Tectonic Plates Through Time

Geology-Plate Tectonics, University of California, Museum of Paleontology. This page contains several animations (of different scale and file size), which show the changing positions of continents and plates through time. Most of the animations run from 750 million years ago to the present. You can stop the animation at any point in time to see what the continents looked like at that point in Earth's history. Once stopped, you can also link to more information about the Earth at that time. A note, the smaller file sizes load faster and are perfectly suitable for most applications.

Paleomap Project, by Christopher Scotese. This site provides 19 maps of the World through geologic time from 650 million years ago to the recent, including 3 maps of projected plate positions in the future! The maps were produced by the Paleomap Project. Not only do these maps show the positions of plate boundaries, they include color codes for mountains, shallow seas, deep oceans, areas of high rain fall, deserts, and active plate boundaries at the time represented by each maps. Note the Carboniferous is equivalent to the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian for those more familiar with American systems and periods.

Deep Time Map, Northern Arizona University. Deep Time Maps™ (the new trade name for paleogeographic maps produced by Colorado Plateau Geosystems, Inc.) provides paleogeographic maps of the ancient world. The maps show the varied landscapes of the ancient Earth through hundreds of millions of years of geologic time including distribution of ancient shallow seas, deep ocean basins, mountain ranges, coastal plains, and continental interiors. Tectonic features shown include subduction zones, island arcs, mid-ocean ridges and accreting terranes. Latest geologic data from the scientific literature are used to compile and construct the ancient Earth.

Plate Movements and Climate Change lesson plan, Karen Bice, Pennsylvania State University, University Park. An on-line lesson for high school students and introductory college students, in which students gain an understanding of plate movements and how they may have affected the climates of the continents. The Paleogeographic Atlas of the World site, which is described above, makes a great follow up for this lesson.


Last Modified on 2023-01-05
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