Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “Continental Drift Theory”
6) Discuss the limitations of the theory of Continental Drift and show how the theory of Plate Tectonics is an improvement over it?(250 words)
NCERT Physical geography Ch4, Class XI
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to explain the limitations of the theory due to which scientists were unwilling to accept the theory, and bring out the reasons why the Theory of Plate Tectonics is an improvement over continental drift theory
Discuss – here in your discussion , you need to bring out the reasons why continental drift theory faced resistance and the reasons why plate tectonics provides a better explanation for the Earth’s Structure.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain continental drift theory along with the person who gave this theory.
Body – discuss the limitations of the theory why there was reluctance in accepting the theory – not enough satisfactory explanation to the forces or mechanism that caused these continents to move such great distances. explain what Wegner had to say in this regard and why it was non explanatory. Explain how the theory of plate tectonics covers this aspect thus becoming an improvement over continental drift theory. When the Plate Tectonics Theory was proposed, mantle convection currents was the given mechanism to explain what made them move. Since the continents floated on the plates, the Plate Tectonic Theory provided the much needed mechanism for Wegner’s Continental Drift theory. At once it was readily accepted by most all geologists.
Conclusion – Mention that plate tectonics is the most widely accepted theory.