This video helps viewers understand how continents were arranged before they looked like they do today. It explains how continents broke apart and came back together to form supercontinents, that would again break apart once again, creating oceans and seas. All of this is caused by the processes that take place beneath Earth’s surface.

Why Watch This Video? 

Have you ever wondered if there was a supercontinent before Pangea?

Are you curious about how places like the Rocky Mountains fit into the formation of North America?

Would you like to know what the volcano underneath Yellowstone National Park is capable of?

Key Terms:

Supercontinent – Large masses formed when many of Earth’s continents collide

Subterranean – Refers to something beneath Earth’s surface

Subduction – When a denser tectonic plate goes beneath another plate

Loose Ends:

Places across the globe share some of the same terrain because they were together as part of a supercontinent.

Many of the oceans named in the video are unknown of today because when the continents moved, they created new oceans closed old oceans.

The Volcano underneath Yellowstone National Park has erupted before. The first known eruption time was 2.1 million years ago. The most recent was 640, 000 years ago.

Hi, Editor here. In this video, volcanism is attributed to water being diffused into a “magma-filled mantle.” It’s a common misconception that the mantle is magma. The mantle is actually mostly solid rock. What might surprise you is that the water being added to the mantle is what causes it to melt.  The amount of melting is very small, but the magma slowly rises upward and pools in chambers within Earth’s crust. Under the right conditions, magma is forced out of the chambers, and pours out onto Earth’s surface as lava, as part of a volcanic eruption.

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Item Credit: How North America Got its Shape - Peter J. Haproff – TED Ed

Reuse License: YouTube Standard License

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