For years scientists have suspected that the eighth submerged continent is somewhere on Earth. In 2017, A team of geologists finally made the discovery Zelandia -o Zealandia-, It is a vast continent with an area of 4.9 million square meters, located under the coast New Zealand. In fact, this country is one of the few Seeland Found above sea level.
Considered the most submerged, thin, young and small continent in the world, the region, also known by its Maori name. Te Riu-a-Māui Followed by surprises.
A team of geologists from the company New Zealand GNS Science Discovered east of the islands Stewart And New Zealand are in the south of the island It was thought that the remnants of this supercontinent may be older than Zeeland.
The significance of the discovery of this hidden area Eighth Continent, Some mineral elements were extracted for study, associated with a supportable property Its position as a landscape.
There are one or more continents Rock nuclei Known as Crones. That is, a fixed rocky area within the Continental structure, which was formed in the most distant geological past and has not been affected since. Orogenic changes Of any kind.
The truth is, most continents have a geographical center that is at least one year old 1000 million years. By far, the oldest continental crust has been discovered Seeland Dated approx 500 million years.
The question scientists ask about the eighth continent is: if it is a continent, Shouldn’t his croton be?
Remnants of the recently analyzed supercontinent show this field Seeland Of antiquity Over 1 billion years. So maybe part of the newly discovered ancient rock It’s a missing area to be sure it’s a continent.
“It simply came to our notice then. We are sitting on a continent“, he said Rose Turnbull, GNS Scientific Geologist who worked on this study, To the site National Geography.
This discovery and its details have been published Specialty Magazine Geography, It will also help rebuild how it came to be Seeland.
“Continents are like glaciers,” said the researcher. Keith Klebs, Structural geologist University of Vermont-. What you see on the surface is not really the size of an animal. “
In fact, when inside 2017 Sec Put forward the idea of Seeland This is a continent, the director of that study, Nick Mortimer, In GNS Science Based on the description of the reefs of the New Zealand Sea. The sea crust is basically made of magnesium and iron. On the other hand, the rocks found beneath the sea New Zealand They are rich in granite-like silica, which is commonly found on the surface.
Also, the submerged continent covers a large area of rock, which is considerably thicker and higher than the usual ocean surface.
But despite the strong explanations of the geographer, one detail was very strange: nothing Croton.
Until the release of this latest report, the oldest crust in Zealand is believed to have formed 500 million years ago. Te Riu-a-Māui It was part of the border of the supercontinent of Kondwana.
But now, geologists have extracted zirconium crystals by complex process, based on 169 specimens extracted from southern New Zealand and the Stewart Islands, some of which have been found to be about 1.3 billion years old.
Then, step Geologists According to the study, the planet’s terrain is moving in one direction Conflict forming supercontinent Rodinia. The resulting global smash and subsequent division formed Magma sources It will now become an ancient rock slab in the depths New Zealand, Would be a piece Croton Built on it Seeland.
However, the study proves it Zeelandia It is much older than previously thought, next to other continents, and continues to be the youngest of all. Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, South America and Antarctica They have crotons between 1000 and 4000 million years old.
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