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    Default Zealandia: A Submerged Continent

    Zealandia: Study confirms Earth has hidden continent

    RT
    Published time: 16 Feb, 2017 11:35
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    © Reid Wiseman / NASA

    Earth has a concealed continent called ‘Zealandia’ hidden in the Pacific Ocean and attached to New Zealand, according to newly published research.

    A team of 11 researchers found that New Zealand and New Caledonia are actually part of a huge 4.9 million sq km (1.89 million square-mile) single slab of continental crust that is separate from Australia.

    The study, published by the Geological Society of America, found that the region is 94 percent submerged, mostly as a result of crustal thinning before the supercontinental break-up, using upgraded satellite-based elevation and gravity map technology.
    "The scientific value of classifying Zealandia as a continent is much more than just an extra name on a list," the scientists wrote.

    "That a continent can be so submerged yet unfragmented makes it a useful and thought-provoking geodynamic end member in exploring the cohesion and breakup of continental crust."

    Simplified map of Earth’s tectonic plates and continents, including Zealandia. © geosociety.org
    AP—Agulhas Plateau; KP—Kerguelen Plateau; OJP—Ontong Java Plateau; MP—Manihiki Plateau; HP—Hikurangi Plateau. Selected microcontinents and continental fragments shown by black dotted lines: Md—Madagascar; Mt—Mauritia; D—Gulden Draak; T—East Tasman; G—Gilbert; B—Bollons; O—South Orkney. Hammer equal area projection.

    The team says it should be considered a geological continent, rather than the previously-held theory that it was a collection of continental islands and fragments.
    Based on various lines of geological and geophysical evidence, particularly those accumulated in the last two decades, we argue that Zealandia is not a collection of partly submerged continental fragments but is a coherent 4.9 Mkm2 continent,” the study concludes.
    As geologists count Europe and Asia as one giant continent called ‘Eurasia’, the new addition of Zealandia brings the total number of official geologic continents to seven.


    Spatial limits of Zealandia. © geosociety.org
    NC—New Caledonia; WTP—West Torres Plateau; CT—Cato Trough; Cf—Chesterfield Islands; L—Lord Howe Island; N—Norfolk Island; K—Kermadec Islands; Ch—Chatham Islands; B—Bounty Islands; An—Antipodes Islands; Au—Auckland Islands; Ca—Campbell Island. Mercator projection.

    Zealandia’s crust thickness typically ranges from 10 to 30km (six to 19 miles) and is roughly the size of India. It’s believed to have broken off from Antarctica about 100 million years ago, and then again from Australia about 80 million years ago.

    Researchers behind the study are calling Zealandia a “realisation” rather than a “discovery”, as New Zealand has been considered a continent in its own right by some experts in the field for years.
    "This is not a sudden discovery but a gradual realisation; as recently as 10 years ago we would not have had the accumulated data or confidence in interpretation to write this paper," the study’s authors wrote.

    Zealandia illustrates that the large and the obvious in natural science can be overlooked.”
    Source: https://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/...SATG321A.1.htm



    Related:

    Evidence of ancient ‘lost continent’ found in Indian Ocean
    Last edited by Hervé; 28th July 2017 at 18:25.
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    Default Re: Zealandia: A Submerged Continent

    My father lives on the West coast of the South island....They are seeing the land rising under the water. Will be interesting to see who puts dibs on that
    land if the earthquakes bring it to above sea level...

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    Default Re: Zealandia: A Submerged Continent

    It seems that most of the Earth's energies are conspiring to expose all hidden things on all levels.

    Perhaps I should be concerned but I find it all very exciting!

    Thanks, Herve!

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    Default Re: Zealandia: A Submerged Continent

    Quote Posted by Daughter of Time (here)
    It seems that most of the Earth's energies are conspiring to expose all hidden things on all levels.
    One could make the argument that this has been going on through fits and spurts since the Renaissance. But lately it's been particularly interesting, I agree. I'm still waiting to see what comes out of all of this Antarctica stuff too.

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    Default Re: Zealandia: A Submerged Continent

    Ahoy Mates! Scientific expedition to unlock secrets of 'lost continent' Zealandia

    Phys.org
    Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:00 UTC


    Ancient super continent Gondwana and how it's landmass divided. © Crixeo

    Scientists are attempting to unlock the secrets of the "lost continent" of Zealandia, setting sail Friday to investigate the huge underwater landmass east of Australia that has never been properly studied. Zealandia, which is mostly submerged beneath the South Pacific, was once part of the Gondwana super-continent but broke away some 75 million years ago.

    In a paper published in the Geological Society of America's Journal GSA Today in February, researchers made the case that it should be considered a new continent. They said it was a distinct geological entity that met all the criteria applied to Earth's other continents, including elevation above the surrounding area, distinctive geology, a well-defined area and a crust much thicker than that found on the ocean floor.

    Covering five million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles), it extends from south of New Zealand northward to New Caledonia and west to the Kenn Plateau off Australia's east.

    Drill ship Joides Resolution will recover sediments and rocks lying deep beneath the sea bed in a bid to discover how the region has behaved over the past tens of millions of years. The recovered cores will be studied onboard, allowing scientists to address issues such as oceanographic history, extreme climates, sub-seafloor life, plate tectonics and earthquake-generating zones.


    Zealandia plateaus with New Zealand (center) shown in brown. © World News

    Co-chief scientist Jerry Dickens, from Rice University in Texas, said the region was a vital area to study changes in global climate.

    "As Australia moved north and the Tasman Sea developed, global circulation patterns changed and water depths over Zealandia fluctuated," he said. "This region was important in influencing global changes."

    Australian National University's Neville Exon said the two-month expedition, setting out Friday from Townsville, would also help better understand major changes in the global tectonic configuration that started about 53 million years ago. This is around the time that the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a hotspot for volcanoes and earthquakes, came into existence.

    In the February scientific paper, lead author Nick Mortimer said experts had been gathering data to make the case for Zealandia being a continent for more than 20 years. But their efforts had been frustrated because most of it was hidden beneath the waves.

    "If we could pull the plug on the oceans, it would be clear to everybody that we have mountain chains and a big, high-standing continent," he said at the time.

    SOTT Comment: Bruce Luyendyk, a professor of marine geophysics at UC-Santa Barbara, first proposed the concept of Zealandia in 1995.

    Last edited by Hervé; 28th July 2017 at 18:36.
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    Default Re: Zealandia: A Submerged Continent

    That would be Lemuria.

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    Default Re: Zealandia: A Submerged Continent

    Earth’s Eighth Continent? 2020 Brings New Surprise as Maps of ‘Zealandia’ Released in Latest Data

    Two new maps alongside an interactive website, depict the coastlines and territorial limits of 'Earth's eighth continent', Zealandia, that 'was home to dinosaurs and lush rainforest'

    By India.com Viral News Desk
    Published: June 25, 2020 4:59 PM IST
    Edited by Zarafshan Shiraz

    North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica get back their long lost sibling or so a research institute from New Zealand suggests as ‘Earth’s eighth continent’, Zealandia, discovered in new trove of data. Hidden for centuries, Zealandia was once a part of the same land mass as Antarctica and Australia before breaking off 85 million years ago.

    New Zealand’s research institute, GNS Science, published two new maps and an interactive website on Monday where people can sit back at home and explore this new continent as the site depicts its coastlines and territorial limits. Giving people across the world, a novel way to explore the complex geoscience data, GNS Science found this continent underwater and as many argue that the massive sunken landmass should be classified as Earth’s eighth continent, almost 95 percent of its total landmass is still underwater.


    Zealandia (Photo Courtesy: GNS Science)

    Researchers thought it was ultimately submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean, a little over 20 million years ago, after it broke off from the supercontinent Gondwana around 80 million years back. A report in New Atlas claims that with New Zealand and New Caledonia as its only two above-water landmasses, Zealandia is around one-third smaller than the continent of Australia.

    Another report in CNN claims that it was home to dinosaurs and lush rainforest and that, Zealandia is about half the size of Australia. According to US government research agency, National Science Foundation, the world’s largest tectonic plate – the Pacific Plate, sank below the continental crust of Zealandia which caused the root of the continent to break off and sink as well.

    The new maps on GNS Science’s interactive website allows one to locate all the ancient and modern volcanoes on the continent, virtually explore where dinosaurs once roamed or see where on the land mass ridges are still spreading. The 1.9-million-square-mile (4.9-million-sq-km) tectonic profile of Zealandia is depicted on the tectonic map while the bathymetric map generates a detailed picture of the ocean floor.


    Tectonic map of Zealandia (Photo Courtesy: GNS Science)


    Bathymetric map of Zealandia (Photo Courtesy: GNS Science)

    Lead author of the maps, geologist Dr Nick Mortimer said in the statement released by the site, “These maps are a scientific benchmark – but they’re also more than that. They’re a way of communicating our work to our colleagues, stakeholders, educators and the public. We’ve made these maps to provide an accurate, complete and up-to-date picture of the geology of the New Zealand and southwest Pacific area – better than we have had before. Their value is that they provide a fresh context in which to explain and understand the setting of New Zealand’s volcanoes, plate boundary and sedimentary basins.”

    Source

    Interactive maps: E Tūhura - Explore Zealandia

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