Scientists believe Earth's land is coming together again to form a supercontinent

Virgin Radio

6 Oct 2022, 12:42

Earth's continents

Credit: Getty

Scientists have revealed they believe all land on Earth is coming together slowly to form one big supercontinent.

Researchers are predicting that all the planet’s continents are going to move towards each other over the next 300 million years to form a new supercontinent called Amasia.

A new study published in the National Science Review, scientists at Curtin University have conducted research into the future of Earth’s terrain to see what it might look like in years to come.

Using 4D geodynamic modelling of the Earth’s tectonic plates, lead author Chuan Huang and their team want to work out why previous supercontinents, like Pangea Ultima and Novopangea, formed in a differently in the past.

According to their research, there are two main routes previous masses of land are thought to have formed through, called introversion or extroversion.

Introversion is when land masses come together and close off an internal body of water or ocean which has formed due to a previous supercontinent breaking apart.

Extroversion is when the continents form over the former superocean.


Credit: Getty

Scientists are trying to figure out which of these options is more likely to happen next to determine what Earth may look like in the future.

It seems the team at Curtin University have cracked it and according to their research, extroversion is the most probably outcome for the next supercontinent.

Speaking about the discover, Huang said: "Over the past two billion years, Earth’s continents have collided together to form a supercontinent every 600 million years, known as the supercontinent cycle.

"This means that the current continents are due to come together again in a couple of hundred of million years’ time."

He added the new supercontinent would see Australia coming together with Asia and explained: "The resulting new supercontinent has already been named Amasia because some believe that the Pacific Ocean will close (as opposed to the Atlantic and Indian oceans) when America collides with Asia.

"Australia is also expected to play a role in this important Earth event, first colliding with Asia and then connecting America and Asia once the Pacific Ocean closes."

We’ve still got roughly 300 million years before this happens though, so you won’t be seeing our new supercontinent anytime soon.