Plate Tectonic Theory—History of How it was Discovered (Educational)

CHAPTERS (click blue links to go to that time code in video.
0:00 Introduction
0:36 1600s–1800s
1:11 Bathymetry reveals ridges
1:30 Wegner’s Continental Drift
2:11 Radioactive decay
2:50 Nuclear bomb testing
3:13 Marie Tharpe/ocean ridges
3:46 Harry Hess/seafloor spreading
4:02 Seafloor magnetic stripes
4:17 Hot-spot formation
4:35 Three Boundary types
4:52 Mantle convection/gravity

The theory of plate tectonics represents a fairly young science. The “Father of Plate Tectonics”, Alfred Wegener wasn’t recognized when he proposed “Continental Drift” in 1912. It would take another 50 years to be accepted. And yet, in the year 1596 the process was already considered by cartographer Abraham Ortelius. This animation gives an overview of the most-recognized proponents (and opponents) of Plate Tectonics Theory up into the 1960’s.
Narrated by Dr. Wendy Bohon, Informal education specialist for IRIS
Written and animated by Jenda Johnson, Earth Sciences Animated.
World maps and earthquake locations from IRIS Earthquake Browser
Early maps, photos, and images are in public domain
Pangea and Ridge magnetics animations from the Educational Multimedia Visualization Center of the Department of Earth Science, U.C. Santa Barbara
Animation of the seismic tomography data from EarthScope by Kasrah Hosseini, University of Oxford
Music: Far From Home, by Kai Engel, Tanz und Nachtanz performed by Capella de la Torre