Plate Tectonics Review Questions:

Write your answers in complete sentences.

  1. Describe the structure of the Earth.
  2. What characteristic of transverse waves assisted geophysicists in determining the Earth's internal structure?
  3. Define the lithosphere and asthenosphere.
  4. Define the crust and mantle.
  5. Why do we need these two different ways (lithosphere/ asthenosphere and crust/ mantle) to describe essentially the same part of the Earth?
  6. Describe the theory of continental drift.
  7. Describe problems Wegener had getting his ideas accepted.
  8. Describe the three categories of evidence Wegener used to support his theory of continental drift.
  9. What is a fossil?
  10. Describe the two organic parts of the paleoclimate evidence.
  11. Explain how glacial striations supported Wegener's theory.
  12. What WWII technological advance allowed the discovery of the mid-ocean ridges?
  13. Explain why the seafloor has been described as a conveyor belt.
  14. Why couldn't Wegener use seafloor spreading to support his ideas about continental drift?
  15. Name pieces of evidence Hess used to support his theory of seafloor spreading.
  16. Why couldn't Wegener use geomagnetic reversals to support his ideas about continental drift?
  17. Draw a proportional time-line showing important developments of the theory of plate tectonics from 1620 to the 1960's.