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Dynamic Earth - Introduction

Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2004

The Earth isn't a solid mass of rock - it's moving all the time

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This Dynamic Earth

To our eyes the surface of the Earth may seem like a rather static and stable place. However this is not the case. If we were to speed up time so that a billion years passed by in an hour, we would be amazed to see an undulating surface with mountains rising, folding and falling, oceans opening and being swallowed up, and areas of land such as Britain migrating across the surface of the earth like giant ferries.

The best way to observe these processes and the effects they have had on the Earth is by looking at the record of rocks all around us. Rocks also hold evidence of our planet’s past. By using this rock record we are able to tell that the dry land of the Earth once formed one giant ‘supercontinent’, that Britain was once tropical and that the Earth behaves like a giant magnet. All this activity is also the cause of volcanoes and earthquakes.

Next: Britain's billion year journey

 

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