The geological record contains information on past climatic conditions on a continent. As climate is connected to Earth's latitudes, this can serve as evidence for the continental drift theory.

Ancient glaciation events left traces in the form of sedimentary deposits or special landforms (such as U-shaped valleys). Scratch marks on rocks (glacial striations) even indicate the direction in which the ice was flowing. The extent and distribution of such deposits tell us where past climatic conditions were cold enough for glaciation to occur.

Today, evidence for a major glaciation event around 300 million years ago is spread across different latitudes and all southern continents, including India and Australia. Ice sheets cannot form there in the current warm climate. That is how Alfred Wegener knew that the continents must once have been located in higher latitudes closer to the Southpole, where the climate is colder.

Figure 1: Distribution of ancient glacial deposits; climatic evidence for the continental drift theory.