NEW HAVEN, Conn., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The Earth's next supercontinent will form as North and South America fuse together and head for an eventual collision with Europe and Asia, U.S. scientists say.
Researchers at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., have proposed a theory that both the present-day Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea will disappear in 100 million years as the new supercontinent, dubbed Amasia, comes together as present-day continents move north.
"After those water bodies close, we're on our way to the next supercontinent," study co-author Ross N. Mitchell said in a Yale release Wednesday. "You'd have the Americas meeting Eurasia practically at the North Pole."
The most recent supercontinent, Pangea, formed about 300 million years ago with Africa at its center, then began breaking apart into the seven continents of today with the birth of the Atlantic Ocean about 100 million years later.
In the model proposed by the Yale researchers, a newly formed mountain range will stitch North America and Asia together in the space currently occupied by the Arctic Ocean.
"Such speculations far into the future cannot be tested by waiting around 100 million years, of course," study co-author David A.D. Evans said, "but we can use the patterns gleaned from ancient supercontinents to think deeply about humanity's current existence in time and space within the grand tectonic dance of the Earth."
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