Polflucht (from German, flight from the poles) is a geophysical concept invoked 1915 by Alfred Wegener to explain his ideas of Continental drift. He suggested that a differential gravitational force (horizontal component of centrifugal or Eötvös force) and the Earth's flattening would cause continental masses to drift slowly towards the equator.
The hypothesis was expanded by Paul Sophus Epstein in 1920 but the force is now known to be far too weak to cause plate tectonics. The toughness of the sublayers of the Earth's crust is much stronger than assumed by Wegener and Epstein.
- The concise Oxford dictionary of Earth Sciences (topic 'Polflucht'), Oxford 1990
- Laszlo Egyed: Physik der festen Erde (Physics of solid Earth), 368p. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 1969
- Über die Polflucht der Kontinente, F.Nölke 1921de:Polflucht