UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Could tectonic plate movement create another super-continent?
Question Date: 2013-08-30
Answer 1:

YES!!!The plates are moving and have been for billions of years... they collide and they rip apart. The plates carry the continents on their "backs"; if two plates -each with a continent- collide, then a supercontinent can be created. The subcontinent of INDIA used to be an isolated block about 30-50 million years ago; it first crashed into Asia to create the Himalayas.

Answer 2:

The short answer is, yes! This is a wonderful question. There have been AT LEAST 3 super-continents in Earth’s history. The most recent one is called Pangaea. And it existed from about 300 to 200 million years ago. Right now the Pacific Ocean is closing (because of subduction; remember the Ring of Fire!) and the Atlantic Ocean is getting wider (because of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge). If this continues, then the Americas will move further away from Africa/Europe and closer to Asia until there is a new super-continent. This is just one hypothesis and not everyone agrees about it, but everyone does agree that there will be another super-continent. It is just a matter of figuring out what it will look like!

Answer 3:

Yes - it's happening now, in fact: North America, Eurasia, Africa, and Australia are combining to create a new northern hemisphere supercontinent. South America and Antarctica will remain (or become) island continents, however.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use