eurasia

d. jurassia

question_image

Identify the region on this map with most plate boundaries.

a. Eurasia

-->  b. Africa

c. North America

d. India

question_image

How many continents are shown in the diagram?

a. 6

-->  b. 7

c. 5

d. 8

question_image

Which continent was South America connected to 200 million years ago?

a. Australia

-->  b. North America

c. Antarctica

d. Asia

question_image

How many continents are there now?

a. 2

-->  b. 7

c. 5

d. 4

question_image

How many global maps are shown in the diagram?

a. 3

b. 5

c. 2

-->  d. 6

question_image

What is the reason continents moved?

a. Wind

b. Volcanos

-->  c. Tectonic plates

d. Sea currents

question_image

When were the continents closest to one another?

a. 150 million years ago

-->  b. 50 million years ago

c. 100 million years ago

d. 250 million years ago

question_image

Which region of Pangea on this map will go on to form the most southerly land mass?

a. Eurasia

b. India

c. South America

-->  d. Antarctica

question_image

How many countries/continents does India border in this map?

a. 2

b. 4

-->  c. 3

d. 1

question_image

How many continents are shown in the map?

a. 9

b. 6

c. 8

-->  d. 7

question_image

Which of the following would likely to have similar geological structures?

a. Western coast of North America and eastern coast of India

-->  b. Eastern coast of South America and western coast of Africa

c. Eastern coast of North America and western coast of Australia

d. Eastern coast of Asia and western coast of Africa

question_image

Comparing now to 250mio years ago, what has changed?

a. continents moving together

b. some continents are destroyed

c. new continents

-->  d. continents moving apart