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On the Move... Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics
<img src="/peth04/20041015043517im_/http://kids.earth.nasa.gov/archive/pangaea/Mast.gif" width="500" height="110" border="0">


Have you ever noticed how South America and Africa seem to fit together? If you have, you aren't alone. Sir Francis Bacon first noticed this peculiarity in the 17th century. Today, scientists believe that 200 million years ago the Earth's continents were joined together to form one gigantic supercontinent, called Pangaea. As the rock plates that the continents sit on moved, the supercontinent broke up and began to move apart. This "continental drift" is far from over! The Earth's surface is constantly moving and reforming, but so slowly that you or I can't observe it ourselves. Only by taking very small measurements over a long period of time can scientists tell something is happening.

Updated: January 22, 2003
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Related Links:

1.United States Geological Survey
2.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
3.NASA's Earth Science Enterprise
4.Goddard Space Flight Center