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.
The observed magnetic profile for the seafloor around a mid-oceanic ridge agrees closely with the profile predicted by the Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis.
Magnetic anomalies off west coast of North America. Dashed lines are spreading centers on mid-ocean ridges
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.

The Vine–Matthews-Morley hypothesis correlates the symmetric magnetic patterns seen on the seafloor with geomagnetic field reversals.

- Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis

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

- Geomagnetic reversal
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.

2 related topics with Alpha

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Frederick Vine (right) and Drummond Matthews, 1981

Frederick Vine

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English marine geologist and geophysicist.

English marine geologist and geophysicist.

Frederick Vine (right) and Drummond Matthews, 1981
The observed magnetic profile for the sea floor around a mid-oceanic ridge agrees closely with the profile predicted by the Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis.

He made key contributions to the theory of plate tectonics, helping to show that the seafloor spreads from mid-ocean ridges with a symmetrical pattern of magnetic reversals in the basalt rocks on either side.

Vine's work, with that of Drummond Matthews and Lawrence Morley of the Geological Survey of Canada, helped put the variations in the magnetic properties of the ocean crust into context in what is now known as the Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis.

Abraham Ortelius by Peter Paul Rubens, 1633

Continental drift

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Hypothesis that the Earth's continents have moved over geologic time relative to each other, thus appearing to have "drifted" across the ocean bed.

Hypothesis that the Earth's continents have moved over geologic time relative to each other, thus appearing to have "drifted" across the ocean bed.

Abraham Ortelius by Peter Paul Rubens, 1633
Antonio Snider-Pellegrini's Illustration of the closed and opened Atlantic Ocean (1858)
Alfred Wegener
Fossil patterns across continents (Gondwanaland)
Mesosaurus skeleton, MacGregor, 1908

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

The new crust is magnetized by the earth's magnetic field, which undergoes occasional reversals.