Thursday, 4 September 2008

Palaeogeographical maps of the world

The Earth as it is today.
Taken From Dr Ron Blakey's web site

A while ago I included a link on the blog to Ron Blakey's web site. This includes amongst other great stuff, a series of fascinating maps of the world as it looked at significant points in time. These illustrate superbly the concept of plate tectonics and the drift of continents over huge spans of time.

Today I've added a small slideshow of this series of maps towards the bottom of the right hand column. While being a bit small, it does show how the continents moved around the planet, going back in time from the present back to 600 million years ago and the Late Cambrian period. Clicking on any individual slide will take you to a full size image with a brief caption illustrating its place in geological time.

It's always worth keeping in mind whenever one looks at a particular bed of rock that the environment in which it was laid down was very much different to its current situation. These superb representations certainly help me to grasp how environments change over time. It's amazing to think when looking at a certain geological feature that where you are standing was once ocean or was once subjected to a great out pouring of lava from a nearby volcano!

Incidentally, a series Dr Blakey's images will feature in a soon to be published book written in collaboration with Wayne Ranney, author of 'Carving Grand Canyon' which I've mentioned several times. The new book is entitled 'Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau' and will shed some more light upon the complex story of how the Colorado plateau evolved over time and contributed to the formation of Grand Canyon.

Geology eh? Don't ya just love it?


Cheers for now!


The Earth some 600 million years ago! So which bit became Britain?


  1. Dear Grumpy Chops:

    It's Wayne Ranney here in Flagstaff, Arizona! I saw your blog and was pleased to see that you loved my book "Carving Grand Canyon". Wow, that's fantastic. I wish I would have been around when you visited the canyon earlier this year. Thanks for all of your fine writing and interest in geology. My new book will be out in just one month!!

  2. Hello Wayne!

    Thanks for your kind comments regarding my humble blog. There I was presuming no-one actually read it other than my wife! Your comments have inspired me to develop the blog further and focus on the geological theme. I look forward to the publication of your next book which looks great! Thanks for dropping by!

    Cheers, Grumpychops


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