Scientists Reconstruct Break-up of Eastern Gondwana - Geography for You

Scientists Reconstruct Break-up of Eastern Gondwana

Scientists Reconstruct Break-up of Eastern Gondwana
Scientists Reconstruct Break-up of Eastern Gondwana
The study, published in the journal Gondwana Research, helps clear up previous uncertainties on how these plates evolved and where they should be positioned when drawing up a picture of the past.
“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,” explained study lead author Dr Lloyd White from the University of London.
“We used a computer program 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.”
The team adopted an old technique used by researchers 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 said.
“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.”
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