See a billion years of tectonic plate migration in 40 mesmerizing seconds

Our fingers grow as fast as the tectonic plates that cover the Earth like a jigsaw puzzle, but over a billion years, enough to travel the entire planet – in an exciting new video show.

In one of the most complete models of tectonic plate movement, scientists have condensed a billion years of movement into a 40-second video clip, so we can see how these huge slabs of rock interact with each other over time.

As they move forward, plates affect climate, tidal patterns, animal movements and their evolution, volcanic activity, production of metals and more: they are more than a covering cover for the planet, they are a life support system that affects everything. That remains on the surface.

Michael Tetley, a geologist who has completed his PhD at the University of Sydney, told Euronews: “For the first time, a complete model of tectonics, including all boundaries, has been created.

“On the human timescale, things move in centimeters every year, but we can see from the animation that continents have been everywhere in time. A place like Antarctica that we see today as a cold, icy habitat, is really quite at one time. Was a great holiday destination at the equator. “

If you watch the video the movement and sliding of the plates is quite noticeable – the masses of the land near the neighbors become distant cousins ​​and vice versa, and you will be amazed how recently it happened that settled in countries and continents we know today Status.

If these scientists want to predict how habitable our planet will be in the future and we need to ensure a clean energy future where we will find metal resources, then it is crucial to understand these movements and patterns.

The movement of the plate is estimated by studying geological records – magnetism which provides information about the historical historical conditions of the substrate with respect to the Earth’s spin axis and the types of materials locked in rock samples that help match past geological plate puzzles.

The team went to great lengths to select the most suitable models currently available and combine them, looking at both the movement of the room available here and the interactions with the plate boundaries.

“Planet Earth is incredibly dynamic, a surface made up of plates that constantly crave each other in the known rocky planets,” says Sabin Jahrovic, a geologist at the University of Sydney.

“These plates move at the speed of a speeding nail, but a dance unfolds when a billion years converge in 40 seconds. The oceans are open and close, the continents expand and periodically form abundant supercontinents.”

As more scientists go into the past, it becomes more difficult to estimate how the plates moved, and in this case the neoproterozoic to Cambrian (especially 1,000 to 520 million years ago) periods were carefully charted and lined up to match more. Were brought. The modern records that we have.

Questions remain about how these plates first formed and when these formed, but each new data point helps to understand the ancient history of the Earth – even the missing plates in some models.

Scientists have acknowledged that their work lacks the slightest detail – extending over the entire planet and over a billion years – but they are hoping that it could serve as a useful source and basis for future studies of these movements and their impact. There is everything else on the planet.

“Our team has created a whole new model of the Earth’s evolution over the last billion years,” says Dietmer Marler, a geologist at the University of Sydney.

“The way our planet organizes life is unique. But this is only possible because geological processes, such as plate tectonics, provide the planet’s life-support system.”

Research has been published in Earth-science reviews.