Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mysteries of Continental Drift: Ask Pangea

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog  
Paaralang Himpapawid (School on Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio  
738 KHz AM 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
Imagined shapes of Pangea. Relief paintings in acrylic by the author, 2015

Why are Africa and South America shaped like a jigsaw puzzle when they are thousands of kilometers apart? Ask Pangea.

Were the Himalayas, the Peruvian Plateau, Hindu Kush mountains formed by head-on collision of the earth's crust plates? Ask Pangea.

Why are the land masses today concentrated on the northern hemisphere, with so little on the southern hemisphere? Ask Pangea.

What has the "Ring of Fire," the largest and longest fissue of the earth to do with the formation and movement of continents? Ask Pangea.

How can we explain the birth and death of islands, the disappearance of civilizations like the fabled Atlantis? Ask Pangea.

How were the Marianas Trench and Philippine Deep measuring more than 10 km deep formed? What have these submarine features to do with continental drift? Ask Pangea.

Will Global Warming contibute to the breaking of the continents apart or bringing them closer to form another Pangea of your kind? Ask Pangea.

Is the Isthmus of Panama separating the two largest oceans an "incomplete" result of continental drift? When will these oceans converge? Ask Pangea.

Does the movement of continents affect the tilting of the earth which is now 23 degrees? What is the effect if it does? Ask Pangea.

Why are there oil deposits in far north Siberia where no trees grow, fossil remains of living things under Antartica? Ask Pangea.

How come the Middle East, virtually desert, holds the largest fossil oil deposits; why not in lush forests and plankton-rich seas as we know today? Ask Pangea. 

Why are the marsupials or pouch mammals confined in the south hemisphere - Australia and New Zealand? Ask Pangea.

If the route of migration of animals was broken by continental draft, why do many of them retain their basic features in their own continents today? Ask Pangea.

If the continents are now on the trend of forming another singular land mass, to what extent can the human species witnes this geologic phenemenon. Ask Pangea.

Pangea or Pangaea was surrounded by a global ocean called Panthalassa, and it was fully assembled by the Early Permian Period (some 299 million to 272 million years ago). The supercontinent began to break apart about 200 million years ago, during the Early Jurassic Period (201 million to 174 million years ago), eventually forming the modern continents and the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Pangea’s existence was first proposed in 1912 by German meteorologist Alfred Wegener as a part of his theory of continental drift. Its name is derived from the Greek pangaia, meaning “all the Earth.”

During Earth’s long history, there probably have been several Pangea-like supercontinents. The oldest of those supercontinents is called Rodinia and was formed during Precambrian time some one billion years ago. Another Pangea-like supercontinent, Pannotia, was assembled 600 million years ago, at the end of the Precambrian. Present-day plate motions are bringing the continents together once again. Africa has begun to collide with southern Europe, and the Australian Plate is now colliding with Southeast Asia. Within the next 250 million years, Africa and the Americas will merge with Eurasia to form a supercontinent that approaches Pangean proportions. The episodic assembly of the world’s landmasses has been called the supercontinent cycle or, in honour of Wegener, the Wegenerian cycle.  Reference: Encyclopedia Britannica 

Supercontinent cycle or, in honour of Wegener, the Wegenerian cycle. The next Pangea will be 250 million years from now. (Internet)

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