<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=iA1Pi1a8Dy00ym" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="" />
Dismiss
Skip Navigation
Our Terms of Use (click here to view) and Privacy Policy (click here to view) have changed. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our new Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
You are viewing an older version of this Concept. Go to the latest version.

Supercontinent Cycle

The supercontinent Pangaea was the most recent supercontinent, but there were others earlier in Earth history as part of the supercontinent cycle.

Atoms Practice
Estimated1 minsto complete
%
Progress
Practice Supercontinent Cycle
Practice
Progress
Estimated1 minsto complete
%
Practice Now
A Super Continent

A Super Continent

Credit: Author Kious, Jacquelyne; Tilling, Robert I.; Kiger, Martha, Russel, Jane
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pangaea_to_present.gif
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

By now, you’ve heard about Pangaea. Pangaea split apart to become the current continents. Where are the continents going? What will happen when they get there?

Why It Matters

  • The continents were once joined into a single supercontinent, called Pangaea.
  • Since Pangaea broke up the continents have been moving apart. There are three ideas for where they are going:
    • The continents will continue moving apart so that the Pacific Ocean closes
    • The continents will reverse direction and the Atlantic Ocean will close, reforming Pangaea
    • A supercontinent will come together centered on the North Pole

Explore More

With the links below, learn more about the future supercontinent. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What do “tiny magnets buried in rock” do?
  2. How can the tiny magnets be used to learn about the former locations of the continents?
  3. What is the name of the predicted future supercontinent? What is the reason for that name?
  4. How does this predicted supercontinent form?
  5. How will the coming together of this future supercontinent affect the political divisions we currently have on Earth?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Author Kious, Jacquelyne; Tilling, Robert I.; Kiger, Martha, Russel, Jane; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pangaea_to_present.gif; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Explore More

Sign in to explore more, including practice questions and solutions for Magnetic Polarity Evidence for Continental Drift.
Please wait...
Please wait...