The Plate Tectonic Evolution of the Earth Over 500 Million Years: Animated Video Takes You from Pangea, to 250 Million Years in the Future




Christopher R. Scotese, a geologist affiliated with Northwestern University, has created an animation showing “the plate tectonic evolution of the Earth from the time of Pangea, 240 million years ago, to the formation of Pangea Proxima, 250 million years in the future.” The blurb accompanying the video on Youtube adds:

The animation starts with the modern world then winds it way back to 240 million years ago (Triassic). The animation then reverses direction, allowing us to see how Pangea rifted apart to form the modern continents and ocean basins. When the animation arrives back at the present-day, it continues for another 250 million years until the formation of the next Pangea, “Pangea Proxima”.

According to an article published by NASA back in 2000, Scotese’s visualization of the future is something of an educated “guesstimate.”  “We don’t really know the future, obviously,” he says. “All we can do is make predictions of how plate motions will continue, what new things might happen, and where it will all end up.” You can see his predictions play out above.

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Related Content:

A Map Shows Where Today’s Countries Would Be Located on Pangea

Paper Animation Tells Curious Story of How a Meteorologist Theorized Pangaea & Continental Drift (1910)

View and Download Nearly 60,000 Maps from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)


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