3D Paleogeographic Animation
3D Early Permian World (280 Ma Sakmarian)
(to run animation, drag mouse across image)
This animation shows what the world of the Early Permian might have looked like. At that time many of the world's continents were grouped together in one supercontinent called "Pangea". The colors represent different elevations: dark blue = deep ocean, light blue = shallow seas, green = lowlands, light tan = uplands, tan = high mountains. (Be patient, it may take a few minutes for the animation to download to your computer.)
Notice the extensive Himalayan-sized mountain range that runs across central Pangea. This mountain range was formed as a result of the collision of the Africa and South America with North America and Europe about 300 million years ago. Other mountain ranges, such as the Urals and proto-Andes were fomred at this time. In some places the land has been flooded by shallow seaways (Amazon basin, Northern Europe, western North America.
Also note that the V-shaped ocean basin to the east of Pangea. This is the Tethys Ocean. It closed progressively during the last 200 million years as continents from the southern hemisphere drifted northward and collided with Eurasia. India is a recent arrival. It collided with Asia about 50 million years ago.
A complete set of 3D worlds is in production. If you have a particular time interval you would like us to visualize in this fashion, send us a email at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your suggestion.
This animation was made using the 3D modeling program, Amorphium, produced by PLAY.
These plate tectonic and paleogeographic reconstructions are
based primarily on Scotese and Langford (1995), and Ziegler et al. (1998). ( see
This page uses a java applet that displays a VR model. Visit FreedomVR at www.honeylocust.com/vr/ for more information about this applet.
(c) PALEOMAP Project, 1999. Thanks to WebDoGS by Paul Howell for inspiration.