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Question about Japanese Geography


28 Nov 2003
Hello, I am trying to find out how the Japanese archipelago was created and in which direction it's moving.
You know tectonic plates they move each year in different directions and so continents and islands move too.
So I wonder in which location will the Japanese islands be in a couple of hundred thousand years to a million years from now. On internet sites I couldn't really find info about this. I hope someone knows the answer.

Pacific Trenches says this about the creation:
Eruption of magma melted by subduction has created long, arc-shaped chains of volcanic islands, such as Japan, the Philippines, and the Aleutians.

Also see Tectonic Motion in the Pacific Basin

edited: There's also a huge map about it, the Digital Tectonic Activity Map. There are high-res pics here. Might be a bit cryptic without a legend though.

Found them with Google just now, but I hope they help. ;)
Thank you for the links Lacos. You've answered one of my questions but I still have one left.
The direction in which the Japanese archipelago moves is to the east, but it doesn't say where it will be located in many years from now. Does the Japanese archipelago keep moving to the east until it meets the other side of the pacific? If anyone knows the answer then please let me know.
Cool links btw Lacos. I wish I knew more about the subject to help you Eisuke, but unfortunately I never took a course in Plate Tectonics. 8-p
Sorry for digging up this old thread that I started a while ago. However I have recently found clearer information about where and how the Japanese archipelago is probably moving and evolving. I think this is really interesting so that窶冱 why I post this.

At this website Future VR you can see how the continents and tectonic plates will probably be moving and form one big super continent called Pangea Ultima in about 250 million years from now.
This animation is much more detailed then the drawings that are shown here The Future World 50 to 250 million years from now.

In this animation you can see that the area where there is now the Sea of Japan, Philipine Sea and the East China Sea will in the very long run evolve into land and Japan will be attached to Korea and other parts of East Asia with this newly created land. The former Japanese islands will then still be located in the eastern part of the Pangea Ultima continent. The eastern side of Japan will then have a big part of the eastern coast of the new continent.

You can also see Australia moving to the north and then north west, but it doesn't come into contact directly with the former area where Japan and Korea were, but it collides into the newly created land where there once were a couple of East Asian Seas.

When you look at other parts of the world you see that the mediteranian sea will vanish, because the African plate is moving to the north and thereby colliding into southern Europe. After 250 million years almost all of the south of the former European continent will be crushed and the west moved upwards with a 90 degree turn into the very cold climate zone of the planet, because of the former African plate that is moving upwards.

You can also see that in the distant future in the middle of the North American continent there will probably evolve a large sea area. Although it will become dry again later on. Then the North American continent will collide with the western part of the former African continent.

Ofcourse most of this is speculation, because as he states "That part of the prediction is fairly certain, because it is just the continuation of existing motions. Beyond about 50 million years into the future, prediction becomes more difficult." However the main evolution lines that this animation and website show are true when the tectonic plates keep moving mostly as they do now and have already done so for many years.

You can find more information about past, present and future plate tectonic developments on this website: Home Page.
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