SCIENCE
02/08/2012 02:55 pm ET | Updated Feb 09, 2012

Amasia Supercontinent To Form Over Arctic, Yale Geologists Say

What lies ahead for planet Earth? In the next 50 million to 200 million years, geologists have predicted that the continents will smash together to create one big supercontinent that scientists call 'Amasia.' But a new computer model suggests that geologists may have to slightly shift their thinking.

Previously, researchers thought Amasia would form to look much like Pangea - North and South America will fuse together and merge with Asia, or similar formations will occur 180 degrees away on the other side of the world.

But the model, developed by Yale graduate students, suggests that Amasia will form over the Arctic.

"Our model says that with every supercontinent cycle the whole arrangement needs to be shifted 90 degrees," Yale geologist Ross Mitchell told NBC Cosmic Log. "So it's quite a shift - a tectonic shift."

Mitchell told The New York Times:

“The fusion of North and South America together will close the Caribbean Sea and meet Eurasia at the present-day North Pole. And Australia is moving north, and would probably snuggle to join Asia somewhere between India and Japan."

The video above shows the scientists' computer model of how the supercontinent is now expected to form.

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