Morley-Vine-Matthews hypothesis
The Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis, also known as the Morley–Vine–Matthews hypothesis was the first key scientific test of the seafloor spreading
Seafloor spreading
Seafloor spreading is a process that occurs at mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust is formed through volcanic activity and then gradually moves away from the ridge. Seafloor spreading helps explain continental drift in the theory of plate tectonics....

 theory of continental drift
Continental drift
Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents relative to each other. The hypothesis that continents 'drift' was first put forward by Abraham Ortelius in 1596 and was fully developed by Alfred Wegener in 1912...

 and Plate tectonics
Plate tectonics
Plate tectonics is a scientific theory that describes the large scale motions of Earth's lithosphere...


Geophysicist Frederick John Vine
Fred Vine
Frederick John Vine is a British marine geologist and geophysicist and was a key contributor to the theory of plate tectonics.-Early life:...

 and the Canadian geologist Lawrence W. Morley
Lawrence Morley
Lawrence Morley, Ph.D. is a Canadian geophysicist. He is best known for his studies on the magnetic properties of ocean crust and their effect on plate tectonics.-Biography:Morley worked with Britons Fred Vine and Drummond Matthews...

 independently realized that if the seafloor spreading theory was correct, then the rocks surrounding the mid-oceanic ridges should show symmetric patterns of magnetization reversals, a record of the Earth's geomagnetic reversals, captured in the cooling volcanic rocks. Morley's letters to Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

(February 1963) and Journal of Geophysical Research
Journal of Geophysical Research
The Journal of Geophysical Research is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Geophysical Union 80 times per year. It contains original research on the physical, chemical, and biological processes that contribute to the understanding of the Earth, Sun, and solar system...

(April 1963) were both rejected, so Vine and his adviser Drummond Hoyle Matthews were first to publish in 1963. Later geomagnetic surveys found the patterns are in fact present, providing strong confirmation of the theory.
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