Teoria de la deriva continental de alfred wegener

If over there were a “geographical forecast”, analogous to ns predictions of meteorologists, it would show how gastos generales the next 100 million years ns Atlantic s will continue to expand, until it is much bigger than los Pacific. Y also how áfrica will merge con Europe, with the Mediterranean disappearing y a mountain range emerging in its place to contend with ns Himalayas—although Everest y its neighbouring mountains will still proceed to rise. If this sound shocking today, you have to put yourself in the shoes that geologists trasero in 1912, who were much more troubled when uno 32-year-old alemán meteorologist, alfred Wegener, released his theory of continental drift. Thanks to his hypothesis, any kind of child this particular day knows that the continents are gradually moving and were joined together at los time when los dinosaurs appeared.

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Credit: tecnología Insider

Ever since ns appearance of los first mundo maps, many world had noticed how well Brazil fits snugly under los belly the Africa. Alfredo Wegener (1 November mil ochocientos ochenta – November 1930) searched for other connections. He uncovered research on identical fossils on los coasts of africa and del sur America, something for which geologists, persuaded that los world map was immutable, had offered un more implausible explanation: land bridges that had vanished after permitting animals and plants come travel representar one continent to another.

Pangea, los supercontinent

But cuales matter how numerous bridges to be dreamt up, the most renowned geologists to be unable to explain why in africa there are marking of glaciers or why near the phia băc Pole there are stays of trópico vegetation in the form that coal. For Wegener this was only possible if the current continents to be once concentrated around los equator forming ns supercontinent, which damaged apart some 200 million years ago and which he called Pangaea. Nobody had thought that relating every these facts, yet Wegener witnessed in them los evidence of continental drift, thanks to his interest in various sciences.

The supercontinent Pangea. Source: Wikimedia.

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With his multidisciplinary calling, Wegener had actually started el fin as an astronomer, gift correct when he declared that craters on los Moon are ns work of meteorites y not that volcanoes; later, he merged meteorological research studies in Greenland with his geology theories, y did not have ns steady job until after the age of 40, once an austriaco University produced a blog post for him. He was a difficult scientist to pigeonhole. Y for geologists he was an outsider who dared to question los foundations of your science, so many of lock rejected his idea with los backing of figures like Einstein, that wrote ns prologue to a book that ridiculed Wegener.

A puzzle that tectonic plates

It is additionally true that he made some blunders, calculating that Greenland was approaching North america at uno rate of 1.6 km each year, y saying that los continents were moving over the seabed however without explaining why. The was prefer saying that a plough have the right to move ~ above its own and leave alguna furrows. Pruebas were done, but with ns most reliable instruments of the time alguna movement of ns continents to be detected. The mil novecientos sesenta y cuatro edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica still did not think Wegener, however that year numerous geologists started siding with him, in watch of new evidence. The opinión took hold that ns Earth’s crust is a jigsaw puzzle the plates, which move overall pieces and not just ns highest parts, los continents. This new theory—plate tectonics—also explained that earthquakes and tsunamis happen when dos plates rub against one another, and that once they collide head-on, big mountain ranges are formed.

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Wegener’s last expedition in Greenland. Credit: alfred Wegener Institute

In addition, many thanks to geolocation satellites, us are now able come detect that Europe and North america are moving apart, although at the same velocidad, velocidad that uno fingernail grows: two metres in uno lifetime. Now we have actually all learned at school—or also before, in cartoons—the concept of continental drift. But Wegener passed away in 1930, largo before his success to be recognised. During an expedition in Greenland, he left the acampar for supplies y was discovered frozen month later. The was hidden there and is still there, although that is now about two metres additional away desde his birthplace in Berlin.