1 Mechanism Explaining Sea Floor Spreading-Basics for Plate Tectonics YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Sea Floor Spreading

  • It’s a theory of lithospheric evolution that holds that the ocean floors are spreading outward from vast underwater ridges.

  • First proposed in the early 1960s.

  • Proposed by the American geologist Harry H. Hess.

  • Its major beliefs gave great support to the theory of continental drift.

  • Provided a conceptual base for the development of plate tectonics.

Image of Sea Floor Spreading

Image of Sea Floor Spreading

Image of Sea Floor Spreading

Harry H. Hess

  • He was a geologist and a United States Navy officer in World War II.

  • Best known for his theories on sea floor spreading.

  • Specifically work on relationships between island arcs, seafloor gravity anomalies, and serpentinized peridotite.

Europe Continent

Image of Europe Continent

Image of Europe Continent

Image of Europe Continent

Explore the Ocean

Image of Explore The Ocean

Image of Explore the Ocean

Image of Explore The Ocean

Seafloor Spreading Model

Image of Sea Floor Spreading Model

Image of Sea Floor Spreading Model

Image of Sea Floor Spreading Model

Supporting Evidence for Seafloor Spreading

  • Abundant evidence supports the major contentions of this theory.

  • First, samples of deep ocean floor show that basaltic oceanic crust and superimposing sediment become progressively.

  • Second, rock making up the ocean floor is considerably younger than the continents.

Evidences for Sea Floor Spreading

Image of Evidences For Sea Floor Spreading

Image of Evidences for Sea Floor Spreading

Image of Evidences For Sea Floor Spreading

Evidence Used to Support the Theory of Continental Drift

  • Molten material

  • Radiometric age dating and fossil ages

  • Seafloor drill

  • Magnetic stripes