Thursday, February 9, 2012

How Earth's next supercontinent will form

February 9, 2012 5:29 PM

How Earth's next supercontinent will form

Orthoversion prediction of future supercontinent, Amasia, named for its fusing the Americas and Asia by closure of the Arctic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Predicted convergence directions (red arrows) are confined within the â??ring of fireâ?? of subduction zones (blue band) that encircles a preferred axis of mantle upwelling at 10Ã?°E and 190Ã?°E longitude (yellow caps). Amasia will be located 90Ã?° away from the geographic center of the latest supercontinent Pangaea near present-day Africa. (Mitchell et al, Nature)

(  The Earth has been covered by giant combinations of continents, called supercontinents, many times in its past, and it will be again one day in the distant future. The next predicted supercontinent, dubbed Amasia, may form when the Americas and Asia both drift northward to merge, closing off the Arctic Ocean, researchers suggest.
Supercontinents are giant landmasses made up of more than one continental core. The best-known supercontinent, Pangaea, was once the world's only continent -- it was on it that the dinosaurs arose -- and was the progenitor of today's continents.



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