Global Paleogeographic Views

PaleogeographyPaleogeography focuses on the best way the earth looked in historic times. Paleogeographic reconstructions are essential to know Earth’s tectonic evolution, previous eustatic and regional sea level change, paleoclimate and ocean circulation, deep Earth resources and to constrain and interpret the dynamic topography predicted by mantle convection fashions.

The aim of paleogeography is to assemble maps plotting the previous and present positions of the continents and the distribution of mountains, lowlands, shallow seas, and deep ocean basins by time. Fossil magnetism in rocks is misaligned with the Earth’s current magnetic discipline, and shows that the continents have moved; it indicates the orientation and latitude of a continent on the time when the rocks were shaped.

The map on the left is a reconstruction of North America from 75 million years in the past (Campanian Stage). Sources containing particular details about and primary information for key Cretaceous geographic features. Amongst such maps have been J. Marcou’s maps of the world and European Russia throughout the Jurassic period (1860) and J. Dana’s map of North America during the Cretaceous (1863).

The modelling additionally means that India’s northward passage towards Asia, with eventual collision at 35 Ma, involved the NE corner of the sub-continent making a glancing contact with Sumatra, followed by Burma from ~ 57 Ma (late Paleocene) onwards, a situation which is appropriate with the fossil file indicating that India-Asia faunal exchanges started occurring at about this time.

Global paleogeographic maps have been compiled and published, but they’re generally presented as static maps with varying map projections, completely different time intervals represented by the maps and totally different plate motion fashions that underlie the paleogeographic reconstructions.

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