February 14th, 2012 | Sci-Tech, University

Yale researcher tells of coming supercontinent

Time heals all wounds, including those between continents.
Time heals all wounds, including those between continents. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

A group of Yale researchers have put forth a new theory that the Earth’s continents are set to collide over the North Pole in just a few hundred million years, according to a report in the journal “Nature.”

Yale geologist Ross Mitchell GRD ’13 and his team based are claiming that the next supercontinent, Amasia, will form at the North Pole, 90 degrees away from Africa. It will form when North and South America merge, drifting northward and eventually colliding with Europe and Asia at the North Pole. Australia, too, would drift northward and rest somewhere between India and Japan.

Mitchell is basing his claims on the knowledge that previous supercontinents — large landmasses comprising several continents — formed roughly 90 degrees away from their predecessors. Mitchell told the National Public Radio last week that Pangaea, a supercontinent that formed 300 million years ago, was located at Africa’s current location, and formed 90 degrees away from Rodinia, its predecessor.

“Because we kind of now have a firm grasp on what and how supercontinents might take form, it is kind of warranted to take at least a fun, speculative look at what the future supercontinent Amasia would look like,” Mitchell told NPR.

The collision is coming in 50 to 200 million years.