The current worldbuilding project I have is going to be detailed - very detailed.
It's about the life of an alien planet called Nemo 4, and I want to chronicle the evolutionary history of that life, from the arrival of unicellular organisms on a comet to its now flourishing ecosystems.
But evolutionary history is closely tied with geographic history - continents joining up causes fauna exchanges, and animals evolve various adaptations to certain climates which are a product of geography.
So, I have a map of all the current continents, and the tectonic plates and which way they're moving. So, how can I work backwards from this map to know what my world looked like 10 million years ago, 100 million years ago, even a billion years ago?
I can presume that it is dependent on; a) tectonic plates, b) the speed at which they move, and c) sea level, which is affected by temperature.
Obviously, these things are largely based on sporadic, unpredictable events, but is there any way that I can plausibly go about constructing a timeline of the lay of the land of my planet?
If you think this is broad, off-topic, unclear etc. please say so, as it's a lot more helpful than doing it without saying anything.