Science Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

How did the discovery of magnetic reversals help to develop the theory of plate tectonics?

Expert Answers info

ncchemist eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,405 answers

starTop subjects are Science, Math, and Social Sciences

Geomagnetic reversals helped to prove the theory of plate tectonics by proving the notion of seafloor spreading.  Seafloor spreading occurs on the ocean floor at areas called mid-ocean ridges where magma rises from a fault in the floor and forms new crust as the two plates move apart.  Geomagnetic reversals over time caused magnetic particles in the ocean crust to change their orientation back and forth correspondingly.  These magnetic layers are evenly mirrored across the ridge, thus showing that the crust is emanating from the ridge and spreading outward.  Seafloor spreading is an important aspect of plate tectonics.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial