Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Sea-floor Spreading

Proposal that convective forces cause the extrusion of molten rock near oceanic ridges, and that the magnetite contained in such a relatively fluid medium is polarized during cooling by the earth’s current magnetic orientation, thus explaining the deflections and deviations from the present alignment that can be observed in older rocks. Proposed in 1963 by British geographers Drummond Matthews (1931-) and F. J. Vine (1939-88), who acknowledged earlier contributions by Arthur Holmes (1890-1965) and Alfred Wegener.

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