geological history of earth timeline

Outgassing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere. The remainder of modern Eurasia lay in the Northern Hemisphere. Pangaea gradually split into a northern continent, Laurasia, and a southern continent, Gondwana. Condensing water vapor, augmented by ice delivered from comets, produced the oceans. A mid-Carboniferous drop in sea-level precipitated a major marine extinction, one that hit crinoids and ammonites especially hard. Eventually, the outer layer of the planet cooled to form a solid crust when water began accumulating in the atmosphere. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Geologic units from the same time but different parts of the world often look different and contain different fossils, so the same time-span was historically given different names in different locales. 459-465, Vol. Critics of this term say that the term should not be used because it is difficult, if not nearly impossible, to define a specific time when humans started influencing the rock strata – defining the start of an epoch. [citation needed] Geologists and paleontologists constructed the geologic table based on the relative positions of different strata and fossils, and estimated the time scales based on studying rates of various kinds of weathering, erosion, sedimentation, and lithification. [9][10] Some of this object's mass merged with the Earth, significantly altering its internal composition, and a portion was ejected into space. The Ordovician came to a close in a series of extinction events that, taken together, comprise the second-largest of the five major extinction events in Earth's history in terms of percentage of genera that became extinct. Geologic time, the extensive interval of time occupied by the geologic history of Earth. These have included climatic changes diverse in mechanisms, magnitudes, rates, and consequences. c.300 Ma - Last great period of mountain building episodes in Europe and North America in response to the final suturing together of the supercontinent. You can help by adding to it. The ICS has not officially approved the term as of September 2015[update]. [7][18], The first-known glaciations occurred during the Proterozoic, one began shortly after the beginning of the eon, while there were at least four during the Neoproterozoic, climaxing with the Snowball Earth of the Varangian glaciation.[19]. During the Cretaceous, the late Paleozoic-early Mesozoic supercontinent of Pangaea completed its breakup into present day continents, although their positions were substantially different at the time. Most of the boundaries in recent geologic time coincide with extinctions (e.g., the dinosaurs) and with the appearances of new species (e.g., hominids). The last glacial period of the current ice age ended about 10,000 years ago. [Note: "mya" means "millions of years ago"], * Dates from the International Commission on Stratigraphy's International Stratigraphic Chart, 2009; colors adopted from the Commission for the Geological Map of the World, 5/26/2011. India continued its journey away from Africa and began its collision with Asia, creating the Himalayan orogeny. The study of past temperatures provides an important paleoenvironmental insight because it is a component of the climate and oceanography of the time. First large horses. This eon is named after Hades, the Greek god of the underworld, and during this period the Earth was extremely hot. The Moon formed soon afterwards, possibly as a result of the impact of a planetoid with the Earth. He also formulated the law of superposition, which states that any given stratum is probably older than those above it and younger than those below it. However, the field strength was lower than at present and the magnetosphere was about half the modern radius. c.2,650 Ma – Insell Orogeny: occurrence of a very high grade discrete tectonothermal event (a UHT metamorphic event). By the end of the period, Gondwana had neared or approached the pole and was largely glaciated. c.800 Ma – With free oxygen levels much higher. During the Oligocene, South America was finally detached from Antarctica and drifted north toward North America. The relative geologic time scale developed from the fossil record has been numerically quantified by means of absolute dates obtained with radiometric dating methods. Deserts seem to have been widespread on Pangaea. [7] During the Ordovician the southern continents were collected into a single continent called Gondwana. During the Eocene (56 million years ago - 33.9 million years ago),[7] the continents continued to drift toward their present positions. Earth was completely unrecognizable. During this period continents drifted about, eventually collected into a single landmass known as Pangea and then split up into the current continental landmasses. The following four timelines show the geologic time scale. Pangaea straddled the equator and extended toward the poles, with a corresponding effect on ocean currents in the single great ocean (Panthalassa, the universal sea), and the Paleo-Tethys Ocean, a large ocean that was between Asia and Gondwana. Of the modern geologic features, only the land bridge between South America and North America was absent, the subduction zone along the Pacific Ocean margin of South America caused the rise of the Andes and the southward extension of the Meso-American peninsula. The Phanerozoic is divided into three eras – the Paleozoic, the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic. Apart from the Late Heavy Bombardment, events on other planets probably had little direct influence on the Earth, and events on Earth had correspondingly little effect on those planets.

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