Connection between plate tectonics and dating fossils

Certain minerals in rocks lock-in a record of the direction and intensity of the magnetic field when they form.This record provides information on the past behavior of Earth's magnetic field and the past location of tectonic plates.Already, Mueller’s team, working with collaborators at the University of Oslo and Caltech, has completed a stunningly detailed digital reconstruction of 410 million years of earthly history, going back to the collision of then-existing continents that created Pangaea.In January, they plan to release version 2.0 of GPlates, an open-source software model that anyone can use to go back in time to the early days of Earth.Wallace's 1876 book, The Geographic Distribution of Animals, has plates depicting the animal life of the biogeographic regions he identified.These are mammals typically found in the forests of Borneo.

On his journeys, he sought to demonstrate that evolution did indeed take place, by showing how geography affected the ranges of species.Paleomagnetists led the revival of the continental drift hypothesis and its transformation into plate tectonics.Apparent polar wander paths provided the first clear geophysical evidence for continental drift, while marine magnetic anomalies did the same for seafloor spreading.Geologists establish the age of rocks in two ways: numerical dating and relative dating.Numerical dating determines the actual ages of rocks through the study of radioactive decay.Next, they are preparing for peer review of an extension of the model to 1 billion years ago—the era of Pangaea’s ancestor, a supercontinent called Rodinia.Then they will lunge again—to 2 billion years, yet another supercontinent, and the evolution of the first multicellular life.By the time Dietmar Mueller arrived at the University of Texas as a graduate student in the mid-1980s, scientists had already long embraced a once-astonishing idea: that the continents on which all human history has unfolded, rather than fixtures of constancy, were orphans of a former grand supercontinent called Pangaea.Showered with awards, the pioneers of this theory—plate tectonics—had by and large dispersed in search of the next big challenge.Magnetic stripes are the result of reversals of the Earth's field and seafloor spreading.New oceanic crust is magnetized as it forms and then it moves away from the ridge in both directions.

Connection between plate tectonics and dating fossils