Matthias Green, Hanna Sophia Davis and Joao Duarte, writing for Conversations
The outer layer of the Earth, the hard crust on which we pass, consists of broken pieces, like the shell of a broken egg. These pieces, tectonic plates, move around the planet at a speed of several centimeters per year. Every so often they unite and unite in a supercontinent that remains several hundred million years before decay. Then the plates are scattered or scatter and move away from each other until they finally – again after 400-600 million years – come back together.
The last supercontinent, Pangea, formed about 310 million years ago and began to disintegrate about 180 million years ago. It has been suggested that the next supercontinent will form in 200-250 million years, so we are now about halfway through the scattered phase of the current supercontinental cycle. The question is: how will the next form of supercontinent be formed and why?
There are four main scenarios for the formation of the next supercontinent: Novopangea, Pangea Ultima, Aurika and Amazia. How each form depends on different scenarios, but ultimately relates to the way Pangea shared and how the world continents still move today.
The collapse of Pangea led to the formation of the Atlantic Ocean, which is still being opened and expanded today. Consequently, the Pacific Ocean is closing and becoming ever narrower. In the Pacific, there is a ring of subduction zones along its edges (the “ring of fire”), where the ocean floor is knocked down or suspended under the continental plates and deep in the Earth. There, the old ocean floor is recycled and can fall into the volcanic feathers. The Atlantic, in contrast, has a large oceanic ridge producing a new oceanic plate, but only two subduction zones live here: the Arctic of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean and Doug Scotia between South America and Antarctica.
If we assume that the current conditions persist, so that the Atlantic continues to open, and the Pacific region continues to close, we have a scenario when the next supercontinent forms in the antipodes of Pangea. America would face northern drifting Antarctica, and then in Africa-Eurasia that already faced. The supercontinent, which then formed, was named Novopangea, or Novopangaea.