German climatologist and geophysicist who, in 1915, published as expanded version of his 1912 book The Origin of Continents and Oceans. This work was one of the first to suggest continental drift and plate tectonics. He suggested that a supercontinent he called Pangaea had existed in the past, broke up starting 200 million years ago, and that the pieces "drifted'' to their present positions. He cited the fit of South America and Africa, ancient climate similarities, fossil evidence (such as the fern Glossopteris and mesosaurus), and similarity of rock structures.
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