continental drift definition

  • noun:
    • The movement, formation, or re-formation of continents explained because of the theory of dish tectonics.
    • The slow activity of continents explained by dish tectonics.
    • the slow (ca. 1-5 cm per year) movement of the continents and parts of continents relative to one another and also to the points of upwelling of magma in the viscous layers underneath the continents; -- causing, for instance, the orifice of Southern Atlantic Ocean by the activity of Africa and South America far from one another. See in addition plate tectonics.
    • the gradual motion and development of continents (as described by plate tectonics)
  • others:
    • the movements of continents in accordance with one another throughout the world's surface; see plate tectonics.

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