Alfred Lothar Wegener (November 1, 1880 – November 1930) was a German polar researcher, geophysicist and meteorologist. During his lifetime he was primarily known for his achievements in meteorology and as a pioneer of polar research, but today he is most remembered for advancing the theory of continental drift (Kontinentalverschiebung) in 1912, which hypothesized that the continents were slowly drifting around the Earth. His hypothesis was controversial and not widely accepted until the 1950s, when numerous discoveries such as palaeomagnetism provided strong support for continental drift, and thereby a substantial basis for today's model of Plate tectonics. Wegener was involved in several expeditions to Greenland to study polar air circulation before the existence of the jet stream was accepted. Expedition participants made many meteorological observations and achieved the first-ever overwintering on the inland Greenland ice sheet as well as the first-ever boring of ice cores on a moving Arctic glacier. On November 1, 1880, Alfred Wegener was born in Berlin as the youngest of five children in a clergyman's family. His father, Richard Wegener, was a theologian and teacher of classical languages at the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster. In 1886 his family purchased a former manor house near Rheinsberg, which they used as a vacation home. Today there is an Alfred Wegener Memorial site and tourist information office in a nearby building that was once the local schoolhouse.
On May 12, 1931, Wegener's body was found halfway between Eismitte and West camp. It had been buried (by Villumsen) with great care and a pair of skis marked the grave site. Wegener had been fifty years of age and a heavy smoker and it was believed that he had died of heart failure brought on by overexertion. His body was reburied in the same spot by the team that found him and the grave was marked with a large cross. After burying Wegener, Villumsen had resumed his journey to West camp but was never seen again. He was twenty three when he died and it is estimated that his body, and Wegener's diary, now lie under more than 100 metres (330 ft) of accumulated ice and snow.
n paleogeography, Gondwana ( /ɡɒndˈwɑːnə/), originally Gondwanaland, was the southernmost of two supercontinents (the other being Laurasia) that later became parts of the Pangaea supercontinent. It existed from approximately 510 to 180 million years ago (Mya). Gondwana is believed to have sutured between ca. 570 and 510 Mya, thus joining East Gondwana to West Gondwana. It separated from Laurasia 200-180 Mya (the mid Mesozoic era) during the breakup of Pangaea, drifting further south after the split.
Gondwana included most of the landmasses in today's Southern Hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar and the Australian continent, as well as the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent, which have now moved entirely into the Northern Hemisphere.
The continent of Gondwana was named by Austrian scientist, Eduard Suess, after the Gondwana region of central northern India (from Sanskrit gondavana "forest of the Gonds"), from which the Gondwana sedimentary sequences (Permian-Triassic) are also described.
The adjective Gondwanan is in common use in biogeography when referring to patterns of distribution of living organisms, typically when the organisms are restricted to two or more of the now-discontinuous regions that were once part of Gondwana, including the Antarctic flora. For example, the Proteaceae, a family of plants known only from southern South America, South Africa and Australia, are considered to have a "Gondwanan distribution". This pattern is often considered to indicate an archaic, or relict, lineage.
Pangaea, Pangæa, or Pangea ( /pænˈdʒiːə/ pan-jee-ə;) was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras, forming about 300 million years ago and beginning to rift around 200 million years ago, before the component continents were separated into their current configurations. The single global ocean which surrounded Pangaea is accordingly named Panthalassa.
The name Pangaea is derived from Ancient Greek, pan (πᾶν) meaning "entire," and Gaia (Γαῖα) meaning "Earth." The name was coined during a 1927 symposium discussing Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift. In his book The Origin of Continents and Oceans (Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane), first published in 1915, he postulated that all the continents had at one time formed a single supercontinent which he called the "Urkontinent", before later breaking up and drifting to their present locations.