Evidence for Plate Tectonics
There is variety of evidence that supports the claims that plate tectonics accounts for (1) the distribution of fossils on different continents, (2) the occurrence of earthquakes, and (3) continental and ocean floor features including mountains, volcanoes, faults, and trenches.
- The continents fit together almost like puzzle pieces forming Pangaea (one super-continent).
- Fossils on different continents are similar to fossils on continents that were once connected. When the continents split, different life forms developed.
- Most continental and oceanic floor features are the result of geological activity and earthquakes along plate boundaries. The exact patterns depend on whether the plates are converging (being pushed together) to create mountains or deep ocean trenches, (diverging) being pulled apart to form new ocean floor at mid-ocean ridges, or sliding past each other along surface faults.
- Most distributions of rocks within Earth's crust, including minerals, fossil fuels, and energy resources, are a direct result of the history of plate motions and collisions and the corresponding changes in the configurations of the continents and ocean basins.
- The history is still being written. Continents are continually being shaped and reshaped by competing constructive and destructive geological processes.