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Assignment: Earth's Plates Exploration
Answer the questions using the World Geology map in this lesson and/or Earth’s lithospheric map.
You may also use the U.S. Geological Survey's Plates of the Earth map as a reference.
1. Wegener formed the theory of continental drift in 1912. What prevented research of the
ocean floor, paleomagnetism, and earthquakes at that time?
2. If many different observations can all be explained by the same theory, does that make the
theory true? Does it make the theory more likely? Explain your answer.
3. What evidence is there to suggest that the Earth is composed of tectonic plates?
4. What evidence is there to suggest that tectonic plates move?
5. Select Topography and Major Plates on the World Geology map. Describe the topography at
the boundaries between the following pairs of plates: South American and Nazca, Indian and
Eurasian, and Pacific and North American.
6. Observe the border between the Indian plate and the Somali plate. Do you see the same
landforms as at the boundary between the Indian plate and the Eurasian plate? Explain.
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7. Select Earthquakes and Major Plates on the World Geology map and observe earthquake
activity around the South American plate. Based on your observations, what can you
conclude about lithospheric motion of the South American plate with the Nazca plate and the
African plate? Explain your answer.
8. How certain do you feel that the theory of plate tectonics is correct? What evidence would
you use to support your opinion?
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