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Continental Drift Theory: Past and future locations of the world's continents Virtual Lab

Solve the continental mystery discovered by Alfred Wegener. Piece together the jigsaw puzzle of continental drift by investigating different forms of evidence, and unravel the story they tell about how the continents have moved over millions of years.

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High School

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About this Simulation

What can fossils tell us about the position of the continents millions of years ago? In this simulation, you will investigate the different forms of evidence that support the continental drift theory and use your knowledge to demonstrate where the continents were located in the past, and where they will move in the future.

Collect geological evidence

Head on an expedition, exploring different mountain ranges across the world to collect geological samples, such as rocks and fossils. You will experience the journey of Alfred Wegener and explore the evidence he uncovered over a century ago. You will hypothesize what this may tell us about the continents' past locations, before heading to the lab to test your hypothesis.

Recreate PangaeaIn the lab, you will explore how your evidence relates to the continental drift theory. You will visualize your evidence in a 3D world map to see what it tells us about the distribution of mountains, animals, and ice sheets millions of years ago. Then, you will use this information to move continents across the world to piece together the ancient supercontinent, Pangaea.Use geological, fossil, and climatic evidence to construct the same argument that Alfred Wegener made more than one hundred years ago. See for yourself how the evidence converges to his conclusions through an interactive activity. 

Calculate the rate

By the end of this simulation, you will be able to calculate the rate the continents are moving by exploring the distance they have traveled over the past millions of years. How far do you think Africa will travel in 50 million years?

Simulation features

Length:

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25

mins

Accessibility mode:

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Available

Languages:

English (United States)

Course Packages:

High School Earth and Space Science
All High School Simulations

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Identify evidence that supports the hypothesis of continental drift

  • Apply the evidence identified to develop the continental drift theory

  • Calculate how fast plates have moved in the past and present to predict their future movement and locations

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

Examples of Related Standards

University

NGSS

  • HS-ESS1-5

IB

AP

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Continental Drift Theory: Past and future locations of the world's continents

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