The paleomagnetic confirmation of continental drift



Paleomagnetic research in the period 1948–1954 established that the Earth had had a geomagnetic field since Late Precambrian time, that irrespective of reversals its direction varied very widely, and that at any one place these variations could be expressed as a path of apparent polar wander (APW). During the period 1955–1960, it was demonstrated, much to the chagrin of a community overwhelmingly fixist in belief, that each of the major continents had a very different APW path and that the differences were essentially those expected if continents had moved in the manner suggested by Wegener.