Plate Tectonics Timeline

  • Theory of Continental Drift before 1910

    Antonio Snider-Pellegrini created two maps demonstrating how America and Africa continents may have once fit together, then separated.
    The land bridge theory: land that once bridged over the continents but had disintegrated.
  • The Theory of Continental Drift

    Alfred Wegner came up with the theory of continental drift. According to the theory, the world was made up of a single continent (Pangea). That continent eventually separated and drifted apart, forming into the seven continents we have today. Wegener stated that the continents are not rigidly fixed but are slowly moving—at a rate of about one yard per century. Similar plant and animal fossils are found around the shores of different continents (e.g. Mesosaurus)
  • The Theory of Plate Tectonics

    Alfred Wegner came up with the theory.
    Puzzle theory- africa and south america fit together; rock layers that form the Appalachian mountains of the eastern US match with those in Scotland; fossils on east coast brazil are also found in south west africa.
  • The Theory of Hot Spots

    J. Tuzo Wilson came up with the theory. The hot-spot theory is the modern explanation for the origin of the Hawaiian island chain. It was widely accepted.