By Lisa Yount
While German meteorologist Alfred Wegener first proposed his groundbreaking idea of continental displacement, later known as continental flow, in 1912, his geologist friends rejected his thought as the box of geology on the flip of the century used to be dependent in 18th- and 19th-century observations in regards to the nature of the earth and the planet's improvement. Wegener's conception of continental float proposed that the big landmasses slowly moved at the earth's floor over hundreds of thousands of years. His concept defined numerous observations made in regards to the earth, from how the continents shaped, to what explanations earthquakes, to how the earth's floor maintains to alter. An itinerant explorer, Wegener traveled all over the world, and he died whereas on a polar project in Greenland. It wasn't till many years after his loss of life that the continental flow conception proved fruitful to different scientists within the twentieth century. In "Alfred Wegener", learn the way this bold adventurer pieced jointly a idea that later revolutionized the Earth sciences.
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Extra resources for Alfred Wegener: Creator of the Continental Drift Theory
Roger Bacon (1561–1626), a British statesman and philosopher, had remarked on it almost 300 years before. Alexander von Humboldt, the friend of Wegener’s great-granduncle, had mentioned it in his writings as well. Antonio Snider-Pellegrini, an American living in France, also had published a book in Paris in 1858 called La création et ses mystéres dévoilés (Creation and Its Mysteries Unveiled), which included a diagram in which a proto-American continent that he called Atlantide (Atlantis) was snuggled up against the west side of Africa; Australia was equally cosily tucked under the bulge of Africa’s eastern side.
Weather Pioneer Wegener first presented his proposal in two speeches given at different scientific meetings in January 1912. He made the first talk, “The Geophysical Basis of the Evolution of the Large-Scale Features of the Earth’s Crust (Continents and Oceans),” on January 6 to the Geological Association in Frankfurt. Four days later, he gave the second, “Horizontal Displacements of the Continents,” to the Society for the Advancement of Natural Science in Marburg. He combined the speeches into two papers that were published later in the year.
The idea that the continents had moved horizontally over geologic time fitted with the facts supporting both of the other theories, he claimed. It also resolved the contradictions between them. In the fourth edition of The Origin of Continents and Oceans he wrote: If drift theory is taken as the basis [of understanding the Earth’s history], we can satisfy all the legitimate requirements of the land-bridge theory and of permanence theory. . There were land connections, but formed by contact between blocks now separated, not by intermediate continents which later sank; there is permanence, but of the area of ocean and area of continent as a whole, .