When will a supercontinent reform take place? – Sciences and future

This article is taken from Sciences et Avenir – La Recherche n ° 898, December 2021.

When will a supercontinent reform take place? This question is the subject of the work of Hannah Davies and Joao Duarte, of the University of Lisbon (Portugal), of Matthias Green of the University of Bangor (United Kingdom) and of Michael Way, of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA in New York (United States), whose results were published last July in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G3).

Halfway between the dislocation of Pangea and the birth of a new supercontinent

Researchers agree that we are halfway between the dislocation of Pangea and the birth of a new supercontinent. Indeed, the ever-forming oceanic crust is pushing back continental plates in a geological ballet that promises disappearances and collisions. “If we extrapolate what is happening today, the ocean off Mauritania will go into subduction, presumes Pierre Thomas. The coasts of the Americas will meet those of Europe and Africa. Australia will collide with China crushing the Philippines and Indonesia.” 250 million years ago, the plates will meet somewhere on the planet. But or? “It is difficult to predict the future, says Laurent Jolivet. The convections of the mantle that govern the ballet of the continents are unstable, chaotic, as are the convections of water boiling in a saucepan.” Four scenarios were modeled. In the past, placing land masses at various latitudes on the planet. Depending on the model, the megacontinent is called Novopangea, Pangea Proxima, Amasia, or Aurica.

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