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Color-coded Continents!

Scroll down to view reconstructions of continental motions from 620 million years ago through the present. Land masses are color-coded to make it easier to track the pieces of the continents as they move about. These reconstructions were developed by C. Scotese and the PALEOMAP Project at the University of Texas. To learn more about how geologists reconstruct past continental positions, click here.
Yellow = North America
Green = South America
Light blue = Africa
Red = Eurasia
Dark blue = Australia
Fuchsia = Antarctica
The Earth today
30 million years ago
90 million years ago
120 million years ago
150 million years ago
180 million years ago
210 million years ago
240 million years ago
270 million years ago
300 million years ago
330 million years ago
360 million years ago
390 million years ago
420 million years ago
450 million years ago
490 million years ago
520 million years ago
560 million years ago
590 million years ago
620 million years ago
The Earth today

Reconstructing ancient Earth
spacer image 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.
spacer image 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.
spacer image To find out more about how paleogeographic reconstructions are made visit the PALEOMAP project site.

Learn more about plate tectonics
Learn more about geologic time

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


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This page was last updated on 12/15/98