Beneath the island of Mauritius traces of the "lost continent"

Date:

2017-02-01 15:15:06

Views:

994

Rating:

1Like 0Dislike

Share:

Beneath the island of Mauritius traces of the

Scientists have confirmed the existence of a "lost continent" beneath the island of Mauritius in the Indian ocean, which remained after the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, which began 200 million years ago. Part of the crust, which was subsequently covered with young lava from volcanic eruptions on the island, was a tiny piece of ancient continent that separated from the island of Madagascar, when Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica broke up and formed the Indian ocean.

"We are studying the process of disintegration of the continents, to understand the geological history of the planet," says geologist of the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) Lewis Ashwal, lead author of work published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

Studying the mineral zircon, found in rocks spewed from volcanoes along with lava, Ashwal and his colleagues Michael Wiedenbeck from the German research centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and Trond Torsvik from the University of Oslo, guest scientist at GFZ, found that the remnants of this mineral was too old to belong to the island of Mauritius.

"the Land consists of two parts — the continents are older, and the oceans are "young". On the continents you can find rocks that are more than four billion years, but you will not find anything similar in the ocean, because there are a new breed," explains Aswell. "Mauritius is an island, and the island has no rocks older than 9 million years. However, studying the rocks on the island, we found zircon age of 3 billion years."

The Zircons are minerals that appear most often in the continental granites. They contain trace amounts of uranium, thorium, and lead, as well as survive geological processes, they can also be found a rich record of geological processes and extremely precise Dating.

"the fact that we found a zircon of this age, proves that under Mauritius there is much more old materials of earth's crust, which could be born only in the continent," says Ashwal.

This island is not the first time find the zircon age in billions of years. A study conducted in 2013 showed traces of this mineral in the beach sand. However, this study received a lot of criticism, for example, on the fact that this mineral could blow out by the wind or even bring in on car tires or shoes of scientists.

"the fact that we found the ancient zircons in the rock (trachyte age of 6 million years), reinforces the previous study and rejects any suggestion of the ability to be borne by the wind, waves or something, as was shown by the preliminary results," says Ashwal.

Aswell suggests that there are many pieces of "undiscovered continent" of different sizes, collectively, the "Maurice" that are scattered throughout the Indian ocean and the remains of the disintegration of Gondwana. The new results show that this decay was not a simple splitting of the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, and complex fragmentation is when parts of the continental crust of different sizes was abandoned in a developing Indian ocean.

The Supercontinent Gondwana existed for over 200 million years ago and included the breed age of 3.6 billion years, before split into something that now represents Africa, South America, Antarctica, India and Australia. Fragmentation occurred due to plate tectonics.

Recommended

Why are scientists concerned about the problem of an atom?

Why are scientists concerned about the problem of an atom?

the mystery of the work of the atom still remains unsolved. No one actually knows what processes happen inside . The only thing known — is that the electrons running around orbitals in the outer shell of the atom, forming a large amount of empt...

The most notable scientific achievements of the decade

The most notable scientific achievements of the decade

What will be the second decade of the XXI century from the point of view of science? As is known, the creation of scientific and technological innovation and has always been defined by breakthroughs in the socio-economic sphere of society. Being on t...

Superstitions from the point of view of science: why we believe in the supernatural?

Superstitions from the point of view of science: why we believe in the supernatural?

If you are crossing the road a black cat, nothing bad will happen Contrary to the facts, logic and common sense people around the world believe in the incredible and . Many are convinced that he is able to violate the known laws of physics, to perfor...

Comments (0)

This article has no comment, be the first!

Add comment

Related News

Bioengineers have created artificial cells that have

Bioengineers have created artificial cells that have "passed the Turing test"

Scientists have created an artificial cell that turned out to be so similar to the living that it was misled by these cells, with which they were placed, and the latter began to try to communicate with them. This kind of "option" ...

Scientists have found a cheap method of production of graphene

Scientists have found a cheap method of production of graphene

without any exaggeration can be called the "material of the future". And then we hear about how researchers from different countries are discovering new properties of graphene, opening to mankind huge number of exciting . The mat...

Hi-tech knitting, or How to tie their exoskeleton

Hi-tech knitting, or How to tie their exoskeleton

it Seems that creating super cool clothing will be one of the main trends in the fashion industry in the near future. Recently we reported about that, as did the even more interesting information. A group of researchers from Swede...