Evaluate How Plate Tectonics Theory Helps Our Understanding of the Distribution of Seismic and Volcanic Events.

791 Words Apr 5th, 2016 4 Pages
The theory of plate tectonics was first developed by Alfred Wegener. He concluded that the continents seem to have a similar shape and could potentially fit together. This suggested that they were at one time joined together as part of 2 super continents called Gondwanaland and Laurasia was in the north. This theory was said to be proven by the discovery of fossilised remains of a mesosaurus that were found on the coasts of Brazil and Gabon. Sea floor spreading is another theory that supports the idea of plate tectonics; this theory discovered that rock is being formed under the ocean as a new sea floor. Sea floor spreading was shown in the Atlantic, where it is believed the Eurasian and North American plates are moving apart on a …show more content…
It was later discovered that there must be different types of plate boundaries according to the natural hazards that occur. For example earthquakes are distributed along the Eurasian - Australian plate boundary where there are no volcanoes. The theory of plate tectonics explains that oceanic plates, because they are denser, always subduct continental plates. Here two continental plates meet – so scientists developed a theory that fold mountains were created. The two plates merge together; neither subducts the other, they both push sediments up together creating very high fold mountains. Pressure builds and eventually the plates fault upwards, breaking and adding to the creation of the mountains so this explained the other way that plates could be destroyed. Many earthquakes are also found along destructive plate boundaries such as the Japan earthquake in 2011 were caused by a similar build up of pressure, because the Pacific plate was subducted under the Eurasion plate causing friction, this friction built up huge amounts of pressure and when the fault slipped an earthquake occurred. The explanation of the natural hazards was proof that plate boundaries do exist. However the volcanoes of Hawaii and Yellowstone are found in the middle of plates which didn’t conform to the plate tectonic theory.

Related Documents