The Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and the Institute of Earth Sciences Juame Almera, Spanish National Research Council, have produced the 2006 edition of This Dynamic Planet. This printed map shows the many features that have shaped and continue to change our planet.
Our Earth is a dynamic planet as clearly illustrated on the main map by its topography, over 1,500 volcanoes, 44,000 earthquakes, and 170 impact craters. These features largely reflect the movements of Earth’s major tectonic plates and many smaller plates or fragments of plates (including microplates). Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are displays of the powerful forces of nature. On average about 60 of Earth’s 550 historically active volcanoes are in eruption each year. In 2004 alone, over 160 earthquakes were at a magnitude of 6 or above. The earthquakes and volcanoes that mark plate boundaries are clearly shown on this map, as are craters made by impacts of extraterrestrial objects that punctuate Earth’s history, some of which have caused catastrophic ecological changes.
This 2-sided map is at a scale of 1:30,000,000 and is designed to show the most prominent features when viewed from a distance and more detailed features upon closer inspection. The back of the map zooms in further, highlighting examples of fundamental features, while providing text, timelines, references, and other resources to enhance the understanding of this dynamic planet. Both the front and back of this map illustrate the enormous recent growth in our knowledge of planet Earth. Yet much remains unknown about the processes operating below the ever-shifting plates and the detailed geological history during all but the most recent stage of Earth’s development.
Measuring 58” wide by 43.5” high, this map is available from USGS Science Information and Library Services. The stock number is 206335 (Scientific Investigations Map 2800) an the price is $14.00 for the map, plus $5.00 handling. To place an order call 1-888-ASK-USGS, or visit the USGS Store map order site. More information about USGS products can be obtained by visiting www.usgs.gov.