Before Pangea – What? – Science NewsSeptember 30, 1972
The continents as we know them were formed when the protocontinent Pangea broke up and its fragments made the long, slow journey to their present location. The process took about 200 million years. But the earth’s crust is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old… [Scientists are exploring] A difficult question about what happened billions of years ago when Pangea broke up into pieces.
The continents have an on-again, off-again relationship since well before Pangea, fossils and rock testify. Most scientists agree that the first known supercontinent, called Nuna, formed about 1.5 billion years ago. It broke up and broke up into one as the supercontinent Rodinia about 1 billion years ago. A third supercontinent called Pannotia may have formed about 600 million years ago near the South Pole, but its existence is disputed. Today, scientists are predicting how the continents will be joined in the future. A supercontinent called Amasia could form 250 million years from now as the continents move toward the North Pole (SN: 1/21/17, p. 18).
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