An unprecedented “Earth time-lapse” reveals the shifting of continents over the past 100 million years, allowing you to locate the spot on the map where you were originally thought to have lived.
Amazing new time-lapse footage “unprecedentedly” shows how scientists think continents moved over the past 100 million years.
The animation of Earth’s surface demonstrates how volcanoes, ocean basins, and mountains are formed as tectonic plates move across the planet.
Geographers have been studying Earth’s surface for decades, but many mysteries remain unanswered.
However, the University of Sydney’s recently released cutting-edge model incorporates a great deal of our understanding of tectonic plates, erosion, and precipitation.
In a matter of seconds, the viewer can witness the transformation of a vast area of land into the seven continents we know today, a process that normally takes millions of years.
Volcanoes and earthquakes are caused when large pieces of the Earth’s crust slide under each other.
The model also emphasizes precipitation, which plays a crucial role in global change over time.
By affecting atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, precipitation acts as a feedback loop between the ground and the atmosphere.
Tristan Salles, a senior lecturer in geosciences at the University of Sydney and the model’s author, told Live Science that while the dance of the continents has been studied extensively, our ability to represent how the Earth’s surface has evolved is still lacking.
As the authors put it, “what we bring with this new model is a way to evaluate how this surface has changed (globally and over geological time scales), shaped by its interactions with the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the tectonic and mantle dynamics.”
The model starts around 100million years ago.
Pangea, previously thought to have comprised what are now the continents of North America, Africa, South America, and Europe, began drifting apart roughly 200 million years ago.
When the model first starts, the viewer can tell that the land pieces are separated by a small amount.
Water movement is shown in blue, while erosion-deposited sediment is highlighted in red.
“This unprecedented high-resolution model of Earth’s recent past will equip geoscientists with a more complete and dynamic understanding of Earth’s surface,” said geologist and Institute of Earth Sciences member Laurent Husson in a statement.
Scientists can get a more complete picture of the Earth’s history by highlighting processes like tectonic movement, ocean currents, and erosion.
The volume of sediment movement discovered by the researchers was significantly higher than that predicted by the experts.
It’s possible that between 60 million and 30 million years ago, when the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau were rising, sediment rushed out into the ocean.
Salles thinks this is significant because many theories about the origins of life postulate that they began in ponds or other bodies of water with sediment.
Sedimentation flux “may have provided a source of nutrients to these early organisms, allowing them to thrive and evolve over time,” Salles said.
We hope that our model will help put to the test theories that have been around for a long time about how life got started on Earth.