Abraham Ortelius by Peter Paul Rubens, 1633
The observed magnetic profile for the seafloor around a mid-oceanic ridge agrees closely with the profile predicted by the Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis.
Antonio Snider-Pellegrini's Illustration of the closed and opened Atlantic Ocean (1858)
Magnetic anomalies off west coast of North America. Dashed lines are spreading centers on mid-ocean ridges
Alfred Wegener
Fossil patterns across continents (Gondwanaland)
Mesosaurus skeleton, MacGregor, 1908

The Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis, also known as the Morley–Vine–Matthews hypothesis, was the first key scientific test of the seafloor spreading theory of continental drift and plate tectonics.

- Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis

The best explanation was the "conveyor belt" or Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis.

- Continental drift
Abraham Ortelius by Peter Paul Rubens, 1633

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Geomagnetic polarity during the last 5 million years (Pliocene and Quaternary, late Cenozoic Era). Dark areas denote periods where the polarity matches today's normal polarity; light areas denote periods where that polarity is reversed.

Geomagnetic reversal

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Change in a planet's magnetic field such that the positions of magnetic north and magnetic south are interchanged .

Change in a planet's magnetic field such that the positions of magnetic north and magnetic south are interchanged .

Geomagnetic polarity during the last 5 million years (Pliocene and Quaternary, late Cenozoic Era). Dark areas denote periods where the polarity matches today's normal polarity; light areas denote periods where that polarity is reversed.
Geomagnetic polarity since the middle Jurassic. Dark areas denote periods where the polarity matches today's polarity, while light areas denote periods where that polarity is reversed. The Cretaceous Normal superchron is visible as the broad, uninterrupted black band near the middle of the image.
NASA computer simulation using the model of Glatzmaier and Roberts. The tubes represent magnetic field lines, blue when the field points towards the center and yellow when away. The rotation axis of the Earth is centered and vertical. The dense clusters of lines are within the Earth's core.

Most paleomagnetic research in the late 1950s included an examination of the wandering of the poles and continental drift.

The Morley–Vine–Matthews hypothesis was the first key scientific test of the seafloor spreading theory of continental drift.