Is the continental drift real?


Answer by Harshit Ladva:

What is Continental Drift theory ?

According to Wegener, all the continents formed a single continental mass and mega ocean surrounded the same. The super continent was named PANGAEA, which meant all earth. The mega-ocean was called
PANTHALASSA, meaning all water. He argued that, around 200 million years ago, the super continent, Pangaea, began to split. Pangaea first broke into two large continental masses as Laurasia and Gondwanaland forming the northern and southern components respectively. Subsequently, Laurasia and Gondwanaland continued to break into various smaller continents that exist today. A variety of evidence was offered in support of the continental drift.


1) The Matching of Continents (Jig-Saw-Fit)

The shorelines of Africa and South America facing each other have a remarkable and unmistakable match. It may be noted that a map produced using a computer programme to find the best fit of the Atlantic margin was presented by Bullard in 1964. It proved to be quite perfect. The match was tried at 1,000-fathom line instead of the present shoreline.
Observe the shape of the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. You will be surprised by the symmetry of the coastlines on either side of the ocean. No wonder, many scientists thought of this similarity and considered the possibility of the two Americas, Europe and Africa, to be once
joined together.

2) Rocks of Same Age Across the Oceans

The radiometric dating methods developed in the recent period have facilitated correlating the rock formation from different continents across
the vast ocean. The belt of ancient rocks of 2,000 million years from Brazil coast matches with those from western Africa. The earliest marine deposits along the coastline of South America and Africa are of the Jurassic age. This suggests that the ocean did not exist prior to that time.

3) Tillite

It is the sedimentary rock formed out of deposits of glaciers. The Gondawana system of sediments from India is known to have its
counter parts in six different landmasses of the Southern Hemisphere. At the base the system has thick tillite indicating extensive and
prolonged glaciation. Counter parts of this succession are found in Africa, Falkland Island, Madagascar, Antarctica and Australia besides
India. Overall resemblance of the Gondawana type sediments clearly demonstrates that these landmasses had remarkably similar histories.
The glacial tillite provides unambiguous evidence of palaeoclimates and also of drifting of continents.

4) Placer Deposits

The occurrence of rich placer deposits of gold in the Ghana coast and the absolute absence of source rock in the region is an amazing fact.
The gold bearing veins are in Brazil and it is obvious that the gold deposits of the Ghana are derived from the Brazil plateau when the two continents lay side by side.

5) Distribution of Fossils

When identical species of plants and animals adapted to living on land or in fresh water are found on either side of the marine barriers, a problem arises regarding accounting for such distribution. The observations that Lemurs occur in India, Madagascar and Africa led some to consider a contiguous landmass “Lemuria” linking these three landmasses. Mesosaurus was a small reptile adapted to shallow brackish water. The skeletons of these are found only in two localities : the Southern Cape province of South Africa and Iraver formations of Brazil. The two localities presently are 4,800 km apart with an ocean in between them.

Edit :- As commented by Malcolm Sargeant , " We can nowadays measure the movement of the continents using enhanced GPS to the nearest cm and also using high precision radar from orbit to within a mm."

Thank you Malcolm for that wonderful piece of information.

Is the continental drift real?


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