THE EARTH HAS A NEW CONTINENT -ZEALANDIA
Scientists say they have identified a new continent, and called it Zealandia.
In a new paper, a team of 11 geologists have proposed that a region of the Pacific Ocean, located east of Australia and containing New Zealand and New Caledonia, be considered a continent in its own right.
Geographically speaking, there are currently six recognized continents: Africa Antarctica, Australia, Eurasia, North America, and South America. Eurasia is the geographical landmass that includes Europe and Asia.at 4.9 million square kilometres, Zealandia would be Earth’s smallest continent.
It is also the ‘youngest, thinnest, and most submerged’ of the continents, with 94 percent of the landmass submerged in water, the geologists wrote.
In the paper, titled ‘Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent,’ the geologists argue that Zealandia has all four attributes necessary to be considered a continent.
Those attributes include ‘high elevation relative to regions floored by oceanic crust,’ as well as the presence of three types of rocks (igneous, or volcanic; metamorphic, or created by heat and pressure; and sedimentary, or created by erosion).the other attributes are a thicker, less dense crust than the surrounding ocean floor, and an area large enough to distinguish it from the category of microcontinent.
‘The scientific value of classifying Zealandia as a continent is much more than just an extra name on a list,’ the scientists wrote.
‘That a continent can be so submerged yet unfragmented makes it a useful and thoughtprovoking geodynamic end member in exploring the cohesion and breakup of continental crust.’
All but one of the 11 researchers behind the paper represent organisations based in New Zealand and New Caledonia. The eleventh scientist is based in Australia.