- Tram Ho
First discovered in the 1990s, until 2017, Zealandia was officially recognized as the 8th continent and also the smallest continent of the Earth. Often referred to as the legendary Atlantic missing kingdom, the continent of Zealandia is located in eastern Australia, with an area of about 4.9 million km2.
Zealandia is thought to have existed in parallel with 7 continents (Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Ocean, Antarctica) for many years in Earth’s history, before being gradually submerged into the seabed. about 30-50 million years ago.
About 94% of the continent of Zealandia lies deep below the sea
After three years of continuous research, scientists at the GNS Science Research Institute in New Zealand have recently created the most detailed map ever on the Zealandia continent, according to the Bussiness Insider. Maps depicting the shape of the seabed and the tectonic features of Zealandia reveal the origin of the continent and help explain the formation of volcanoes, sedimentary basins and many other geological features. of New Zealand.
” We created these maps to provide the most accurate, complete and up-to-date picture of the geology of the New Zealand region and the southwestern Pacific – better than we have ever had before ,” expert Nick Mortimer, project leader said.
Balls Pyramid, the remnant of a volcano formed 6.4 million years ago, is a spot located above sea level of Zealandia
Located thousands of meters deep in the Pacific Ocean
According to research from scientists, about 200 million years ago, Pangea supercontinent split into two parts: Laurasia and Gondwana. These two supercontinent continued to split into smaller continents. Lauren in the north later split into Europe, Asia and North America, while the supercontinent Gondwana split to form Africa and South. Pole, South America and Australia today. For Zealandia alone, the continent separated from Australia and Antarctica as part of the Gondwana supercontinent some 80 million years ago.
Geological exploration shows that the size of this continent is about 5 million km2, about half of Australia and the size of the Indian subcontinent. However, much of the continent of Zealandia lies below the sea level, at a depth of thousands of meters, while only 7% of Zealandia is above sea level, including the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Zealand, with the island of New Caledonia.
Depth map of the continent of Zealandia
Therefore, the survey and mapping of continental Zealandia is really a difficult challenge for researchers. To better understand this submerged continent, Mortimer and his team mapped the depths of both Zealandia and the ocean floor around it, showing the continent’s mountains and slopes close to the face. water like. At the same time, this map also depicts the coastline, territorial limits, and key features of mainland Zealandia.
The second map the GNS scientists created depicts of the crust that made up the continent, their age and major faults, thereby helping to better understand Zealandia’s tectonic history. The older continental crust is shown in red, orange, yellow and brown. The younger ocean crust is often blue. The red triangle is the location of the volcanoes.
Tectonic map of Zealandia
This map also shows Zealandia lying on different tectonic plates. These plaques are being pushed into each other in a process called “sinking.” Studying modern Zealandian tectonic processes can reveal clues about how the continent was originally formed.
Refer to Business Insider
Source : Genk