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Plate Tectonics in action

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Uploaded on Oct 25, 2010

This animation shows the evolution of Earth's continents through the history of macro-scale animal life on Earth, starting in the middle of the Ediacaran period, some 600 million years ago.

The animation was constructed by ARC Science Simulations, and represents the current body of knowledge of Geological thinking. The maps utilise accurate data sets of the former location, scale and of Earth's continents using a variety of methods, including palaeomagnetism, stratigraphy, geological mapping and radioisotopic dating of the rocks themselves. This is how Earth very likely looked in the geological past (don't forget - uncertainties increase back in time for ANY investigation).

Other animations you may see elsewhere on the Internet, such as the 'expanding earth' animations by Neal Adams are NOT supported by continent palaeomagnetism, or any other aspect of Geology, and are in fact contradicted by it.

These expanding Earth animations represent a very early attempt explain the similarities of the outlines of the continents in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when there was very little data available to Earth scientists and Geology was a young science.

The expanding Earth animations are highly fanciful works of art, and have no scientific value, and ignore very important aspects of continental geology when they attempt to reconstruct (for example) the Pacific Ocean being completely closed. If expanding Earthers used any real geology in their reconstructions, they would realise that many of the parts of the coast of Western North America, for example, didn't exist. They were islands off the coast, but slammed into the Americas as the ocean floor they sat upon subducted beneath the continents.

This type of information is represented in the above animation, and you can see this displayed beautifully at the start, where curved arcs of volcanic islands get squeezed between and incorporated into, colliding continents.

The music is 'Big Ship' by Brian Eno.

Read more about the debunked expanding Earth hypothesis and other pseudoscience on www.science-wars.com

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