GEOL100 SDCCD Plate Tectonic Theory And Continental Drift Assignment


Question Description

  • Writing Assignment One, Chapters 1 through 5

    Attached Files:

    Essay Questions (100 points total).

    Note the attached PDF of this assignment...1. Explain thoroughly how it took 55 years (from 1915 until 1970) for the hypothesis of Continental Drift to develop into the theory of Plate Tectonics. Your answer should be no less than 500 words. (50 points)
    READ THIS! - In other words, use the theory of Plate Tectonics to show how the Scientific Method was used to "flesh out" the hypothesis of Continental Drift put forth by Wegener, by adding new data provided by new technology and people until general buy-in was obtained in 1970, when the term "Plate Tectonics" was coined. (Chapter 1, especially 1.3, The Nature of Scientific Inquiry; and Chapter 2, especially 2.1 through 2.3, and 2.9, "Testing the Plate Tectonics Model"). Do not spend time discussing what came before 1915! Wegener did a great job of laying out the evidence he had available at the time. After your introductory paragraph, I do not expect to see the name "Wegener" again.
    Be sure to explain:
    • WHO were the key players?
    • WHAT were the key observations and conclusions?
    • WHERE were the observations made?
    • WHEN were the key discoveries made?
    • HOW were these discoveries accomplished, including fields of study, equipment, etc.?
    2. Use plate tectonic theory to explain the origin of Mount St. Helens (and by extension, the Cascades and all Andean-type mountains). Your answer should be no less than 500 words. (50 points)In your answer, include a discussion of:
    • the plate tectonic process involved
    • the origin of the magma and rocks
    • the composition of the magma and rocks
    • the type of eruptions that occur there
    • other geologic features associated with Andean-type mountains.
    For these questions, check the text and MasteringGeology Study Area (of course), and also study the links on the accompanying materials. It should go without saying that you should have successfully completed the Mastering Homework for the first five chapters.
    Important: know the meaning of the word PLAGIARISM - no plagiarism!
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    Links for Writing Assignment 1, Geology 100

    Attached Files:

    Links for Writing Assignment 1, Geology 100

    Part 1. Hypothesis vs. Theory -- Continental Drift vs. Plate TectonicsPart 2. Cascade Mountains (including Mt. St. Helens) -- an example of Andean Plate Boundary MSH - YNP mapI have a special affinity for this volcano, since I had volcanic ash fall on my head some 550 miles to the east, at the edge of Yellowstone National Park (itself a “super” volcano!). That was Sunday evening, 18 May 1980, before most of you were born, I assume. I was driving back from a geology meeting in Utah, where I had listened to talks by USGS scientists describing the volcanic activity which had just begun two months earlier. I had not heard that the Mountain had erupted, because there was no radio reception along the way, through the mountains of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. I was quite surprised when ash began to fall from the sky and show up in my headlights!The Google Earth image above shows how far the volcanic ash traveled in about 12 hours! The red triangles on the map are active volcanoes, and the yellow dots are earthquakes that occurred in the previous week.USGS Publication: Eruptions of Mount St. Helens: Past, Present, and Future:Link: to several videos which will give you more of a feel for the power that was released on May 18th, 1980!the following are closed captioned, on my YouTube channel (you're welcome!)This link will take you to the part of the USGS Volcanic Hazards Program website that summarizes the major types of volcanic hazards: Note the links to the main types of volcanic hazards:
    • Volcanic Gases
    • Volcanic Gas and Climate Change
    • Air Pollution
    • SO2 Aerosols
    • Lahars
    • Pyroclastic Flows
    • Volcanic Landslides
    • Lava Flows
    • Tephra
  • Course Link

    linked itemPlate Tectonics Videos

    This is a folder full of videos to help with your understanding of question 1 for assignment 1:THE Map!!!
  • Course Link

    linked itemMt. St. Helens Videos

    Link to the folder under "Videos..." at left.MSH May 18, 1980May 18th 1980, 8:32 AM
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    Questions you'll be asking...

    I can see clearly now - you'll be wondering, in the very near future:
    1. when is this assignment due?
    2. where do I turn it in?
    3. what form should the document be in (and do I need to cite references, and should they be MLA, APA, GSA, etc.?)?
    All good questions, I'm sure... The answers:
    1. As it says in the syllabus, there is only ONE "due" date - the last day of the session. However, I would hope that you'll get to work on this assignment as soon as you've finished the homework for the chapters specified, and get this assignment behind you according to the directions - word count, make sure the actual questions are answered...
    2. You'll submit the document below, when I have made the link available. If it isn't available yet, simply save your document on your computer or on a flash drive or your cloud drive, or... Hint: give the document a meaningful name, maybe including your name in the title, like "j-smith-geology-assgt1.pdf" for instance.
    3. The form it should be in is PDF attachment. You might have created it in Microsoft Word, Google Doc, Open Office Writer, or even Apple Pages, but convert your document to PDF ('export to', 'save as...', 'convert...'). If you use someone else's words in your report, that requires you let me know from whence they came. I'm definitely NOT an English instructor, but I'll expect that in your citation, I should be able to find those words in the place you suggest, preferably with a single click of the mouse. And "" or "" is not a valid, specific reference.
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    Before you turn in this assignment...

    Attached Files: Stop!!!Before you turn in this assignment, check your work - ask yourself:
    • Have you finished the Mastering homework associated with the subject matter? (if you haven't, I won't grade it!)
    • Did you check out the extra study material provided, such as videos and web links, etc.?
    • Did you answer all parts of the questions?
    • Are the essays of sufficient length (check the word counts in your word processor)?
    You should submit your work in Blackboard, as an attachment to the assignment.*** acceptable attachment format: Adobe Acrobat (PDF), period

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NOAA COMMENT use for understanding cells that do not communicate using electrical impulses. It is this view that has perpetuated our comparative ignorance about glia. Moreover, the exclusion of glia from the BRAIN Initiative underscores a more general problem with the project: the assumption that enough measuring of enough neurons will in itself uncover ‘emergent’ properties and, ultimately, cures for diseases1,4. Rather than simply materializing from measurements of “every spike from every neuron”1,4, better understanding and new treatments will require hypothesis-directed research. The 302 neurons and 7,000 connections that make up the nervous system of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans were mapped in the 1970s and 80s. More than two decades later, little is understood about how the worm’s nervous system produces complex behaviours. In any major mapping expedition, the first priority should be to survey the uncharted regions. Our understanding of one half of the brain (the part comprised of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia) lags a century behind our knowledge of neurons. I believe that answers to questions about the brain and public support for a large-scale study are more likely to come from expanding the search into this unknown territory. As a first step, tools such as optogenetic methods and mathematical models are needed to assess the number, distribution and properties of different kinds of glial cell in different brain regions, and to identify how glia communicate with each other and with neurons, and what developmental and physiological factors affect this. This exploration into the ‘other brain’ must be done together with the proposed studies of neurons. It cannot be achieved as a by-product of them. ■ R. Douglas Fields is chief of the Nervous System Development and Plasticity Section at the US National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. e-mail: 1. Alivisatos, A. P. et al. Science 339, 1284–1285 (2013). 2. Kettenmann, H. & Ransom, B. R. (eds) Neuroglia 3rd edn (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013). 3. Fields, R. D. The Other Brain (Simon & Schuster, 2009). 4. Alivisatos, A. P. et al. Neuron 74, 970–974 (2012). 5. Schafer, D. P. et al. Neuron 74, 691–705 (2012). 6. Fields, R. D. et al. The Neuroscientist (in the press). 7. Wake, H. Lee, P. R. & Fields, R. D. Science 333, 1647–1651 (2011). 8. Zatorre, R., Fields, R. D. & Johansen-Berg, H. Nature Neurosci. 15, 528–536 (2012). 9. Han, X. et al. Cell Stem Cell 12, 342–353 (2013). The US research vessel Explorer towed a magnetometer to map fields over the sea floor in 1960. How plate tectonics clicked Fifty years after a paper linked sea-floor magnetic stripes with continental drift, Naomi Oreskes explains its legacy as a lesson in achieving scientific consensus. B y the time German geophysicist Alfred Wegener proposed continental drift in 1912, palaeontologists had long accepted that past connections between now-separate lands explained the spread of similar fossils and rock layers across them. Geologists, too, knew of slabs of Alpine rock that had been displaced hundreds of kilometres during mountain building. But the arguments for continental motions did not gel until the 1960s, when a drastic expansion of geophysical research, driven by the cold war, produced evidence that reopened and eventually settled the debate. One influential study was published1 in Nature 50 years ago this week. British geologists Frederick Vine and Drummond Matthews interpreted stripes of alternating magnetic-field polarity in ocean bedrock as evidence of a spreading sea floor that pushed continents apart. Acceptance that large crustal motions were a reality soon followed, culminating in the theory of plate tectonics. In its slow convergence of ideas and evidence, the history of plate tectonics holds lessons for today’s debates about 5 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 | VO L 5 0 1 | NAT U R E | 2 7 © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved ELLIOT LIM/CIRES/NOAA/NATL GEOPHYS. DATA CENT. COMMENT The age of ocean rocks increases (red to purple, 0–280 million years) with distance from ridges, where crust is formed, revealing the spread of the sea floor. human-induced climate change. Although science is always evolving, and our attention is drawn to controversy at the research frontier, it is the stable core of ‘consensus’ knowledge that provides the best basis for decision-making. MANTLE CONVECTION Wegener stands out because his solution was close to the one that we now accept, and because our individualist culture encourages us to look for heroes to credit and discrete events to celebrate. But he was not alone in trying to explain commonalities in fossils and rock strata. In the English-speaking world, two of the most important players in developing theories of continental-scale crustal mobility were South African field geologist Alexander du Toit and British geochronologist Arthur Holmes. Du Toit articulated the case in his aptly named 1937 book Our Wandering Continents (Oliver and Boyd). He acted as a clearing house for geologists around the globe, who sent him maps, rocks and fossils. Holmes, working with the Irish geochemist John Joly, suggested that crustal motion was driven by radioactivity and the heat that it emanates, advocating mantle convection as a means of dissipating radiogenic heat and driving continental drift2. Holmes’s 1944 textbook Principles of Physical Geology (Thomas Nelson & Sons) was an introduction to the subject for many students. The discussion was joined by Dutch geodesist Felix Vening Meinesz, who worked in the 1930s in the Indonesian archipelago and, with US geologists Harry Hess and Maurice Ewing, in the Caribbean. Meinesz found that Earth’s gravitational field was weaker than normal above some of the ocean’s deepest regions, which he explained in terms of the buckling of low-density crust into the mantle, dragged down by descending convection currents, and he discussed these ideas with Hess. During the Second World War, Hess found himself in the US Navy, fighting in the Pacific theatre. He did not return immediately to tectonics after the war, but others did, including several British geophysicists led by P. M. S. Blackett and Keith Runcorn. In an effort to understand “More than the origins of Earth’s two dozen magnetic field, they discovered that magscientists netic minerals pointed did the key in different directions work that at different times in created the theory of plate geological history, as if the positions of the tectonics.” poles had changed. Hess was drawn back to the topic after realizing that these ‘apparent polar-wandering paths’ could be explained by the movements of the continents. OCEAN SPREADING Hess suggested that rising mantle-convection cells would drive apart the ocean floor above them, increasing the separation of continents to either side. The idea, which his colleague Robert Dietz christened ‘sea-floor spreading’3, explained the old geological observations and the new geophysical ones, but it did not gain immediate traction. That would take further geomagnetic information. Blackett, a socialist who opposed nuclear proliferation, turned to geomagnetism after the war to distance himself from military work4. But military concerns — particularly the demands of submarine warfare in the atomic age — drove geophysical exploration of the ocean floor, leading to the discovery in 2 8 | NAT U R E | VO L 5 0 1 | 5 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved the late 1950s of sea-floor magnetic stripes. The stripes were a surprise. In the report of the discovery, oceanographers Ronald Mason and Arthur Raff admitted to being at a loss for an explanation. Others were less stymied. Vine and Matthews, as well as Canadian geophysicist Lawrence Morley, independently had the same idea. If the sea floor was spreading, then magnetic stripes would be expected: rock formed at mid-ocean ridges would take on Earth’s magnetic field, the polarity alternating as the field periodically reversed. It was one thing to say that the oceans were widening, another to link it to global crustal motion. More than two dozen scientists, including women such as Tanya Atwater and Marie Tharp, did the key work that created the theory of plate tectonics as we know it — explaining continental drift, volcanism, seismicity and heat flow around the globe5. In 1965, Canadian geologist Tuzo Wilson proposed a type of ‘transform’ fault to accommodate the spreading sea floor around midocean ridges, which was confirmed by US seismologist Lynn Sykes. Other seismologists demonstrated that in deep-ocean trenches, slabs of crust were indeed being driven into the mantle, and geophysicists worked out how these crustal ‘plates’ move and relate to the features of continental geology. Vine and Matthews’ work is part of a larger story of the growth of Earth science in the twentieth century, made possible by improved technology and greater governmental support after the Second World War. Nearly all seismic and marine geophysical data at the time were collected with military backing, in part because of their cold-war security significance. This era marked a change in the character of modern science. Research today is expensive and largely government-funded; almost COMMENT all major scientific accomplishments are the collective achievement of large teams. This reality — more prosaic than the hagiography of lonely genius — reminds us that although great individuals are worthy of recognition, the strength and power of science lies in the collective effort and judgement of the scientific community. CONSENSUS MATTERS J. R. CANN In recent months, several of my colleagues in climate science have asked me whether the story of plate tectonics holds lessons for their field in responding to those who disparage the scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change. I believe that it does. Many critics of climate science argue that expert agreement is irrelevant. Science, they claim, advances through bold individuals such as Wegener or Galileo Galilei overturning the status quo. But, contrary to the mythology, even Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein worked within scientific communities, and saw their work accepted. In glorifying the lone genius, climate-change dissenters tap into a rich cultural vein, but they miss what consensus in science really is and why it matters. Consensus emerges as scientific knowledge matures and stabilizes. With some notable exceptions, scientists do not consciously try to achieve consensus. They work to develop plausible hypotheses and collect pertinent data, which are debated at conferences, at workshops and in peer-reviewed literature. If experts judge the evidence to be sufficient, and its explanation coherent, they may consider the matter settled. If not, they keep working. History enables us to judge whether scientific claims are still in flux and likely to change, or are stable, and provide a reasonable basis for action. And maturity takes time. Scientific work, compared with industry, government or business, has no deadline. Perhaps for this reason, when Wegener died in 1930, according to his biographers he was confident that other scientists would one day work out how the continents moved, and that this mechanism would be along the lines of his proposal — as indeed it was. Du Toit and Holmes were similarly convinced. The equanimity of these men speaks to their confidence in science as a system. They perceived what historian–philosopher Thomas Kuhn articulated in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago Press, 1962): that science is a community affair and that knowledge emerges as the community as a whole accepts it. A debate comes to a close once scientists are persuaded that a phenomenon is real and that they have settled on the right explanation. Further discussion is not productive unless new evidence emerges, as it did for continental drift. Anthropogenic climate change has the consensus of researchers. Political leaders who deny the human role in climate change should be compared with the hierarchy of the Catholic church, who dismissed Galileo’s arguments for heliocentrism for fear of their social implications. But what of scientists who in good faith reject the mainstream view? Harold Jeffreys is an intriguing example. An eminent professor of astronomy at the University of Cambridge, UK, Jeffreys rejected continental drift in the 1920s and plate tectonics in the 1970s. He believed that the solid Earth was too rigid to permit mantle convection and crustal motion. His view had a strong mathematical basis, but it remained unchanged, even as evidence to the contrary mounted. If society had faced a major decision in the 1970s that hinged on whether or not continents moved, it would have been foolish to heed Jeffreys and to ignore the larger consensus, backed by half a century of research. As an early advocate of an immature theory, Wegener was different. There were substantial differences of opinion about crustal mobility among scientists in the 1920s. By the 1970s, work such as Vine and Matthews’ study had brought consensus. Fifty years on, history has not vindicated Jeffreys, and it seems unlikely that it will vindicate those who reject the overwhelming evidence of anthropogenic climate change. ■ Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. e-mail: Frederick Vine and Drummond Matthews (1970). 1. Vine, F. J. & Matthews, D. H. Nature 199, 947–949 (1963). 2. Oreskes, N. The Rejection of Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science (Oxford Univ. Press, 1999). 3. Dietz, R. S. Nature 190, 854–857 (1961). 4. Nye, M. J. Blackett: Physics, War, and Politics in the Twentieth Century (Harvard Univ. Press, 2004). 5. Oreskes, N. (ed.) Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth (Westview Press, 2001). 5 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 | VO L 5 0 1 | NAT U R E | 2 9 © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved When Continental Drift Was Considered Pseudoscience | Science ... 1 of 5 Alfred Wegener, in Greenland, c. 1930, was ridiculed as having “wandering pole plague.” (Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany) By Richard Conniff Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe June 2012 Six seismologists and a civil servant, charged with manslaughter for failing to predict a 2009 earthquake that killed 308 people in the Apennine Mountain city of L’Aquila, in Italy, will serve six years in prison. The charge is remarkable partly because it assumes that scientists can now see not merely beneath the surface of the earth, but also into the future. What’s even more extraordinary, though, is that the prosecutors based their case on a scientific insight that was, not long ago, the object of open ridicule. [Editor's Note: The story was updated on October 22, 2012, to reflect the decision.] It was a century ago this spring that a little-known German meteorologist named Alfred Wegener proposed that the continents had once been massed together in a single supercontinent and then gradually drifted apart. He was, of course, right. Continental drift and the more recent science of plate tectonics are now the bedrock of modern geology, helping to answer vital questions like where to find precious oil and mineral deposits, and how to keep San Francisco upright. But in Wegener’s day, geological thinking stood firmly on a solid earth where continents and oceans 2/7/2017 2:18 PM When Continental Drift Was Considered Pseudoscience | Science ... 2 of 5 were permanent features. We like to imagine that knowledge advances fact upon dispassionate fact to reveal precise and irrefutable truths. But there is hardly a better example of just how messy and emotional science can be than Wegener’s discovery of the vast, turbulent forces moving within the earth’s crust. As often happens when confronted with difficult new ideas, the establishment joined ranks and tore holes in his theories, mocked his evidence and maligned his character. It might have been the end of a lesser man, but as with the vicious battles over topics ranging from Darwinian evolution to climate change, the conflict ultimately worked to the benefit of scientific truth. The idea that smashed the old orthodoxy got its start on Christmas 1910, as Wegener (the W is pronounced like a V) browsed through a friend’s new atlas. Others before him had noticed that the Atlantic coast of Brazil looked as if it might once have been tucked up against West Africa, like a couple spooning in bed. But no one had made much of it, and Wegener was hardly the logical choice to show what they had been missing. He was a lecturer at Marburg University, not merely untenured but unsalaried, and his specialties were meteorology and astronomy, not geology. But Wegener was not timid about disciplinary boundaries, or much else. He was an Arctic explorer and a record-setting balloonist, and when his scientific mentor and future father-in-law advised him to be cautious in his theorizing, Wegener replied, “Why should we hesitate to toss the old views overboard?” He cut out maps of the continents, stretching them to show how they might have looked before the landscape crumpled up into mountain ridges. Then he fit them together on a globe, like jigsaw-puzzle pieces, to form the supercontinent he called Pangaea (joining the Greek words for “all” and “earth”). Next he assembled the evidence that plants and animals on opposite sides of the oceans were often strikingly similar: It wasn’t just that the marsupials in Australia and South America looked alike; so did the flatworms that parasitized them. Finally, he pointed out how layered geological formations often dropped off on one side of an ocean and picked up again on the other, as if someone had torn a newspaper page in two and yet you could read across the tear. Wegener called his idea “continental displacement” and presented it in a lecture to Frankfurt’s Geological Association early in 1912. The minutes of the meeting noted that there was “no discussion due to the advanced hour,” much as when Darwinian evolution made its debut. Wegener published his idea in an article that April to no great notice. Later, recovering from wounds he suffered while fighting for Germany during World War I, he developed his idea in a book, The Origin of Continents and Oceans, published in German in 1915. When it was published in English, in 1922, the intellectual fireworks exploded. Lingering anti-German sentiment no doubt intensified the attacks, but German geologists piled on, too, scorning what they called Wegener’s “delirious ravings” and other symptoms of “moving crust disease and wandering pole plague.” The British ridiculed him for distorting the continents to make them fit and, more damningly, for not describing a credible mechanism powerful enough to move continents. At a Royal Geographical Society meeting, an audience member thanked the speaker for having blown Wegener’s theory to bits—then thanked the absent “Professor Wegener for offering himself for the explosion.” But it was the Americans who came down hardest against continental drift. A paleontologist called it “Germanic pseudo-science” and accused Wegener of toying with the evidence to spin himself into “a state of auto-intoxication.” Wegener’s lack of geological credentials troubled another critic, who declared that it was “wrong for a stranger to the facts he handles to generalize from them.” 2/7/2017 2:18 PM Whe ...
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Written Assignment


Written Assignment

Development of Hypothesis of Continental Drift into the Theory of Plate Tectonics
Alfred Wegener, German geophysicist, pioneered the hypothesis of continental drift in
1912. Since then, there emerged a comprehensive exploration of the connection between the
current separate lands and their past connections, and the similarity of fossil fuel between their
layers of rocks (Conniff, 2012). The field of continental drift received numerous attention from
geologists in 1960. The research was largely driven by the cold war, which yielded evidence that
ushered in an intensive debate.
Fifty years ago, a significant publication involving Fredrick Vine and Drummond
Matthews, British geologists that explored the magnetic field in the ocean bedrock, that explained
the spread of the sea floor that pushed them apart from the continents (Oreskes, 2013). The research
suggested the beginning of the plate tectonic theory. However, the most prominent geologists for
developing the theory of continental scale are Alexander du Toit, a South African geologist and
Arthur Holmes, and British geochronologist. Alexander was widely consulted by geologists from
various parts of the world while Holmes proposed that crustal motion was driven by radioactivity.
The heat that was generated drives the continental drift. Their work attracted Felix Vening
Meinesz, a Dutch geodesist, who discovered that the earth’s gravitational field was weaker than
normal at the deepest po...

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