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Dan Mc Kenzie And The Theory Of Plate Tectonics

825 words - 4 pages

Forty-eight years ago, Dan McKenzie graced us with his first paper on the “viscosity of the lower mantle”, or better known as the theory of plate tectonics. This theory states that the Earth is broken up in to plates that move in all different directions and speeds. The movement is caused by convection in the asthenosphere. The lower and hotter magma rises to the top and pushes the plates outwards, then cools and sinks. Also, in places like the Mid-Ocean Ridge, there are breaks in the Earth’s crust where magma comes up and replaces old rocks pushing them to either side. (Richardson) This theory is supported by irrefutable facts. Some of which are: the shapes of many of the continents look as ...view middle of the document...

It would have been impossible for it to swim between the continents, so the only explanation for this was that the continents were at some time connected. In the scientist’s picture of the pre-pangea continent, they were practically connected. Pangea separated the continents and they have been moving away from each other since then. Plate tectonics is the only way to explain this.
Lastly, there is a theory called the sea floor expansion which says that the Mid-Ocean Ridge spews magma and causes the sea floor to expand and for the older rocks to be pushed under the Earth’s surface and melted again into magma. This is proved by a the Glomar Challenger, a ship that was sent on an educational drilling expedition where it was supposed to collect sampled of the oceanic crust in different places and compare its age. It concluded that the oceanic crust near the Mid-Ocean Ridge was much younger than the crust near the coasts, but the crusts near the coasts were only 200 million years old (The Geological Society). The Earth is believed to have been in existence for much longer than that. The theory explains that the Mid-Ocean Ridge expands the sea floor and the crust near the coasts sink back into the mantle and become magma again. This process is known as subduction. The sea floor spreading is another component of plate tectonics and also explains the movement of the Earth’s...

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