50 years ago, scientists dug into Pangaea’s past lives

Earlier than Pangaea — What? Science News, September 30, 1972

The continents as we all know them resulted when the proto­continent Pangaea broke aside and its fragments made the lengthy gradual journey to their current positions. The method took about 200 m­illion years. However the Earth’s crust is an estimated 4.5 billion years previous.… [Scientists are exploring] the perplexing p­roblem of what went on through the billions of years earlier than Pangaea went to items.

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The continents have an on-again, off-again relationship that has existed since effectively earlier than Pangaea, fossil and rock proof reveals. Most scientists agree that the earliest recognized supercontinent, known as Nuna, shaped round 1.5 billion years in the past. It broke aside and reunited because the supercontinent Rodinia about 1 billion years in the past. A 3rd supercontinent known as Pannotia may have formed roughly 600 million years ago close to the South Pole, however its existence is debated. Right this moment, scientists are predicting how continents will merge sooner or later. A supercontinent dubbed Amasia could form 250 million years from now because the continents drift towards the North Pole (SN: 1/21/17, p. 18).

Erin I. Garcia de Jesus is a employees author at Science Information. She holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from the College of Washington and a grasp’s in science communication from the College of California, Santa Cruz.

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