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Alfred Webener's Theory of Continental Drift


alfred wegener continental drift theorists from www.maritimegift.com photo
Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents relative to each other.
 

In the early days of the Pirated countries were able to 'claim' a 3 mile limit to their shore lines. The main reason for this was that it was about as far as their canons could fire. Later that was extended out to 50 miles and then to the 200 mile range, or 'it's own continental shelf, where it stands today. Interestingly, the continental shelf plays several important roles in maritime history.

Wegener developed the theory that in the late Paleozoic era, about 250 million years ago, all of the present day contentnts had formed a snignle large mass that subsequently broke apart. He discovered that many closely related fossil organisms occurred in soimilar rock strata on widely separated continents., particulary those found both in the Americas and in Africa.

continental drift theory map from www.mairtimegift.com

The moving apart of the continents was what he termed “continental drift” However he was unable to explain satisfactorily the driving forces behind the contentinent's movement, and by 1930 his theory had been rejected by most geologists and had fallen in to obscurity. It was not until the 1960's that Sea-Floor spreading was discovered, and his throry was resurrected as an important part of the 'Now' well accepted theory of Plate Techtonics. Fifty years passed before evidence appeared to suport Wegener's theory, but he had died in 1930, never knowing of his profound discovery..

*Inspirational fact from Simthsonian Institute Rock and Gem publication
 


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