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continental drift


The mid-Atlantic ridge winds its way between the continents much like the seam on a tennis ball, but what is it? The changes in the magnetic field along this ridge tell us that the continents are moving apart. The structure of our Earth has changed with time. If we went back 200 million years, we would not recognise the geography of the Earth. What will happen in the future? The continents on the Earth are still moving. Australia is moving northwards towards Asia at about 5 centimetres per year, which is about the same rate at which your fingernails grow. Anyone visiting Earth in 200 million years will certainly need new maps!


It was the ‘magnetic stripes’ on the seabed that proved Alfred Wegener’s theory that the continents move...



Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), a German meteorologist and geologist, was the first person to propose the theory of continental drift. In his book, "Origin of Continents and Oceans," he calculated that 200 million years ago the continents were all joined together, forming a large super-continent. He named this super-continent Pangaea, meaning "All-earth"


You can see from the changing map how the continents were once joined but have now drifted apart.

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