Design

Now You Can Watch Earth’s Evolution

by Mike Albo

March 12, 2016
Image courtesy of GPlates.org

If you want to see the Earth move, check out GPlates.org—the new and massively detailed suite of virtual globes and interactive maps that visualize how Earth and its continents evolved geologically. Developed by an international team led by University of Sydney researchers, the site offers interactive exploration of supercontinents, including the breakup and dispersal of Pangaea—the supercontinent from which our current topography developed over the last 200 million years.

GPlates offers plate-tectonic reconstructions—calculations of the probable positions, orientations, and motions of tectonic plates through time. There are 3D visualizations and topography maps that help viewers better understand the fault lines and shelves that lay beneath the surface.

Particularly fascinating is the “SRTM15” topographic map, which allows you to explore Earth’s mountains and valleys and the varied terrain under our oceans.

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Now You Can Watch Earth’s Evolution