This booklet gives a brief introduction to the concept of plate tectonics and complements the visual and written information in the map entitled This Dynamic Planet, which was published in 1994 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Smithsonian Institution. The booklet highlights some of the people and discoveries that advanced the development of the theory and traces its progress since its proposal. Although the general idea of plate tectonics is now widely accepted, many aspects still continue to confound and challenge scientists. Chapter headings include; Historical perspective, Developing the theory, Understanding plate motions, Hotspots : Mantle thermal plumes, Some unanswered questions, and Plate tectonics and people.


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