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A History of Continents in the past Three Billion Years

John J. W. Rogers
The Journal of Geology
Vol. 104, No. 1 (Jan., 1996), pp. 91-107
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30068065
Page Count: 17
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A History of Continents in the past Three Billion Years
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Abstract

The end-Paleozoic Pangea appears to have contained three continents that had grown in the Precambrian and remained intact until Mesozoic rifting: Ur, formed at ~3 Ga and accreted to most of East Antarctica in the middle Proterozoic to form East Gondwana; Arctica, an approximately 2.5-2 Ga continent that contained Archean terranes of the Canadian and Siberian shields and Greenland; and Atlantica, formed at ~2 Ga of cratons of ~2 Ga age that now occur in West Africa and eastern South America. Arctica grew at ~1.5 Ga by accretion of most of East Antarctica plus Baltica to form the continent of Nena. Collision of Nena, Ur, and Atlantica, plus minor plates, formed the supercontinent of Rodina at ~1 Ga. Rifting of Rodinia between 1 and 0.5 Ga formed three continents: East Gondwana; Atlantica (which became the nucleus for West Gondwana); and Laurasia (which contained North America, Greenland, Baltica, and Siberia). Gondwana formed at ~0.5 Ga by amalgamation of its eastern and western parts. Various plates accreted to Laurasia during the Paleozoic, and collision of Gondwana with Laurasia created Pangea at ~0.3 Ga.

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