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6: Plate Tectonics

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    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, geoscientific consensus gelled around an intriguing idea: that many different observations about our planet could be explained with a single model of Earth dynamics. The idea of “plate tectonics” put together old ideas about continental drift with new data showing seafloor spreading. The new theory was a revolutionary idea that made the distribution of volcanoes, earthquakes, continents, and topography make sense in a way that no idea had achieved before. Fifty years of additional data and testing have confirmed plate tectonics as the key idea in modern geology.

    This page titled 6: Plate Tectonics is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Callan Bentley, Karen Layou, Russ Kohrs, Shelley Jaye, Matt Affolter, and Brian Ricketts (VIVA, the Virginia Library Consortium) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.