Pangaea: break-up of a supercontinent. Frame from a computer model of Earth, showing the super- continent Pangaea before it broke up 180 million years ago. This model uses convection currents in Earth's mantle, beneath the crust, to power the break-up of Pangaea and the subsequent movements of the tectonic crustal plates known today. In general, continental plates tend to move toward subduction zones of oceanic plates (blue lines). The model uses 1.3 million volume 'elements' to represent the Earth, each about 100 kilometres across and with its own conditions of temperature, pressure and density.
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