MY GEOGRAPHY PROJECT
THE WONDERS OF THE EARTH
Formation of the Earth
The formation of the Earth was thought to have happened around 4.6 billion years ago, this is believed to have happened by collision of large disc shaped clouds of material. These objects collided repeatedly and gradually got bigger, building up the planets in the Solar System including the Earth. But it contained almost no oxygen and would have been toxic to humans and most modern life. Much of the Earth was molten because of frequent collisions with other bodies which led to extreme volcanism. One very large collision is thought to have been responsible for tilting the Earth at an angle and forming the Moon. Over time, the planet cooled and formed a solid crust, allowing liquid water to exist on the surface.
PANGEA AND CONTINENTAL DRIFT
In the early 1900's Alfred Wegener proposed the idea of continental drift. His ideas centered around continents moving across the face of the earth. The idea was not fully correct - compared to the plate tectonics theory of today - but his thinking was heading in the right direction.
Pangaea (sometimes spelled Pangea), the most recent of a series of super-continents on Earth, formed about 270 million years ago and broke apart about 200 million years ago. At this time most of the dry land on Earth was joined into one massive landmass that covered about a third of the planet's surface. The giant ocean that surrounded the continent is known as Panthalassa. Evidence for this has been proved by fossils of the same species found on different continents.
The movement of Earth's tectonic plates formed Pangaea and ultimately broke it apart. The tectonic plates are still on the move but they move at a very slow rate. One day maybe the continents will be back together and the plates will break off in different directions.