First substantial hypothesis, stated originally by Alfred Wegener, explaining the geographic distribution of similar fossils, rocks, and rock structures in widely separated continents that also have closely fitting coastlines. Seminal hypothesis for later development of the theory of plate tectonics.
The slow movement of continental and oceanic plates probably caused by convection in the underlying asthenosphere, measured in a few centimeters per year, that has resulted in massive alterations of the features of the Earth's crust over geologic time. Colliding plates can generate mountain ranges and upwellings of the mantle can push plates apart to produce ocean basins. Also called plate tectonics.
The hypothesis, proposed by Alfred Wegener, that today's continents broke off from a single supercontinent and then plowed through the ocean floors into their present positions. This explanation of the shapes and locations of Earth's current continents evolved into the theory of plate tectonics.
A hypothesis proposed by Alfred Wegener suggesting that the continents are not stationary, but have 'drifted' through time. Plate tectonics is the name for the theory that provided the evidence necessary to support Wegener's hypothesis. more details...
A theory put forward in early this century by Alfred Wegener based on ideas of continental movement that had been around for many years, but with much added evidence in the form of the distribution of old climatic zones and of fossils. Continental Drift envisaged the continents moving, but unlike plate tectonics it offered no mechanism for this movement and presumed that continental crust moves over, rather than is carried by, oceanic crust. Plate Tectonics was very much built upon the evidence of Continental Drift but includes mechanisms of movement and explains earthquake and volcanic distribution which Continental Drift could not.
Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents. The land masses are hunks of Earth's crust that float on the molten core. The ideas of continental drift and the existence of a supercontinent ( Pangaea) were presented by Alfred Wegener in 1915.
The theory that the configuration of Earth's continents was once different than it is today; that some of the individual landmasses of today once were joined in other continental forms; and that these landmasses later separated and moved to their present locations.
A scientific theory first put forth by Afred Wegener in 1915. The theory states that at some time in the distant geologic past, there existed one single, large "supercontinent" called Pangaea. Approximately 200 million years ago, this landmass broke up, pieces of which "drifted," forming the continents as we known them today. The idea eventually led to the today's theory of plate tectonics (see below).
Theory that suggests that the Earth's crust is composed of several continental plates that have the ability to move. First proposed by A. Snider in 1858 and developed by F.B. Taylor (1908) and Alfred Wegener (1915).
The lateral movement of continental plates over the globe, allowing continents to divide and rejoin in different patterns. This process can separate populations of organisms, providing the geographic barriers that can result in speciation.
The theory proposed in 1915 by Alfred Wegener, a German geophysicist and meteorologist. The theory stated that the continents had once been joined into one "supercontinent," called Pangaea. About 200 million years ago, Pangaea broke apart and the continents drifted to their present positions. Wegener based his theory on the similarity of fossils and rock types on the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa. The theory was widely ridiculed at the time because Wegener had not proposed a driving force for such drift.
The movement of the continents relative to each other. Continental drift is a consequence of plate tectonics. Continents generally move with respect to each other at the rate of a few centimeters per year.
Continental drift, is the movement of the Earth's continents relative to each other. Frank Bursley Taylor had proposed the concept in a Geological Society of America meeting in 1908 and published his work in the GSA Bulletin in June 1910.Frank Bursley Taylor, Bearing of the Tertiary Mountain Belt on the Origin of the Earth's Plan, GSA Bulletin, June 1910; Taylor FB (2005) WHEN THE CONTINENTS CREPT AWAY. GSA Today: Vol. 15, No. 7 pp. 29 http://www.gsajournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1130%2F1052-5173(2005)015%5B29b%3AWTCCA%5D2.0.CO%3B2 Francis Bacon, Antonio Snider-Pellegrini, Benjamin Franklin, and others had noted earlier that the shapes of continents on either side of the Atlantic Ocean (most notably, Africa and South America) seem to fit together.