video record
Media not available in the Digital Archive
The programme looks at the evidence supporting the theory of continental drift.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S101, Science: a foundation course
Item code: S101; 06
First transmission date: 03-08-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
+ Show more...
Producer: Patricia McCurry
Contributors: Geoff Brown; Chris Wilson
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Portas Kaig boulder bed
Subject terms: Continental drift; Fossils; Continental drift; Plate tectonics
Footage description: Shots of the sides of an open cast coal mine in Co. Durham. Commentary by Chris Wilson introduces the programme. More shots of Wilson in the coal mine and of the Portas Kaig boulder bed in Scotland. Wilson points to the evidence that Britain experienced at least two ice ages, one as long as 700 million years ago. Wilson still in the coal mine, points to the coal seam as evidence that Britain went through a tropical climate about 300 million years ago Wilson examines some rock and coal samples for fossils, further evidence for the tropical nature of the climate then. Shots of petrified trees in a glasshouse in Glasgow. Shots of the Florida Everglades and painting of a carboniferous rain forest. Commentary by Wilson points to these as yet further evidence for a tropical climate in Britain 300 million years ago. Over film shots of sand dunes in the Sahara desert and of a British sand quarry, Wilson discusses the evidence that Britain went through a period, about 27O million years ago, when it was largely desert. Wilson sums up the evidence, presented so far, which suggests that Britain has moved successively northwards through geological time. Geoff Brown examines the paleomagnetic evidence in favour of continual drift. He uses diagrams, a globe, and animations to illustrate his points. The magnetic evidence presented so far suggests that the data could hold true for shifting magnetic poles as well as drifting continents. To demonstrate that it was continents which drifted rather than the poles, Brown compares, in the form of an animation, polar wandering curves for two continents (Europe and North America). Chris Wilson, with the aid of animations, explains one of the best climatic confirmations for the continental drift hypothesis. He demonstrates that continents had not drifted then the geological evidence suggest that the Antarctic icecap would, at times, have extended right up to the equator. Wilson goes on to show, with the aid of still shots of trilobite fossils and animated diagrams, how differences in fossils about 500 million years ago suggest that the northwest and central parts of Britain were once separated by a large ocean. Finally, Wilson briefly sums up the programme.
Master spool number: 6HT/72884
Production number: FOUS006P
Videofinder number: 1181
Available to public: no