This interactive module allows students to explore the science of Earth's deep history, from its formation 4.5 billion years ago to modern times.
EarthViewer dynamically shows how continents grow and shift as students scroll through billions of years. Additional layers let students explore changes in atmospheric composition, temperature, biodiversity, day length, and solar luminosity over geologic time.
Students can access the online version using Google Chrome (version 8 or newer) or Firefox (version 4 or newer). Alternatively, students can download the accompanying ZIP files to use EarthViewer without an Internet connection, with improved performance.
The accompanying worksheets guide students’ exploration. The “Student Worksheet - Mass Extinctions” document focuses on the five mass extinctions that have occurred throughout Earth’s history. The “Student Worksheet - Climate” document focuses on how temperatures have changed over time.
The “EarthViewer Data Files” ZIP file contains the data files used to create the graphs in EarthViewer. Students can use these files to practice working with data and making their own plots. The ZIP file also contains a “Summary” PDF that includes instructions and references for the data files.
continent, deep time, fossil, geologic timeline, global temperature, mass extinction, sea level, Snowball Earth hypothesis, tectonic plate
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-ESS1-5, HS-ESS2-7; SEP2, SEP6
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-3.E, EVO-3.G, SYI-3.E; SP1, SP2, SP5
IB Biology (2016)
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.5, 4.4, 9.3, 9.5, 9.9, 9.10
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.G, ERT-4.D, EIN-4.B, STB-4.C, STB-4.F, EIN-4.C, SP1, SP2, SP5, SP7
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
1.2, 1.3, 2.3
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)
CC5; DP1, DP3