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Encyclopedia > Gondwana
An animation showing the break-up of Pangaea into the current continents.
An animation showing the break-up of Pangaea into the current continents.

The southern supercontinent Gondwana (IPA: /ɡɒnˈdwɑːnə/[1], originally Gondwanaland) included most of the landmasses in today's southern hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar, Australia-New Guinea, and New Zealand, as well as Arabia and the Indian subcontinent, which are in the Northern Hemisphere. The name is derived from the Gondwana region of central northern India (from Sanskrit gondavana "forest of Gond"). Gondwana may refer to: Gondwana, a super continent also known as Gondwanaland Gondwana (India), region also known as Gondaranya Gondwana (composition), musical composition by Tristan Murail Gondwana (musical group), Chilean reggae group Gondwana-1, a submarine communications cable between Australia and New Caledonia Gondwanaland (band), Australian world music band Gondwanaland... Image File history File links Pangea_animation_03. ... Image File history File links Pangea_animation_03. ... For other uses, see Pangaea (disambiguation). ... In geology, a supercontinent is a land mass comprising more than one continental core, or craton. ... southern hemisphere highlighted in yellow (Antarctica not depicted). ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... Australia-New Guinea, also called Sahul or Meganesia, is made up of the continent of Australia and the islands of New Guinea and Tasmania. ... The Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula is a mainly desert peninsula in Southwest Asia at the junction of Africa and Asia and an important part of the greater Middle East. ... Map of South Asia (see note) This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia. ... Northern hemisphere highlighted in yellow. ... Gondwana, sometimes called Gondaranya, is a region of central India, and is named after the Gondi people who live there (though they can also be found in other parts of India). ... Gondi refers to a people and their language in central India. ...


The adjective "Gondwanan" is in common use in biogeography when referring to patterns of distribution of living organisms, typically when the organisms are restricted to two or more of the now-discontinuous regions that were once part of Gondwana; e.g., the Proteaceae, a family of plants that is known only from Chile, South Africa, and Australia are considered to have a "Gondwanan distribution". This pattern is often considered to indicate an archaic, or relict lineage. Biogeography is the science which deals with patterns of species distribution and the processes that result in such patterns. ... Genera See text The Proteaceae are a large family of flowering plants, which includes 75-80 genera and 1500 species of evergreen trees, shrubs, and herbs. ... The term relict is used to refer to surviving remnants of natural phenomena. ...

Contents

Formation

The assembly of Gondwana was a protracted process. Several orogenies led to its final amalgamation 550–500 million years ago in the Cambrian. [1] These include the Brasiliano Orogeny, the East African Orogeny, the Malagasy Orogeny, and the Kuunga Orogeny. The final stages of Gondwana assembly overlapped with the opening of the Iapetus Ocean between Laurentia and western Gondwana. During this interval the Cambrian Explosion occurred. Orogeny (Greek for mountain generating) is the process of mountain building, and may be studied as a tectonic structural event, as a geographical event and a chronological event, in that orogenic events cause distinctive structural phenomena and related tectonic activity, affect certain regions of rocks and crust and happen within... For other uses, see Cambrian (disambiguation). ... The Iapetus Ocean was an Ocean that existed in the Southern Hemisphere between Scotland, England and Scandinavia between 400 and 600 million years ago. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Cambrian explosion is the geologically kukko sudden appearance in the fossil record of the ancestors of familiar animals, starting about 542 million years ago (Mya). ...


Gondwanaland was formed by these earlier continents and microcontinents, and others, colliding in these orogenies: Dymaxion map by Buckminster Fuller shows land mass with minimal distortion as only one continuous continent A continent (Latin continere, to hold together) is a large continuous land mass. ...

  • Azania: much of central Madagascar, the Horn of Africa and parts of Yemen and Arabia. (Named by Collins and Pisarevsky (2005): "Azania" was a Greek name for the East African coast.)
  • The CongoTanzania–Bangweulu Block of central Africa.
  • Neoproterozoic India: India, the Antongil Block in far eastern Madagascar, the Seychelles, and the Napier and Rayner Complexes in East Antarctica.
  • The Australia/Mawson continent: Australia west of Adelaide and a large extension into East Antarctica.
  • Other blocks which helped to form Argentina and around, including a piece transferred from Laurentia when the west edge of Gondwana scraped against southeast Laurentia in the Ordovician: see [2] [3].

One of the major sites of Gondwana amalgamation was the East African Orogen (Stern, 1994), where these two major orogenies are superimposed on each other: Azania is the name that has been applied to various parts of sub-Saharan Africa. ... The Horn of Africa. ... The Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula is a mainly desert peninsula in Southwest Asia at the junction of Africa and Asia and an important part of the greater Middle East. ... Bangweulu — where the water sky meets the sky — is one of the worlds great wetland systems, comprising Lake Bangweulu, the Bangweulu Swamps and the Bangweulu Flats or floodplain. ... Helodranon Antongila (Bay of Antongila), sometimes called Antongil, bay in the autonomous province of Toamasina, on the northern section of the east coast of Madagascar, about 60 km long and 30 km wide. ... East Antarctica, also called Greater Antarctica, (80° S 80° E) is one of the two major regions of Antarctica, lying on the Indian Ocean side of the Transantarctic Mountains and comprising Coats Land, Queen Maud Land, Enderby Land, Mac. ... Mawson primarily refers to Douglas Mawson. ... East Antarctica, also called Greater Antarctica, (80° S 80° E) is one of the two major regions of Antarctica, lying on the Indian Ocean side of the Transantarctic Mountains and comprising Coats Land, Queen Maud Land, Enderby Land, Mac. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Artist impression of the Ordovician Sea. ...


The East African Orogeny (as later defined) at ~650–630 Ma affected a large part of Arabia, north-eastern Africa, East Africa and Madagascar. Collins and Windley (2002) propose that in this orogeny Azania collided with the CongoTanzania–Bangweulu Block. Bangweulu — where the water sky meets the sky — is one of the worlds great wetland systems, comprising Lake Bangweulu, the Bangweulu Swamps and the Bangweulu Flats or floodplain. ...


The later Malagasy orogeny at ~550–515 Ma affected Madagascar, eastern East Africa and southern India. In it Neoproterozoic India collided with the already combined Azania and Congo–Tanzania–Bangweulu Block.


At the same time, in the Kuunga Orogeny Neoproterozoic India collided with the Australia/Mawson continent.


Pangaea

Orogens and Kuungan Orogens.

Other large continental masses, including the cores of North America (Canadian Shield or Laurentia), Europe (Baltica), and Siberia were added over time to form the supercontinent Pangaea by Permian time. When Pangaea broke up (mostly during the Jurassic), two large masses, Gondwana and Laurasia, were formed. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1000x785, 215 KB) Summary http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1000x785, 215 KB) Summary http://www. ... Canadian Shield The Canadian Shield— also called the Precambrian Shield, Laurentian Shield, Bouclier Canadien (French), or Laurentian Plateau— is a large shield covered by a thin layer of soil that forms the nucleus of the North American craton. ... Baltica (green) Baltica is a Late Proterozoic-Early Palaeozoic continent that now includes the East European craton of northwestern Eurasia. ... This article is about Siberia as a whole. ... For other uses, see Pangaea (disambiguation). ... The Permian is a geologic period that extends from about 299. ... The Jurassic Period is a major unit of the geologic timescale that extends from about 199. ... Laurasia was a supercontinent that most recently existed as a part of the split of the Pangaean supercontinent in the late Mesozoic era. ...


When Pangaea broke up, the re-formed Gondwana continent was not precisely the same as before Pangaea formed; for example, most of Florida and southern Georgia and Alabama are underlain by rocks that were originally part of Gondwana but that were left attached to North America when Pangaea broke apart. Official language(s) English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Largest metro area Miami metropolitan area Area  Ranked 22nd  - Total 65,795[1] sq mi (170,304[1] km²)  - Width 361 miles (582 km)  - Length 447 miles (721 km)  - % water 17. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ...


Climate

During the late Paleozoic, Gondwana extended from a point at or near the south pole to near the equator. Across much of Gondwana, the climate was mild. India contains about 3% of the world's coal reserves and much of the mined coal is derived from the late Paleozoic Gondwana sedimentary sequence. During the Mesozoic, the world was on average considerably warmer than today. Gondwana was then host to a huge variety of flora and fauna for many millions of years. But there is strong evidence of glaciation during Carboniferous to Permian time, especially in South Africa. The Paleozoic Era (from the Greek palaio, old and zoion, animals, meaning ancient life) is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. ... The Paleozoic Era (from the Greek palaio, old and zoion, animals, meaning ancient life) is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. ... The Mesozoic Era is one of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. ... The Carboniferous is a major division of the geologic timescale that extends from the end of the Devonian period, about 359. ... The Permian is a geologic period that extends from about 299. ...


Breakup

Mesozoic

550 Ma reconstruction showing final stages of assembly of Gondwana.
550 Ma reconstruction showing final stages of assembly of Gondwana.

Gondwana began to break up in the mid-Jurassic (about 167 million years ago), when East Gondwana, comprising Antarctica–Madagascar–India–Australia, began to separate from Africa. South America began to drift slowly westward from Africa as the South Atlantic Ocean opened, beginning about 130 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous, and resulting in open marine conditions by 110 million years ago. East Gondwana itself began to be dismembered about 120 million years ago as India began to move northward. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x889, 160 KB) Summary http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x889, 160 KB) Summary http://www. ... The Jurassic Period is a major unit of the geologic timescale that extends from about 199. ... The Early Cretaceous (timestratigraphic name) or the Lower Cretaceous (logstratigraphic name), is the earlier of the two major divisions of the Cretaceous period. ... // The Cretaceous Period is one of the major divisions of the geologic timescale, reaching from the end of the Jurassic Period (i. ...


The Madagascar block, and a narrow remnant microcontinent presently occupied by the Seychelles Islands, were broken off India; elements of this breakup nearly coincide with the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. The India–Madagascar–Seychelles separations appear to coincide with the eruption of the Deccan basalts, whose eruption site may survive as the Réunion hotspot. Badlands near Drumheller, Alberta where erosion has exposed the KT boundary. ... The Deccan Traps is a large igneous province located in west-central India and is one of the largest volcanic features on Earth. ... The Réunion hotspot is a volcanic hotspot which currently lies under the Island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean. ...


Australia began to separate from Antarctica perhaps 80 million years ago (Late Cretaceous), but sea-floor spreading between them became most active about 40 million years ago during the Eocene epoch of the Tertiary Period. hfajhfiudshfas == == == --24. ... Tertiary geological time interval covers roughly the time span between the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs and beginning of the most recent Ice Age, approximately 65 million to 1. ...


New Zealand probably separated from Antarctica between 130 and 85 million years ago.


Cenozoic

As the age of mammals got underway, the continent of Australia-New Guinea began to gradually separate and move north (55 million years ago), rotating about its axis to begin with, and thus retaining some connection with the remainder of Gondwana for about 10 million years. The Cenozoic Era (IPA pronunciation: ); sometimes Caenozoic Era or Cainozoic Era (in the United Kingdom), meaning new life (Greek (kainos), new, and (zoe), life), is the most recent of the three classic geological eras. ... Australia-New Guinea, also called Sahul or Meganesia, is made up of the continent of Australia and the islands of New Guinea and Tasmania. ...


About 45 million years ago, the Indian Plate collided with Asia, buckling the crust and forming the Himalayas. At about the same time, the southernmost part of Australia (modern Tasmania) finally separated from Antarctica, letting ocean currents flow between the two continents for the first time. Cooler and drier climates developed on both continents because ocean currents enveloping Antarctica were no longer directed into the subtropics, where they would have flowed around northern Australia.  The Indian plate, shown in red Due to continental drift, the India Plate split from Madagascar and collided with the Eurasian Plate resulting in the formation of the Himalayas. ... For the movie Himalaya, see Himalaya (film). ... Slogan or Nickname: Island of Inspiration; The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Motto(s): Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Constitutional monarchy Governor William Cox Premier Paul Lennon (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 5  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product... The subtropics refers to the zones of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropic zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitude 23. ...


Another significant world climatic event was South America separating from West Antarctica some time during the Oligocene, perhaps 30 million years ago. Immediately before this, South America and East Antarctica were not connected directly, but the many microplates of the Antarctic Peninsula remained near southern South America acting as "stepping stones" allowing continued biological interchange and stopped oceanic current circulation. But when Drake Passage opened, there was now no barrier to force the cold waters of the Southern Ocean north, to be exchanged with warmer tropical water. Instead, a cold circumpolar current developed and Antarctica became what it is today: a frigid continent which locks up much of the world's fresh water as ice. Sea temperatures dropped by almost 10°C, and the global climate became much colder. South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... West Antarctica, or Lesser Antarctica () is one of the two major regions of Antarctica, lying on the Pacific Ocean side of the Transantarctic Mountains and comprising Marie Byrd Land, Ellsworth Land, and Antarctic Peninsula. ... The Oligocene epoch is a geologic period of time that extends from about 34 million to 23 million years before the present. ... Antarctic Peninsula map Booth Island and Mount Scott flank the narrow Lemaire Channel on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula. ... Stepping Stone was the first major single by Liverpool-based pop group The Farm. ... Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica. ...


By about 15 million years ago, the collision between New Guinea (on the leading edge of the Australian Plate) and the southwestern part of the Pacific Plate pushed up the New Guinea highlands, causing a rain shadow effect which drastically changed weather patterns in Australia, drying it out. For the television series see Rain Shadow. ...


Later, South America was connected to North America via the Isthmus of Panama. The Isthmus of Panama. ...


The Red Sea and East African Rift are modern examples of the continuing dismemberment of Gondwana. Location of the Red Sea The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ... Northern section of the Great Rift Valley. ...


The continent of Gondwana was named by Eduard Suess after an area of India called Gondwana (meaning 'Land of the Gonds'), from which the Gondwana sedimentary sequences (Permian-Triassic) are also described. Eduard Suess (August 20, 1831 – April 26, 1914) was a 19th century geologist who was an expert on the geography of the Alps. ... Gondwana, sometimes called Gondaranya, is a region of central India, and is named after the Gondi people who live there (though they can also be found in other parts of India). ... Gondi refers to a people and their language in Central India. ...


See also

Alexander Logie du Toit (March 14, 1878 – February 25, 1948) was a South African geologist. ... Alfred Wegeners theory of continental drift was widely ridiculed in his day Alfred Lothar Wegener (Berlin, November 1, 1880 – Greenland, November 2 or 3, 1930) was a German interdisciplinary scientist and meteorologist, who became famous for his theory of continental drift (Kontinentalverschiebung or die Verschiebung der Kontinente in his... Plates in the crust of the earth, according to the plate tectonics theory Continental drift refers to the movement of the Earths continents relative to each other. ... The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ... During the Early Cretaceous the continent of Australia was still linked to Antarctica as a remnant of Gondwana that had rifted from Africa and drifted southward. ...

References

  • Cattermole, Peter John. Building Planet Earth: Five Billion Years of Earth History. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Collins A.S. and Pisarevsky, S.A. 2005 Amalgamating Eastern Gondwana: The evolution of the circum-Indian orogens. Earth Science Reviews, 71, 229–270.
  • Cowen, Richard. History of Life. London, Blackwell Publishing, 2000.
  • Lowrie, William. Fundamentals of Geophysics. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Meert, J.G., 2003, A synopsis of events related to the assembly of eastern Gondwana, Tectonphysics, 362, 1-40.

  • Stern, R.J. 1994 Arc Assembly and continental collision in the Neoproterozoic East African orogeny—implications for the consolidation of Gondwana. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 22, 319–351.

External links

  • Animation showing the dispersal of Gondwanaland
  • Another animation
  • Graphical subjects dealing with Tectonics and Paleontology, here: http://www.scotese.com/earth.htm
  • DeWit, M., and others, 1999, Gondwana Reconstruction and Dispersion: American Assoc. of Petroleum Geologists, Search and Discovery [4]
  • International Polar year [5]
  • König, M., Jokat, W., 2006, The Mesozoic breakup of the Weddell Sea: Journal of geophysical research [6]
  • Meert, J.G., 2003, A synopsis of events related to the assembly of eastern Gondwana, Tectonphysics, 362, 1-40.
  • Turner, Brian, Tectono-stratigraphic modelling of the Upper Karoo foreland basin: orogenic unloading versus thermally-induced Gondwana rifting [7]
  • Scheffler, K., and others, 2003, Global changes during Carboniferous–Permian glaciation of Gondwana: Linking polar and equatorial climate evolution by geochemical proxies [8]

  Results from FactBites:
 
Gondwana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (554 words)
Although Gondwana was centered roughly where Antarctica is today (at the extreme south of the globe), the climate was generally mild.
Gondwana was then host to a huge variety of flora and fauna for many millions of years.
The continent was named by Eduard Suess after Gondwana, a region of eastern India where some of the geology of the ancient continent was determined.
Gondwana (India) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (469 words)
Gondwana, sometimes called Gondaranya, is a region of central India, and is named after the Gondi people who live there (though they can also be found in other parts of India).
The name of the ancient continent of Gondwanaland was derived from Gondwana, because some of the earliest rock formations of this continent were first investigated in part of the region, in modern Orissa.
Gondwana has a relatively high proportion of peoples of the "scheduled tribes" of India, which include the Gonds.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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