Magnetic Reversals and Moving Continents

David Stern, Goddard Space Flight Center

This is a brief review of the role of polar reversals in the development of the Theory of Plate Tectonics from the old continental drift concept of Alfred Wegener. It describes the physical difference between the continents and the ocean floor and also the surprising order of the magnetic bands on the ocean floor and how this led to the idea of sea-floor spreading as postulated by Fred Vines and Drummond Matthews in 1962. The author then goes into more detail and gives examples of Plate Tectonics.

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Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Magnetism/Paleomag, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work
Grade Level: High School (9-12), College Lower (13-14)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Geophysics, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Plate Tectonics