For thousands of years, people have been wondering how does science prove that the continents are drifting. The drift is real and can be observed by trained eyes. The drift is most apparent in underwater mountains where the surface is going through steep changes from high to low elevations. The greatest danger for drifting objects is a change in the magnetic field and the orientation of the Earth.
The evidence is overwhelming and many lines of evidence exist that will allow the scientist to confidently conclude that it is indeed happening. The first piece of evidence that scientists can use to determine if the surface of the ocean floor is changing is the rise and fall of specific minerals. Every rock forms at a different rate and every mineral has a different polarity. Certain minerals such as iron, sulfur, and sodium can change rapidly and will eventually form new rocks over time.
Another piece of evidence that oceanographers use is the seasonal rise and fall of tides. When a tide goes out, the ocean floor can move quickly with much more force than when a tide comes in. As a result, rock layers may erode quickly, pushing their way to the surface of the ocean. As the layers form, they can carry sand with them and create large lumps on the ocean floor. These jagged rocks sometimes become wedged between the layers as the tide travels and erodes the area.
One of the more common methods used to detect movement is tracking. Scientists have been tracking the drift of the ice sheets for years and have a record of it that dates back to 1960. By taking drift photographs of the ice sheets, they can see how they are moving. Unfortunately, the ice has now started melting in some areas and this new evidence of the ocean movement can only be obtained from ice cores in the Polar Regions.
A different method of tracking ocean movements is through satellite technology. Using a network of satellites, oceanographers can see how the ocean floor is shifting. The images are very precise, so oceanographers can observe very small differences. If there is a significant difference between the observed difference in the depth of the ocean floor on different dates, the ocean has been moving. The difference would indicate that the ocean is slipping. Satellites can also detect ocean currents and this is another method used by scientists to answer the drifting mystery.
Another method is Electronystagomancy. This method measures the thickness of the ocean’s surface by analyzing the angle between the high and low planes of the earth. If there is a large difference between the observed tilt of the surface, there must be a large difference in the vertical velocity of the ocean. This allows scientists to determine how the surface is moving. There are many different theories for this phenomenon, such as plate tectonics, the effects of vulcanism and faults.
The biggest problem with ocean drifting its effects on fish and marine life. Ocean currents can completely destroy a food chain or even displace an existing population. Other than that, other effects of ocean floating are unknown, although research is still being done.