- The eighth continent, called Esundia, is hidden in New Zealand and the surrounding Pacific.
- With 94 percent submerged, it is difficult to determine the age of the continent and map it out.
- New research suggests that Cylindia is twice as old as the Philistines thought, 1 billion years old.
The South Pacific is about 1060 meters below the 5 million square kilometer continent, which is half the size of Australia.
It is not like a mountain, country or planet. There is no formal system to recognize a continent, ”said GNS Scientific Geologist Nick Mortimer New Zealand Who led the 2017 team.
Although the definition of a continent is controversial, the Mortimer group suggested that a continent should have clearly defined boundaries, occupy more than 1 million square kilometers, rise above the surrounding oceanic crust, and have a continent thicker than the ocean.
Complies with all of those conditions.
“If I had to filter the oceans, it would stand alone as a high, well-defined plateau at sea level,” Mortimer said.
He considers it a “thin, submerged and small continent.”
The problem, however, is that until recently, the oldest crust and rock ever taken in Cylindia was only 500 million years old; All other continents have crusts that are 1 billion years old or older. But A recent study Part of the submerged continent was found to be twice as old as previously thought by geologists. This may enhance Mortimer’s argument.
“This new study goes beyond the last continental box,” he said Press Release Rose Turnbull, New Zealand geographer and co-author of the study. “There is no doubt that we live on a continent.”
How to age a continent
A term coined by geophysicist Bruce Luentik in 1995 is a compilation of submerged fragments of New Zealand and the ancient supercontinent known as Gondwana some time ago. 85 million years.
About 94% are underwater; It sank 30 to 50 million years after the eruption of Kondwana. So this is a difficult terrain to study.
Geologists behind the latest research found 169 particles of Cylindia granite. These were found under Stewart and the South Islands of New Zealand. Granite is formed when magma crystallizes within the earth’s crust.
By extracting the fine crystals from the granite, the team was able to determine both the age of the crystals and the crust from which they formed. The results showed that the crust was part of another supercontinent called Rodinia, which formed 1.3 billion to 900 million years ago.
In other words, the geographical history of Cylindia begins 500 million years ago.
Maps in unprecedented detail
In part Turnbull’s work To create a 4D map of the west coast of Cylindia, to imagine what that boundary looks like in three and how it has changed over time.
Last year, Mortimer helped to map the shape and depth of the sea floor around Cylindia, known as a bath measurement map.
This map is part of a global effort to explore the entire ocean floor of the planet by 2030, revealing the size and shores of Cylindia in unprecedented detail. In addition, Mortimer’s team created a tectonic map showing the location of continental and ocean surfaces that make up the submerged landscape.
These new detailed maps provide further evidence that, according to Mortimer, the Eighth Continent should be considered, with the discovery that parts of Siliguria are older than geologists thought.
“We hope that on common world maps, it will eventually be taught in schools and become as familiar a name as Antarctica.”
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