related topics
{island, water, area}
{math, energy, light}
{theory, work, human}

Paleomaps are maps of continents and mountain ranges in the distant past or future. Until the 1960s, paleomaps were not very satisfactory as it was difficult to understand many quite distinctive features. For example huge river deltas seemed to be associated with what must have been quite small drainage basins. With the discovery of plate tectonics, it became apparent that land masses move relative to one another over time. Ancient geologic features started to make far more sense. It is now possible to construct maps that are probably fairly accurate for continental positions over several hundred million years. Before the Cambrian era, it becomes much more difficult since there are fewer rock exposures preserved. The state of large regions of the Earth becomes unknowable in the distant past. Where rocks are exposed, latitudes can often be determined from the orientation of preserved magnetic fields but longitudes are based on projections that are increasingly uncertain as one gets further from the present.

Many published maps are associated in one way or another with the work of Christopher Scotese. The maps are useful since is usually quite difficult to describe the location and orientation of geographical features using words alone.

External links

  • For an overview of maps available on the Internet, see [1].
  • Scotese maintains a reasonable selection of maps on his website [2]. Several Universities post similar maps made using Scotese's software.
  • Another important resource is the University of Chicago PaleoGeographic Atlas Project [3].

Full article ▸

related documents
Rapid Update Cycle
Endeavour River National Park
Geography of Liechtenstein
Oceanus Procellarum
Bridalveil Fall (Yosemite)
Alaska Interior
Purnululu National Park
Phantom island
Geography of the United States Virgin Islands
Ibn Sina Peak
Tarra-Bulga National Park
Little Cumbrae
Peñón de Alhucemas
Aphotic zone
Tropic of Capricorn
Errinundra National Park
Soay, Skye
Anahuac (Aztec)
South Island National Park
Geography of Taiwan
Cocoparra National Park
Geography of Anguilla
Anadyr River
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park
Geography of Tanzania