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

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1 Mechanism Explaining Sea Floor Spreading - Basics for Plate Tectonics

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.

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Image of Sea Floor Spreading

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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

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Image of Europe Continent

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Explore the Ocean

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Image of Explore the Ocean

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Seafloor Spreading Model

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Image of Sea Floor Spreading Model

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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

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Image of Evidences for Sea Floor Spreading

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Evidence Used to Support the Theory of Continental Drift

  • Molten material

  • Radiometric age dating and fossil ages

  • Seafloor drill

  • Magnetic stripes