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Do the earth's continents change through time as we do?

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briana136 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 8, 2008 at 3:47 AM via web

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Do the earth's continents change through time as we do?

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted December 8, 2008 at 4:09 AM (Answer #1)

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Models and diagrams spanning millions of years will show you how continents have drifted and changed shape across the ages. Many of the continents were once connected to one another, yet today are spread out around our earth.

Having said that, the continents do not undergo changes as rapidly as living organisms. While our adaptations may take centuries, the adaptation and modification of continental structures can occur in different ways: Immediate change, like that experienced during an earthquake, can be the result of plate tectonics -- collisions, friction, and other factors make an immediate alteration to the structure of a continent. More gradual changes, like those responsible for continental drift, occur over a much longer period of time. Check your science text for exact numbers.

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