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The death of the Atlantic

Continents move – we know this. The Atlantic is growing thanks to the expansion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. But in the future the ridge may start subducting. And with it, the Atlantic may become an inland sea.

Pangaea Ultima

Pokéfan95 [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

The possibility of an Atlantic sea is highly speculative. The idea relates to a hypothetical future united continent called Pangaea Ultima. (It would be ruled, presumably, by Lord British.)

Beginning around 124 million years from now, as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge begins subducting, North America collides with Africa. South America wraps around the bottom of Africa, and just like that the Atlantic is enclosed and becomes a sea.

This is just one possibility. Two other proposed future supercontinents (Amasia and Novopangaea) suggest the opposite: the enclosure of the Pacific and the growth of the Atlantic. Maybe I should have titled this one “Atlantic vs. Pacific: There Can Be Only One.”

 

 

Categories: Earth & sky Places Sciences The poles and oceans

The Generalist

I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and am curious about most things.

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