Chapter 14.1: Continental Drift Hypothesis

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Information about Chapter 14.1: Continental Drift Hypothesis

Published on March 18, 2014

Author: reginakorrnell



8th Grade Integrated Science Chapter 14 Lesson 1 on the Continental Drift Hypothesis. This is a short introduction to Alfred Weger and the current evidence used to support his theory. There is a short explanation of the fossil and rock evidence found.

Chapter 14 Lesson 1 – The Continental Drift Hypothesis – p494-500 – page 1 New Vocabulary oPangaea (495) – The supercontinent that all continents today were once a part of oContinental Drift (495) – A hypothesis that suggests that continents are in constant motion on the surface of Earth Pangaea oEach year, North America moves a few _____________________ farther away from Europe and closer to Asia. oNearly 100 years ago, Alfred _________________ began an important investigation to know whether Earth’s continents were fixed in their positions. o He proposed that all continents were once part of a supercontinent called ____________. o Over time Pangaea began_________________ __________________, and the continents slowly moved to their present positions. oWegener proposed the hypothesis of _____________________ drift, which suggested that continents are in constant motion on the surface of Earth.

Chapter 14 Lesson 1 – The Continental Drift Hypothesis – p494-500 – page 2 Evidence That Continents Move oThe most obvious evidence for continental drift is that the continents appear to fit together like pieces of a __________________________. oHowever, scientists were skeptical, and Wegener needed additional evidence  Apparent fit of the continents  Past ____________ Data  __________________ Correlation  _____________ and Mountain Correlation Climate Clues

Chapter 14 Lesson 1 – The Continental Drift Hypothesis – p494-500 – page 3 oWhen Wegener pieced Pangaea together, he proposed that South America, Africa, India, and Australia were located closer to ___________________________ 280 million years ago. oHe suggested the climate of the Southern Hemisphere was much ______________________ at the time. o Glaciers covered most of these continents oWegener studied the _______________ deposited by glaciers in South America, Africa, India, and Australia. oHe discovered ________________ _______________, or deep scratches in rocks made as the glaciers moved across the land on neighboring continents today.

Chapter 14 Lesson 1 – The Continental Drift Hypothesis – p494-500 – page 4 Fossil Clues oAnimals and plants that lived on different continents can be ____________________ to that continent alone. o Kangaroos are exclusive to___________________ . Lions live in ________________but not S. America. o Because ____________________ separate continents, these animals cannot travel from one continent to another by natural means oHowever, _______________________of similar organisms have been found on several continents separated by oceans. oFossils of a plant called Glossopteris have been discovered in rocks from South America, ______________, India, Australia, and________________________. oEvidence suggests these plants grew in a _____________________environment. Therefore, the climate of this region, including Antarctica, was different than it is today. o Antarctica had a warm and wet climate and changed drastically from _________ milllion years earlier when glaciers existed. Rock Clues

Chapter 14 Lesson 1 – The Continental Drift Hypothesis – p494-500 – page 5 oWegener also observed that ________________________ ranges and rock formations on different continents had common origins.  Today geologists have determined that large-scale volcanic eruptions occurred on the western coast of _________________ and the eastern coast of South America at about the same time hundreds of millions of years ago o These volcanic rocks are identical in both ____________________and ___________ oThe _____________________ mountain range in northern Europe and the Appalachian Mountains in eastern N. America are similar in age, structure, and composition. oIf you place the continents ______________________, these mountains would meet and form on long, continuous mountain belt.

Chapter 14 Lesson 1 – The Continental Drift Hypothesis – p494-500 – page 6 What is missing? oWegener continued to support the continent drift hypothesis until his death in ______________ oHis ideas were not widely accepted until nearly 4 decades later, because he could not explain how they ________________. oOne reason scientists questioned continental drift was because it is a ______________ process oIt was not possible for Wegener to measure how ________________ the continents moved o How could continents push their way through the ___________________rock of the sea floor? o However at that time, the world was only beginning to understand what the seafloor looked like. o It took many years after Wegener died before the evidence of plate tectonics hidden in the rifts on the seafloor to be discovered.

Chapter 14 Lesson 1 – The Continental Drift Hypothesis – p494-500 – page 7

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