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Has there been more than one Pangaea?Since Pangea began to separate only 200 million...
Has there been more than one Pangaea?
Since Pangea began to separate only 200 million years ago, and the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, do the land masses periodically merge into a supercontinent and then break apart again? If so, how many times has this happened? If not, why did it only happen once? At their current trajectories, won't the continents smash back into each other?
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Scientists believe that you are in fact correct and the land masses have periodically merged into supercontinents. Pangaea was the most recent one.
One other for which there is evidence is something called Rodinia. It was a supercontinent that came together about 1.2 billion years ago and lasted for something like 350 million years.
eNotes actually has a good article on this subject -- follow the link. It talks about other supercontinents that may have existed.
As far as the future goes, I found the "scotese.com" link that shows an animation of what may happen...
Posted by pohnpei397 on December 20, 2009 at 11:22 AM (Answer #1)
Middle School Teacher
According to Geographical data there have been several preceding Pangaea type super continents. Pannotia formed around 600 million years ago. Another super continent was Rodinia which existed 750 million years ago. The formation and division of the continents seems to be cyclical in nature. In the 1900's the idea of the Continental Drift inferred that the continents were formed by the land masses drifting apart. However, scientists today are more inclined to believe that Plate Tectonics were responsible for the separation of the continents. Plate tectonics is the theory of motions through earth's lithosphere. The lithosphere is broken up into tectonic plates. Plate movement is drive by the heat from earth's mantle.
Convergent boundaries occur when two plates slide towards one another. Since the continents continue to drift, there is definitely a likelihood that the continents will drift back together again.
Posted by mkcapen1 on December 20, 2009 at 11:39 AM (Answer #2)
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