Abstract

The misconception that Alfred Wegener used the modern-day coastlines for his reconstruction of Pangea has been propagated from his day to the present. A letter written by Wegener to his wife in 1911 demonstrates unequivocally that even before he first began to formulate the hypothesis of continental drift, Wegener did not consider fitting the continents at the present shorelines. Rather, he felt that the match should be made at “the margin of the continental slope in the deep sea.” He subsequently retained this concept in all of the editions of his book The Origin of Continents and Oceans.

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