plate tectonics

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What is plate tectonics? Earthquakes and volcanoes

By |2018-04-18T09:54:07+00:00September 21st, 2017|Geology|

The world as seen from space (flattened out) When you look at a map of the world, it seems as though it was always like that - North America on top of South America, Europe north of Africa, Australia off at the bottom right. But really all of the dry land on Earth moves around like floating shapes about 60 miles [...]

Earthquakes and algae – the planet Earth

By |2018-05-31T11:49:27+00:00August 18th, 2017|Physics|

Molten lava Most of the molecules that smashed together to make the Earth were iron. The smashing together released a lot of heat, so the whole center of the Earth is made of hot melted iron. Because iron is heavier than most other metals, it sank to the center of the Earth. Lighter molecules like silicon and [...]

Where are the Ural Mountains?

By |2018-10-16T07:51:52+00:00June 25th, 2017|Central Asia, Geology|

Ural Mountains in Russia Ural Mountains in Central Asia The Ural Mountains run from north to south through Central Asia. They separate Europe from Asia. Like the Appalachian Mountains, the Urals formed about 300 million years ago. That was near the end of the Carboniferous period, when the first reptiles were evolving. It [...]

Where are the Rocky Mountains?

By |2018-04-21T11:56:41+00:00June 25th, 2017|Geology, North America|

Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains stretch all the way from the southern United States north into Canada. They through Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and up into Alberta. What we call the Rocky Mountains is really three different mountain chains, one on top of the other. The oldest mountain chain started more than a [...]

Where are the Himalaya Mountains? India

By |2018-04-21T11:56:45+00:00June 25th, 2017|China, Geology, India|

Himalaya Mountains About 55 million years ago, plate tectonics made the land that is now India break off from what is now Africa. At this time, the first modern mammals like rats and guinea pigs were evolving, and most of the Earth was covered in forests. For five million years India floated slowly [...]

Where are the Alps? Mountains in Europe

By |2018-04-21T11:56:39+00:00June 25th, 2017|Geology, Northern Europe|

The Alps The Alps are a long row of mountains dividing southern Europe from northern Europe.  France and Germany are on one side of the Alps, and Italy is on the other side. The Alps formed about 34 to 23 million years ago, in the Tertiary era. The African tectonic plate bumped into [...]

Permian period – Reptiles and pine trees

By |2018-04-21T11:56:38+00:00June 24th, 2017|Biology, Geology|

Crocodiles About 290 million years ago, the Carboniferous period ended and the Permian period began. Almost all of the land on Earth grouped together in one big supercontinent we call Pangaea, which reached all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole. With all the land grouped together, the climate got [...]

Quick summary of geological eras

By |2018-04-21T11:56:38+00:00June 24th, 2017|Geology, History|

Fossil spider from the Cretaceous era Geologists divide the history of the Earth into eons and eras. That's so they don't have to always be saying "400 million years ago" or whatever. The earliest period was the Hadean Eon. The Hadean Era started when the Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago. It lasted [...]

What happened in the Cretaceous Period?

By |2018-04-21T11:56:37+00:00June 24th, 2017|Geology|

Volcano erupting During the Cretaceous period, beginning about 145 million years ago, the continents continued to drift away from each other, so that the mammals, birds, and dinosaurs on different continents evolved separately and got more and more different from each other. As the continents separated, the climate got cooler and rainier, and [...]