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USGS CMG InfoBank: Introduction to Plate Tectonics

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Comment: 00:40 - 01:29 (00:49)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 5. The Birth of a Theory
Keywords: introduction, "James Sadd", "Solar System", Earth, planet, earthquake, ocean, volcano, glaciation, "plate tectonics", landform

Our transcription: The rich diversity of landforms and geologic activity on Earth make it unique in our Solar System.
Three decades of space exploration have taught us that most of our neighboring planets are geologically stagnant when compared with the dynamic Earth.
Until very recently, geologic phenomena such as earthquakes, oceans, volcanoes, and glaciation were thought to be unrelated aspects of nature.
But in the 1960s Earth scientists had a bold and revolutionary realization that completely changed our concept of the Earth.
They surmised that these diverse geologic phenomena could be explained by a single unifying concept, a blueprint of global geologic activity called the "Theory of Plate tectonics."

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