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Old continent discovered hiding under Europe



A megacontinent has been discovered that slipped under Europe hundreds of millions of years ago.

As we experience extreme weather patterns today and the effects of the changing climate, there has never been a safer time to live on planet Earth. 140 million years ago, a super-continent called Greater Adria slipped under the landmass that is now Southern Europe, and researchers have now visually recreated the lost continent.

  The ancient continent of Greater Adriatic, as it existed 140 million years ago, slipped under what is now Southern Europe. The darker green areas show the land above the water and the lighter green the land below. Source: Douwe van Hinsbergen.

The ancient continent Greater Adria, as it existed 140 million years ago, before it slipped under today's southern Europe. The darker green areas show the land above the water and the lighter green the land below. Source: Douwe van Hinsbergen.

The Science Magazine reported on the new study published earlier this month in the journal Gondwana Research which found that Gondwana, a huge southern supercontinent from Africa, Antarctica, South America, and Australia included & # 39; Greater Adria & # 39 ;, a landmass that stretched from today's Alpine Space to Iran.

The main author of the paper, Douwe van Hinsbergen, the Chair of Global Tectonics and Paleogeography at the Institute of Earth Sciences of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, said that not the entire land mass is above water and a string is from islands or archipelagos that good for diving, "he added.

Continental shifts

According to a report on National Geographic the Greater Adriatic, 240 million years ago, was part of the Pangea supercontinent, which broke away from Africa 20 million years later, before leaving France for 40 million years later Spain became an isolated continent. 100 to 120 million years ago, the Greater Adriatic Sea invaded and collapsed in Europe, forming the Alps and storing the rocks that the geological teams had gathered on the ancient continent for a decade.

  Greater Adriatic was part of the Pangea supercontinent, which broke away from Africa 20 million years later. (Justass / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Greater Adriatic Sea was part of the Pangea supercontinent that broke away from Africa 20 million years later. (Justass / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Hinsbergen told Live Science that the Greater Adrian layer formed mountain belts in 30 different countries, each with its own geological surveys, maps, histories and data her own continents, and he said the new study "brought it all together in a big picture."

You know how problematic it is to measure and assemble an Ikea office chair, right? Where on earth are you starting to measure the movement of an entire continent and then interpret all the data accurately enough to draw a conclusion, especially one checked by experts? It's like a big puzzle, said Hinsbergen, where all the pieces are messed up and he told Live Science that he "spent the last 10 years restoring the puzzle".

  The Apennines in central Italy is part of the shabby remnants of the ancient continent Greater Adriatic, as tectonic conquests have shown. (Marcel Oosterwijk / CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Apennines in central Italy is part of the shorn remains of the ancient continent of Greater Adriatic, as the tectonic landslides have shown. (Marcel Oosterwijk / CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Exploration of volcanoes and coral reefs

The researchers first studied the orientations measured in tiny magnetic minerals formed by primal bacteria in these rocks , align with the earth's magnetic field. When these bacteria die, the magnetic minerals left in the sediment eventually transform into rocks, restoring the original orientations of the bacteria that the researchers reversed to recover them hundreds of millions of years ago.

When we consider what a single earthquake or volcanic eruption can mean to a landscape; Twisting and bending beyond recognition, how on earth did scientists take this into account when calculating the initial orientation of the magnetic particles? Not to mention that the magnetic pole never stands still and swings back and forth in bows over millennia. Hinsbergen said that moving faults disperse stones like pieces of a broken plate. His research team worked like a group of highly skilled restorers working on a shattered Ming vase. First, they collected large rocks that had once been made up of volcanic rows and coral reefs, and then brought them together.

Skinned and Frozen in Time

After collecting and examining groups of rocks for over ten years, and compiling a table of consistent magnetic orientations, the researchers created high-resolution maps of the ancient continent. Their findings confirm that the old continent "twisted" and moved north before slipping into the depths of the mantle below the European landmass, and that the top layer on the overlying plates was the later mountains of Italy, Turkey, Greece and the Alps formed and the Balkans.

  The Great Adriatic did not simply move north without changing its orientation, but counterclockwise as it passed other tectonic plates. (Science Direct)

Instead of moving north without changing its direction, the Great Adriatic turned counterclockwise as it passed other tectonic plates and passed them. (Science Direct)

If you visited the Adriatic today, turned your back on the water and climbed into the surrounding mountains, you would crawl over the crumpled remains. the skin of a lost continent that is now bubbling through the volcanoes and geezers of Greece and Italy.

Picture above: The Apennine in central Italy belongs to the shorn remains of the old continent Greater Adria. ( Travel Wild / Adobe Stock )

By Ashley Cowie


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