Constant motion

The Earth is constantly moving. Watch this video to see parts of the Earth’s crust smash together, fold, push up into mountains, and wear away. Time doesn’t stop, and neither does the Earth!

Animation. An analog clock face appears in the corner and starts ticking at a normal speed. A three-toed dinosaur foot with sharp claws makes an impression in sand. The clock starts ticking at a rapid pace. Layers of sand and soil fill in the footprint and continue to bury it deeper and deeper below the surface. As the camera zooms out more and more layers of sediment bury the footprint.

A cross section of the Earth shows one tectonic plate subducting underneath another. An island moves along with a tectonic plate towards the edge of a continent. A volcano and earthquakes are created along the coastal mountain range from the tectonic action. A bubble highlights where the dinosaur footprint would have been buried along the coast.

Zooming out even further we see North America as it was 140 million years ago. Tens of millions of years progress and islands off the coast of the continent begin to merge with the mainland. The footprint moves along with them and is pushed further inland.

Zooming back in to a cross section of the earth, the sedimentary layers containing the footprint begin to be pushed up from tectonic plate movement. A coastal island is pushed into the mainland bending and folding the inland sedimentary layers. The footprint is pushed up along with the rock to the top of a mountain.

Zooming into the mountain peak we see what it looks like today, having been exposed to weathering over millions of years. Zooming in even closer the dinosaur footprint has been exposed from erosion leaving the impression visible on the surface of the rock. It looks just as it did when it was made millions of years ago. A white outline traces around the pointy three-toed footprint. The clock slows down to a normal pace again.