Friday, October 28, 2016

Towards Pangaea Ultima, and Beyond - National Geographic Colliding Continents  (50:04 minute)

Video transcribed by: King Ashur
Uploaded on Oct 14, 2011

Documentary of earth's violent past and tectonic plates.
Pangaea or Pangea (pronunciation: /pænˈdʒiːə/) was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. It assembled from earlier continental units approximately 300 million years ago, and it began to break apart about 175 million years ago.
There have been a series of supercontinents formed and broken apart over millions of years. The supercontinent cycle is the quasi-periodic aggregation and dispersal of Earth's continental crust. There are varying opinions as to whether the amount of continental crust is increasing, decreasing, or staying about the same, but it is agreed that the Earth's crust is constantly being reconfigured. One complete supercontinent cycle is said to take 300 to 500 million years. Continental collision makes fewer and larger continents while rifting makes more and smaller continents.
The hypothesized supercontinent cycle is complemented by the Wilson cycle named after plate tectonics pioneer J.Tuzo Wilson, which describes the periodic opening and closing of ocean basins.
Because the oldest seafloor material found today dates to only 170 million years old, whereas the oldest continental crust material found today dates to at least 4 billion years old, it makes sense to emphasize the much longer record of the planetary pulse that is recorded in the continents.
Pangaea Ultima (also called Pangaea Proxima, Neopangaea, and Pangaea II) is a possible future supercontinent configuration. Consistent with the supercontinent cycle, Pangaea Ultima could occur within the next 250 million years. This potential configuration, hypothesized by Christopher
, earned its name from its similarity to the previous Pangaea supercontinent. The concept was based on examination of past cycles of formation and breakup of supercontinents, not on current understanding of the mechanisms of tectonic change, which are too imprecise to project that far into the future. "It's all pretty much fantasy to start with", Scotese has said. "But it's a fun exercise to think about what might happen. And you can only do it if you have a really clear idea of why things happen in the first