Tectonic movement dictates not only the placement of Earth's continents, but also the shape and size of its ocean basins.
In this animation, tectonic movement is projected millions of years into the future. Viewers can see the continents slowly move toward a supercontinent formation.
A new study in Geophysical Research Letters suggests the cyclic strengthening and weakening of ocean tides over tens of millions of years is likely linked to the formation of Earth's supercontinents every 400 to 600 million years.
When tectonic plates slide, sink and shift the Earth's continents to form large landmasses, or supercontinents, ocean basins open and close in tandem. As these basins change shape, they can strike forms that amplify and intensify their tides.