The eighth continent that remained submerged in water for 375 years is known as Zealandia, details are given here


Author: Kamal Kumar
Wed, Sep 27, 2023 05:28 PM (IST)
Source:JND

After nearly four centuries of obscurity, geologists have discovered a long-hidden continent, Zealandia, also known as Te Riu-a-Maui, representing a remarkable breakthrough in the field of geology. .

This revelation came from the diligent efforts of a small group of geologists and seismologists who created an updated map of Zealandia, taking advantage of data from rock samples collected from the ocean floor, reports Phys.org. Details of their findings have been given in the scientific journal ‘Tectonics’.

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According to a BBC report, Zealandia covers a vast expanse of 1.89 million square miles (4.9 million square kilometers), dwarfing Madagascar by six times in terms of size. What sets Zealandia apart is that it represents a new addition to the list of Earth’s continents, holding the distinction of being the world’s smallest, thinnest and youngest continent.

Remarkably, Zealandia is largely submerged beneath the ocean surface, with only a scattering of islands reminiscent of New Zealand’s topography.

This discovery underscores the notion that even the most idiosyncratic events can escape human understanding for long periods of time. “It’s an example of how something very obvious can take a little time to uncover,” aptly said Andy Tulloch, a geologist affiliated with GNS Science, a New Zealand Crown research institute, and a key figure in the Zealandia discovery team. As reported by BBC.

Studying Zealandia has always been a bit difficult for scientists. They are examining samples of rocks and sediments collected from the ocean floor. Some came from drilling sites, and others were found on the shores of nearby islands.

According to Phys.org, their research on these rock samples revealed interesting geological patterns in West Antarctica. This indicated the possibility of a subduction zone near the Campbell Plateau, off the west coast of New Zealand. Remarkably, there were no unusual magnetic readings in that area, challenging previous ideas about the nature of the Campbell Fault.

The result of all this work is an improved map that not only shows where Zealandia’s volcanic center is but also highlights other important geological features. This progress helps us better understand the geology of Zealandia, uncover its hidden secrets, and give us more information about what lies beneath Earth’s oceans.


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