In its 4.5 billion years, Earth made up of manySuper continents‘. Until now, there is evidence of three: Columbia – also known as Nuna – formed 1,800 million years ago; Rodinia, about 1,000 million years ago, and Pangea, about 300 million years ago.
After Pangea broke up, today’s seven continents formed: North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, and Antarctica. But these may not be conclusive, as some scientists have proposed that the Earth’s crust is on the way to forming another large continent: Amasia.
Amasia, a supercontinent in the making
In a study published last September 28 National Science ReviewResearchers at Curtin University in Australia have run computer simulations of how Earth’s next supercontinent, Amasia, will form.
For this work, they used real and current data from tectonic plates (the thickness of their structure and the force with which they move). Earth’s internal cooling.
His analysis shows that parallel to the expansion of the Atlantic, the Pacific, the oldest ocean of all—formed with the breakup of Pangea—continues its shrinking process, estimated at a few centimeters each year. Currently, it is 10,000 kilometers wide.
In this way, they estimate that within 200 to 300 million years, the Americas and Asia will join Australia on its southeastern side (between India and Japan) to form a giant continent called Amasia.
“Over the past 2 billion years, Earth’s continents have collided to form a supercontinent every 600 million years. Supercontinental circulation. This means that the existing continents will come back together in a few hundred million years,” said Xuan Huang, head of research at Curtin University and member of the Earth Dynamics Research Group.
According to Zheng-Xiang Li, co-author of the study, “Earth would have been very different when Amasia formed. Sea levels are expected to be lower, and the vast interior of the supercontinent will be much drier with a higher diurnal temperature range.”
The Pacific Ocean disappeared
The displacements of the continents over time are explained Theory of Plate TectonicsThis means that the tectonic plates that make up the lithosphere (the planet’s outer layer) are always in constant motion.
Thus, they separate at mid-ocean ridges (spreading plates), converge at subduction zones (convergent plates), and cross each other at faults.
The Atlantic Ocean has a large oceanic ridge called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a mountain range 1,500 km wide and 16,000 km long, which lies on the ocean floor and forms new seafloor.
In contrast, the Pacific Ocean accumulates more sub-zones, all of which together, are distributed in a kind of circular chain. Fire Belt (Actually responsible for the said area being highly seismic).
For this reason, the Atlantic is expanding and the Pacific, on the other hand, is becoming narrower.
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