geology

Home » Pangaea


Plate Tectonics - Pangaea Continent Maps



Plate Tectonics



Is the study of the lithosphere, the outer portion of the earth consisting of the crust and part of the upper mantle. The lithosphere is divided into about a dozen large plates which move and interact with one another to create earthquakes, mountain ranges, volcanic activity, ocean trenches and many other features. Continents and ocean basis are moved and changed in shape as a result of these plate movements.

The sequence of maps at right show how a large supercontinent, known as Pangaea was fragmented into several pieces, each being part of a mobile plate of the lithosphere. These pieces were to become Earth's current continents. The time sequence show through the maps traces the paths of the continents to their current positions.

In the early 1900's Alfred Wegener proposed the idea of Continental Drift. His ideas centered around continents moving across the face of the earth. The idea was not quite correct - compared to the plate tectonics theory of today - but his thinking was on the proper track. In addition, a variant spelling of Pangaea is "Pangea". It appears in some textbooks and glossaries, however, Pangaea is the current preferred spelling.



Find it on Geology.com




More from Geology.com


Land Below Sea Level
Land Below Sea Level: Did you know that dozens of land locations are below sea level?
Sliding Rocks
Sliding Rocks Mystery: What causes these rocks to slide across a Death Valley playa?
US Diamond Mines
US Diamond Mines: Did you know that diamonds can be found in the United States?
Green River Formation
The Green River Formation is one of the most famous rock units in the world for its fossils.
volcanic explosivity index
Volcanic Explosivity: Learn about some of the most explosive volcanic eruptions.
Largest Earthquake
Largest Earthquake: The largest earthquake ever recorded: Chile, 1960, Magnitude 9.5.
Olympus Mons
Olympus Mons: The largest volcano in the solar system is on Mars.
How Do Snowflakes Form?
How Do Snowflakes Form? They start as tiny mineral crystals but they might not reach the Earth.


pangea map
Illustration from USGS.


© 2005-2016 Geology.com. All Rights Reserved.
Images, code, and content on this website are property of Geology.com and are protected by copyright law.
Geology.com does not grant permission for any use, republication, or redistribution.
Images, code and content owned by others are marked on the pages where they appear.