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Our continents

  1. May 13, 2005 #1
    Sorry, very stupid question though, but will our continents drift and join together trillion years later on ? thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2005 #2
    in a trillion years, the universe will cease to exist
  4. May 13, 2005 #3
    Why do you think so ?
  5. May 13, 2005 #4
    heat death, big crunch, big rip, other theories. All about the universe being 'destoryed'

    nothing about the universe surviving

    estimated life time is another 15 billion years
  6. May 14, 2005 #5


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    I don't know about a trillion years on, but continental drift could allow continents to merge back together to form a supercontinent, much like the old supercontinent of Pangea. Its not certain, as predicting the movement of tectonic plates in the distant future isn't possible.
  7. May 14, 2005 #6


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    I find it highly unlikely. One of the factors contributing to continental drift (one of the factors about which geologists are quite certain) is the fact that heat gets trapped under continents. Heat escaping from the mantle radiates outward through the crust of the earth. Where the continents protrude up out of the oceans, the crust is thicker, so the heat does not radiate out as rapidly as it does in places where the crust is thinner. The continents behave like a blanket, trapping the heat in.

    This in turn causes greater upheaval under the spot where the continent rests. It is thought that this mechanism is responsible for the initial breakup of the original supercontinent. I think this same phenominon would push the continents apart if they ever started to occupy the same area together.
    Last edited: May 14, 2005
  8. May 15, 2005 #7
    Last edited: May 15, 2005
  9. May 16, 2005 #8
    accumulating heat under continents has and will continue to 'fracture' large continental masses. at some point in the future, that heat (which also drives plate tectonics) will diminish and the continents will be locked in to place.

    erosion will then erode all the mountains and then subsequent highlands and we will be left with an earth's surface composed of water only.
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