Scientists discover ancient continent fragment in Indian Ocean
Geologists published an investigation that concluded that a land mass known as Mauritia, broke off 60 million years ago while Madagascar and India separated, making up part of an ancient continent in the ocean.
An international team of geologists discovered the fragment of an ancient continent at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, according to an article that was published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
It is estimated that the land mass known as Mauritia, broke off 60 million years ago, while Madagascar and India separated, and was buried under huge masses of lava, according to research conducted by experts from Norway, South Africa, Britain and Germany.
Research also explained that these micro-continents in the oceans seem to occur more frequently than previously thought, although some pieces of land masses could be lost during the drift.
According to geologists, the study is based on analysis of grains of sand that washed up from the beach of Mauritius, containing zircon, minute crystals of zirconium silicate very resistant to erosion, aged between 660 and 970 billion years.
Specialists also made a new calculation of plate tectonics, which explains exactly how and where the fragments ended up in the Indian Ocean.
The planet Earth has gone through several changes since its formation, about 4.5 billion years. Meteorites and multiple and intense volcanic activity gradually impacted its structure.
Vaalbará is theoretically the first. Ur, came later, followed by Kenorland, Columbia and Rodinia. The latter, more than one billion years ago, was a great continent that subsequent ones were derived of, although it is possible that they integrated and disintegrated over time.
Later there was Pangea, a single mass that broke in two, Laurasia and Gondwana north and south, separated by an ocean, Testis. Subsequently these large land masses remained fragmented until the continents acquired the current make up.
Laurasia originated in North America, Europe and Asia, while Gondwana was "born" in South America, Australia, Antarctica, Africa and some part of Asia, such as India. The current distribution was reached about 65 million years ago.
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