Test of Continental Drift by Comparison of Radiometric Ages

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Science  04 Aug 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3788, pp. 495-500
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3788.495


1) The distribution of age values obtained by potassium-argon determinations and whole-rock rubidium-strontium determinations appears to be almost identical for West African rocks of the pervasive Eburnean Orogenic Cycle and basement rocks at opposite locations in South America.

2) There is also a close correlation, with respect to potassium-argon age determinations on micas, rubidium-strontium determinations on total-rock samples, and the extent to which these two sets of values differ, between rocks of the Pan-African Orogenic Cycle and rocks of the Caririan Orogenic Cycle in Brazil, where these two groups of rocks lie opposite each other in the two continents.

3) When Africa and South America are "fitted together," the sharply defined boundary between the Eburnean and the Pan-African age provinces in West Africa strikes directly toward the corresponding age boundary in northeast Brazil.

4) The transition from the 550-million-year Pan-African age province to the 2000-million-year age province in the Congo Craton in Cameroun-Gabon is matched in the rocks near the corresponding part of the east coast of Brazil. However the geological and age data are insufficient to do more than suggest the possibility of another age-boundary correlation here.

5) The evidence reported here supports the hypothesis of continental drift.