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New fossil find prompts Pangaea split rethink

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Taun
Posted (edited)

I wonder what the landmass looked like prior to Pangaea... Was it separate land masses that drifted together and then over time apart again, or did continental drift begin then? And if it began then, why?

Edited by Taun
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third_eye

The Continents were practicing the hokey pokey ...

~

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Essan
1 minute ago, Taun said:

I wonder what the landmass looked like prior to Pangaea... Was it separate land masses that drifted together and then over time apart again, or did continental drift begin then? And if it began then, why?

It was seperate landmasses that joined to form a super-continent.   They had previous split from an earlier super-continent.  And before that another .....

The very first super-continent - where it all began 2,400,000,000 years ago - is called Kenorland

https://www.rdmag.com/news/2018/05/land-rising-above-sea-24-billion-years-ago-changed-planet-earth

 

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paperdyer

Wasn't part of the split/drift due to the Earth still cooling causing the shift in the plates?

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pallidin
Posted (edited)

"Pangaea - a veritable super-continent situated in the southern hemisphere and surrounded by a superocean, Panthalassa"

Huh. I didn't know the surrounding superocean had been given a specific name. Now I do.

Edited by pallidin
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Tom the Photon
22 hours ago, Taun said:

I wonder what the landmass looked like prior to Pangaea... Was it separate land masses that drifted together and then over time apart again, or did continental drift begin then? And if it began then, why?

Geologists believe the continents have been drifting together and apart throughout history.  They can model the current movement and look for clues such as fossils and minerals along plate edges.  It's the most likely reason why some areas have a huge range of rock-types in close proximity.

Extrapolating backwards is extremely difficult but effectively its a giant jigsaw puzzle with lots of different pictures to assemble and loads of missing pieces.  

We know earthquakes occur at plate margins as they collide and release vast amounts of energy.  The ring of fire around the Pacific is the obvious example of this.  But why do we get earthquakes in the middle of plates?  Why are there occasional earthquakes even in the heart of Africa?  It's probable that these are age-old boundaries that have trapped strain energy for eons, waiting to be released at a random future date.

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