- What is the ''Plate Tectonics Theory''? According to the Plate Tectonics Theory, the uppermost mantle, along with the overlying crust, behaves as strong, rigid layer. This layer is known as the lithosphere. The lithosphere is divided into segments called Plates, which move and continually change shape and size. There are seven major plates, the largest is the Pacific plate covering most of the pacific ocean.
- Is there any difference between the Continental Drift and Plates Tectonics Theory? Alfred Weneger, a German scientist, proposed the Continental Drift hypothesis which stated that the continents had once been joined to form a single super-continent, the Pangaea.
Here are some differences between them:
Continental Drift: The plates drift about on a hot molten rock (the mantle). Proposed by Alfred Weneger in 1915. Problem - there was no mechanism - driving force - in this theory that explained why the plates moved. Also didn't explain how or why mountain ranges form. This theory was never accepted as is.
Plate tectonics: The continental and oceanic plates are moved by convection currents within the Earth's mantle, driving some plates apart and causing others to collide. Theory proposed (but inspired by Weneger) by Arthur Holmes in 1929 and provided a mechanism for plate movement of the Earth's crust. This theory is still accepted today - although still being refined.