Plate tectonics is a theory about large pieces of rock (“plates”) that move over the planet’s mantle. This theory describes the large-scale motion of seven large plates and the movements of a larger number of smaller plates of the earth’s lithosphere, since tectonic processes began for 3.5 billion years ago.
Simply put, it is the movement of the plates over the Earth’s surface. These plates can account for radical changes in the locations of landmasses over long stretches of time.
An international team of geoscientists created a model of tectonics that lets us witness the radical changes in how our planet looked over an eon of time. They published a paper on this model in the March 2021 issue of the Earth-Science Reviews Journal.
A place like Antarctica that we see as a cold, icy inhospitable place today actually was once quite a nice holiday destination at the equator. The world is almost unrecognizable until we move closer to modern times.
The University of Sydney said the ability to model plate tectonics like this will help scientists understand not just the physical movement of the plates, but also the continent shift, oceans reshape, and how nutrients fluxed from the deep Earth to stimulate biological evolution.
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