Did you know that Te Riu-a-Māui? This name, in the Maori language, refers to a continent buried beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean and its only emerging parts being New Caledonia and New Zealand. Find out at the beginning 90s And Zealandia will be the eighth continent on our planet and will be roughly the size ofAustraliaAbout five million square kilometers. Of the few pieces of land that managed to make their way to the surface, researchers recently took extracts of an ore called zircon, as National Geographic reported on July 23.
The question was whether this was Zealandia, known to the community Scientist For a long time, it had the characteristics required to claim the status of a continent. The result brought new evidence but it is not yet definitive. So the researchers analyzed these minerals and the results confirmed that this buried continent was much older than imagined: 1.3 billion years old. A big step forward in solving this mystery is since the oldest geological date is “only” 500 million years ago, a relatively young age since our seven continents were three billion years old.
This research, conducted by scientist Rose Turnbull, also showed that these zircon fragments would boost the odds of a kraton within Zealandia, a rocky core found under every known continent. However, Zealandia Craton remains untraceable, as evidenced by a a study 2017 by Nick Mortimer.
The collected zircons provided another element to the answer, this time more technical. Most oceanic geologic crusts contain significant amounts of magnesium and iron, but the seafloor surrounding New Zealand is composed of silicate-rich rocks commonly found in continental crusts. Lots of clues that lead us to believe that Zealandia could indeed be the eighth continent of the planet.
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