FACTOID # 18: Alaska spends more money per capita on elementary and secondary education than any other state.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
RELATED ARTICLES
People who viewed "Supercontinent" also viewed:
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Supercontinent

In geology, a supercontinent is a land mass comprising more than one continental core, or craton. The assembly of cratons and accreted terranes that form Eurasia[1] qualifies as a supercontinent today. This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... A landmass is a large extent of land. ... World geologic provinces. ... A terrane in paleogeography is an accretion that has collided with a continental nucleus, or craton but can be recognized by the foreign origin of its rock strata. ... Eurasia African-Eurasian aspect of Earth Eurasia is a landmass covering about 54,000,000 km² compared with the Americas (approximately 42,000,000 km²), Africa (approximately 30,000,000 km²), Antarctica (approximately 13,000,000 km²) and Oceania (9,000,000 km²). Eurasia is composed of the traditional continents...

Contents

History

Most commonly, paleogeographers employ the term supercontinent to refer to a single landmass consisting of all the modern continents. The earliest known supercontinent was Vaalbara. It formed from proto-continents and was a supercontinent by 3.1 billion years ago (3.1 Ga). Vaalbara broke up ~2.8 Ga. The supercontinent Kenorland was formed ~2.7 Ga and then broke sometime after 2.5 Ga into the proto-continent cratons called Laurentia, Baltica, Australia, and Kalahari. The supercontinent Columbia formed and broke up during a period of 1.8 to 1.5 billion years (1.8-1.5 Ga) ago. Palaeogeography is the study of the ancient geography of the Earths surface. ... Color-coded regions of the world based on the seven commonly-recognised continents Dymaxion map by Buckminster Fuller shows land masses with minimal distortion as nearly one continuous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses on Earth. ... The Earths first supercontinent thought to have existed is Vaalbara. ... Giga-annum, usually abbreviated as Ga, is a unit of time equal to 10^9 years. ... The Earths first supercontinent thought to have existed is Vaalbara. ... Giga-annum, usually abbreviated as Ga, is a unit of time equal to 10^9 years. ... Kenorland was one of the earliest supercontinents found on Earth. ... GA ... Giga-annum, usually abbreviated as Ga, is a unit of time equal to 10^9 years. ... World geologic provinces. ... North American craton. ... Baltica (green) Baltica is a Late Proterozoic-Early Palaeozoic continent that now includes the East European craton of northwestern Eurasia. ... The Kalahari craton occupies a large portion of South Africa and consists of the Kaapvaal, the Zimbabwe craton, the Limpopo belt, and the Namaqua Belt. ... Giga-annum, usually abbreviated as Ga, is a unit of time equal to 10^9 years. ...


The supercontinent Rodinia broke up roughly 750 million years ago. One of the fragments included large parts of the continents now located in the southern hemisphere. Plate tectonics brought the fragments of Rodinia back together in a different configuration during the late Paleozoic era, forming the best-known supercontinent, Pangaea. Pangaea subsequently broke up into the northern and southern supercontinents, Laurasia and Gondwana. Depiction of Rodinia at time of initial breakup. ... 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. ... Map of Pangaea Pangaea or Pangea (derived from Παγγαία, Greek meaning all earth) is the name given to the supercontinent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras about 250 million years ago, before the process of plate tectonics separated each of the component continents into their current configuration. ... Laurasia was a supercontinent that most recently existed as a part of the split of the Pangaean supercontinent in the late Mesozoic era. ... Pangaea was formed by the merging of two continents, Laurasia and Gondwana East African and Kuungan Orogens 550 Ma reconstruction showing final stages of assembly The southern supercontinent Gondwana (originally Gondwanaland) included most of the landmasses which make up todays continents of the southern hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America...


Modern studies have suggested that supercontinents form in cycles, coming together and breaking apart again through plate tectonics, very roughly about every 250 million years. Bridge across the Álfagjá rift valley in southwest Iceland, the boundary of the Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates. ... Look up million in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A year is the time between two recurrences of an event related to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. ...


Geology

Supercontinents block the flow of heat from the Earth's interior, and thus cause the asthenosphere to overheat. Eventually, the lithosphere will begin to dome upward and crack, magma will then rise, and the fragments will be pushed apart. It is currently a matter of some debate as to how the supercontinents reform, whether or not plate tectonics makes them re-join after travelling around the planet, or if they move apart and then back together again. Adjectives: Terrestrial, Terran, Telluric, Tellurian, Earthly Atmosphere Surface pressure: 101. ... Dont be afraid of big words. ... The tectonic plates of the Lithosphere on Earth. ... Magma is molten rock located beneath the surface of the Earth (or any other rocky planet), and which often collects in a magma chamber. ...


In other areas of study such as history and geography, land masses connected with an isthmus are also considered supercontinents or just continents, such as the Americas. Some historians call the combined land mass of Africa and Eurasia the supercontinent Africa-Eurasia. History studies the past in human terms. ... The Isthmus of Panama connects North and South America. ... Color-coded regions of the world based on the seven commonly-recognised continents Dymaxion map by Buckminster Fuller shows land masses with minimal distortion as nearly one continuous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses on Earth. ... World map showing the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere historically considered to consist of the continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa. ... Eurasia African-Eurasian aspect of Earth Eurasia is a landmass covering about 54,000,000 km² compared with the Americas (approximately 42,000,000 km²), Africa (approximately 30,000,000 km²), Antarctica (approximately 13,000,000 km²) and Oceania (9,000,000 km²). Eurasia is composed of the traditional continents... Africa-Eurasia The supercontinent of Africa-Eurasia, or Afro-Eurasia, is the worlds largest land mass and contains around 85% of the human population. ...


Incomplete list of minor past supercontinents

These are supercontinents that comprised only a fraction of the land on Earth.

Euramerica (also known as Laurussia) was a minor supercontinent created in the Devonian by the collision of Laurentia and Baltica (Scandian Orogeny). ... Pangaea was formed by the merging of two continents, Laurasia and Gondwana East African and Kuungan Orogens 550 Ma reconstruction showing final stages of assembly The southern supercontinent Gondwana (originally Gondwanaland) included most of the landmasses which make up todays continents of the southern hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America... Laurasia was a supercontinent that most recently existed as a part of the split of the Pangaean supercontinent in the late Mesozoic era. ... Nena was an ancient minor supercontinent. ...

Incomplete list of supercontinents

In reverse-chronological order (stratolithic order) comprising nearly all land at the time. In reverse-chronological order (stratolithic order) comprising nearly all land at the time. ...

  • Pangaea Ultima or Amasia (~250 – ~400 million years from now (future supercontinent))
  • Austro-Antarctica-Eurafrasia (~130 million years from now (future supercontinent))
  • Austro-Eurafrasia (~60 million years from now (future supercontinent))
  • Eurafrasia (~30 million years from now (future supercontinent))
  • Americas (~ 15 mya present-day supercontinent)
  • Eurasia (~ 60 mya present-day supercontinent)
  • Gondwana (~600 – ~30 million years ago)
  • Laurasia (~ 300 – ~60 million years ago)
  • Pangaea (~300 – ~180 million years ago)
  • Euramerica (~ – ~300 million years ago)
  • Pannotia (~600 – ~540 million years ago)
  • Rodinia (~1.1 Ga – ~750 million years ago)
  • Columbia, also called Nuna, (~1.8–1.5 Ga ago)
  • Kenorland (~2.7 Ga. Neoarchean sanukitoid cratons and new continental crust formed Kenorland. Protracted tectonic magna plume rifting occurred 2.48 to 2.45 Ga and this contributed to the Paleoproterozoic glacial events in 2.45 to 2.22 Ga. Final breakup occurred ~2.1 Ga.)
  • Ur (~3 Ga ago, though probably not a supercontinent; but still however, the earliest known continent. Ur, however, was probably the largest, perhaps even the only continent three billion years ago, so one can argue that Ur was a supercontinent for its time, even if it was smaller than Australia is today). Still an older rock formation now located in Greenland dates back from hadean
  • Komatii Formation (3.475 Ga)
  • Vaalbara (~3.6 Ga ago. Evidence is the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia and the world-wide Archean greenstone belts that were subsequently spread out across Gondwana and Laurasia)
  • Yilgarn (Zircon crystals from the Jack Hills of the Narryer Gneiss Terrane, Yilgarn craton, Western Australia and also 300 km. south point to a continental crust formation between 4.4-4.3 Ga. Evidence is the high Oxygen-18 values of 8.5 and micro-inclusions of SiO2 in these zircon crystals consistent with growth from a granitic source supracrustal material, low-temperature interactions and a liquid ocean.)

Pangaea Ultima is a possible future supercontinent configuration, which, consistent with the supercontinent cycle, may occur within the next 250 million years. ... There is a concern the topic of this article may be unencyclopedic. ... Austro-Antarctica-Eurafrasia, (following the Pangaea Ultima supercontinent theory) is a possible future supercontinent that could result from a collision between Antarctica and Australia (now part of the supercontinent of Austro-Eurafrasia). ... Austro-Eurafrasia is a future supercontinent that is predicted to form when Australia collides with Eastern Asia, forming a large mountain range higher than that the Himalayas. ... The supercontinent of Africa-Eurasia is the worlds largest land mass and contains around 85% of its human population. ... World map showing the Americas CIA map of the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World consisting of the continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... Eurasia African-Eurasian aspect of Earth Eurasia is a landmass covering about 54,000,000 km² compared with the Americas (approximately 42,000,000 km²), Africa (approximately 30,000,000 km²), Antarctica (approximately 13,000,000 km²) and Oceania (9,000,000 km²). Eurasia is composed of the traditional continents... Pangaea was formed by the merging of two continents, Laurasia and Gondwana East African and Kuungan Orogens 550 Ma reconstruction showing final stages of assembly The southern supercontinent Gondwana (originally Gondwanaland) included most of the landmasses which make up todays continents of the southern hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America... Laurasia was a supercontinent that most recently existed as a part of the split of the Pangaean supercontinent in the late Mesozoic era. ... Map of Pangaea Pangaea or Pangea (derived from Παγγαία, Greek meaning all earth) is the name given to the supercontinent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras about 250 million years ago, before the process of plate tectonics separated each of the component continents into their current configuration. ... Euramerica (also known as Laurussia) was a minor supercontinent created in the Devonian by the collision of Laurentia and Baltica (Scandian Orogeny). ... Pannotia is the name given to a hypothetical supercontinent that existed from about 600 to about 540 mya. ... Depiction of Rodinia at time of initial breakup. ... Columbia (also known as Nuna and, more recently, Hudsonland or Hudsonia) is the name of one of the Earths earliest supercontinents, which existed approximately 1. ... Kenorland was one of the earliest supercontinents found on Earth. ... Ur is the name of the first known continent that probably formed 3 billion years ago in the early Archean Eon. ... The name Hadean refers to the geologic period before 3800 million years ago (mya). ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... The Earths first supercontinent thought to have existed is Vaalbara. ... // The Yilgarn Craton is a huge craton which constitutes the bulk of the Western Australian land mass. ...

Notes

  1. ^ And to a lesser extent, the Americas, if taken as a whole

World map showing the Americas CIA map of the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World consisting of the continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. ...

See also

The supercontinent Pangaea surrounded by the superocean Panthalassa. ... Bridge across the Álfagjá rift valley in southwest Iceland, the boundary of the Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates. ... In reverse-chronological order (stratolithic order) comprising nearly all land at the time. ... The Supercontinent Cycle describes the quasi-periodic aggregration and dispersal of Earths continental crust. ...

External links

  • Palaeos.com: General earth history
  • The Paleomap Project — Christopher R. Scotese
  • Graphical overview of the Supercontinents on WikiTimeScale.org

  Results from FactBites:
 
Spartanburg SC | GoUpstate.com | Spartanburg Herald-Journal (611 words)
The supercontinent Kenorland was formed ~2.7 Ga and then broke sometime after 2.5 Ga into the proto-continent cratons called Laurentia, Baltica, Australia, and Kalahari.
The supercontinent Columbia formed and broke up during a period of 1.8 to 1.5 billion years (1.8-1.5 Ga) ago.
Supercontinents block the flow of heat from the Earth's interior, and thus cause the asthenosphere to overheat.
Supercontinent: Definition and Links by Encyclopedian.com (359 words)
Since the definition of continent is arbitrary, the definition of supercontinent is also arbitrary (as is the definition of a subcontinent), but the term refers to a landmass containing more than one of the modern continents.
Most commonly, the term supercontinent is used to refer to a landmass consisting of all the modern continents.
Supercontinents block the flow of heat from the Earth's interior, and thus cause the asthenosphere to overheat.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m