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USGS Geology in the Parks

Late Jurassic 152 Ma View of Earth, 152 million years ago Tmescale timebar 152 million years ago

Earth
152 million years ago

Jurassic

What's going on here?

  • The breakup of Pangaea is in full swing. Laurasia is moving northward, leaving its equatorial climates behind. As North and South America and Africa separate, the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic Ocean continue to widen.
  • Although the western states are still growing, North America is beginning to really taking on a more recognizable shape!
  • The breakup of the Pangaean supercontinent creates continent-sized islands, separated by wide seas. Species that once roamed across much of the supercontinent were isolated in relatively small populations. The dawn of the Mesozoic saw a wave of new species evolve as isolation facilitated adaptation to new environmental conditions.

Reconstructing ancient Earth

These remarkable figures are produced by C.R. Scotese and the PALEOMAP project. Geologists call these illustrations paleogeographic reconstructions, because they illustrate the reconstructed geography of our Earth at some time in the past.

Making a paleogeographic reconstruction begins by examining several lines of evidence including: paleomagnetism, magnetic anomalies, paleobiogeography, paleoclimatology, and geologic history. By combining all available evidence, geologists are able to construct paleogeographic maps, such as these, that interpret how the geography might have appeared at a specific location and time in the past. Paleogeographic maps are continually being refined as more evidence is collected.

To find out more about how paleogeographic reconstructions are made visit the PALEOMAP project site.

Move forward or back in time.
| Today | 0.018 | 14 | 50 | 69 | 94 | 152 | 195 | 237 | 255 | 306 | 356 | 390 | 425 | 458 | 514 | 650 |
Time in millions of years. Jump back to visit any time!

Scotese, C. R., 1997. Paleogeographic Atlas, PALEOMAP Progress Report 90-0497, Department of Geology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, 37 pp.


| Into Earth | | Putting the pieces toge ther | | Action at the edges |
| National Parks by Tectonic Regions |
| Earth through time | | Detailed version: This Dynamic Earth |

 

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