Photo: Supercontinent Pangaea Pushed, Not Sucked, Into Place



The continents drift apart as the supercontinent Pangaea breaks up in an artist's rendering. Several supercontinents have formed and broken up during Earth's history, scientists say, and traditionally they've thought that suction is the driving force.

But a September 2008 study suggests that this model does not explain how Pangaea formed, and instead proposes that a plume of superheated rock from deep in Earth's crust welled up between the ancient continents, pushing them apart until they collided to form the ancient supercontinent.

Image courtesy D'Arco Editori/Getty Images


NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS

ADVERTISEMENT

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S PHOTO OF THE DAY

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.