A new study has revealed the past position of the Australian, Antarctic and Indian tectonic plates, demonstrating how
they formed the supercontinent Gondwana 165 million years ago.
Researchers from Royal Holloway, The Australian National University and Geoscience Australia, have helped clear up
previous uncertainties on how the plates evolved and where they should be positioned when drawing up a picture of
"The Earth's tectonic plates move around through time. As these movements occur over many millions of years, it
has previously been difficult to produce accurate maps of where the continents were in the past," Dr Lloyd White
from the Department of Earth Sciences said.
"We used a computer programme to move geological maps of Australia, India and Antarctica back through time and built
a 'jigsaw puzzle' of the supercontinent Gondwana. During the process, we found that many existing studies had
positioned the plates in the wrong place because the geological units did not align on each plate."
This video shows a reconstruction of the breakup of the Australian, Antarctic and Indian tectonic plates,
demonstrating how the major plates that once formed eastern Gondwana broke apart, starting from 165 millions years
ago and progressing to the present day.
The coloured polygons represent different geological units that have been
mapped (and inferred) by geologists over many years. These geological units formed before the continents broke apart,
so we can use their position to put the "jigsaw pieces" back together again. Many other reconstructions do not use
the geological boundaries to match the continental "jigsaw pieces" back together - so they don't align properly. Credits: http://www.rhul.ac.uk
The researchers adopted an old technique used by people who discovered the theories of continental drift and plate
tectonics, but which had largely been ignored by many modern scientists.
"It was a simple technique, matching the geological boundaries on each plate."
"The geological units formed before the continents broke apart, so we used their position to put this ancient
jigsaw puzzle back together again,"
Dr White added.
"It is important that we know where the plates existed many millions of years ago, and how they broke apart, as
the regions where plates break are often where we find major oil and gas deposits, such as those that are found
along Australia's southern margin."
Lake In France Turns Red
This year, we have encountered the color red in places where we don't expect to see it. A while back the strange appearance
of Azov Sea stunned residents who saw how the water had turned red. The red rocks in China have also puzzled scientists for a long time.
Now, a lake in Southern France has also suddenly turned red.
An Incredible Geological Phenomena
Earth is an amazing planet and our nature is full of wonders. We have previously written about incredible singing plants.
This time we would like to focus our readers' attention on another amazing geological phenomena, namely so-called growing stones.
It is difficult to image that stones can really grow, but these stones seem to be alive!
Yangtze River In China Turns Red
We have seen on a couple of occassions how lakes and seas have suddenly turned red.
In August a lake in Southern France unexpectedly changed color and shortly before that the strange appearance of
Azov Sea stunned residents who saw how the water had turned red....