Gondwanaland


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Gondwanaland

(gŏnd'wä`nəlănd'): see continental driftcontinental drift,
geological theory that the relative positions of the continents on the earth's surface have changed considerably through geologic time. Though first proposed by American geologist Frank Bursley Taylor in a lecture in 1908, the first detailed theory of
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.

Gondwanaland

 

(named after the historical region in middle India), a hypothetical continent that, in the opinion of many scientists, existed in the southern hemisphere in the Paleozoic era and partially in the Mesozoic era. It included a large part of contemporary South America (to the east of the Andes), Africa (without the Atlas Mountains), the island of Madagascar, Arabia, the Indian peninsula (south of the Himalayas), Australia (to the west of the mountain ranges in the east), and possibly a large portion of Antarctica. The proponents of Gondwanaland’s existence feel that in the Proterozoic era and the Upper Carboniferous period, extensive glaciation developed on the continent. Traces of Upper Carboniferous glaciation are evident in Central and South Africa, in the southern part of South America, and in India and Australia. During the Carboniferous and Permian periods, unique flora of the temperate and cold belts developed in Gondwanaland. This flora was characterized by an abundance of glossopteres and equisetums.

Gondwanaland began to break up in the Mesozoic era and by the end of the Cretaceous period and the beginning of the Paleogene epoch, the modern continents and their regions had separated. Many geologists feel that the breakup of Gondwanaland was a consequence of the horizontal separation of its modern parts, a fact confirmed by the data of paleomagnetism. However, instead of separation some scientists have proposed the collapse of individual areas of Gondwanaland that previously were situated on the site of the present-day Indian and southern Atlantic oceans.

REFERENCES

Mazarovich, A. N. Osnovy regional’noi geologii materikov. Part 2: luzhnye materiki, okeany i obshchie zakonomernosti razvitiia struktury zemnoi kory. [Moscow] 1952.
Gignoux, M. Stratigraficheskaia geologiia. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from French.)
Problemy peremeshcheniia materikov. Moscow, 1963. (Collection of articles; translated from English and German.)
Problemy paleoklimatologii. Trudy simpoziuma. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English.)

Gondwanaland

[gän′dwän·ə‚land]
(geology)
References in periodicals archive ?
And so it goes in this modern version of Gondwanaland, a world itself brought on largely by advances in science and engineering.
The region is listed as a World Heritage area not because of its cultural or historic significance, but because it is recognized as one of the world's foremost natural landscapes with an extraordinarily rich biodiversity where the impact of humans is confined to a few small settlements and a narrow strip along the main highway, and where some of the best modern representatives of the original flora and fauna of Gondwanaland still exists today.
There are thriving villages, a school, a hospital, a church, a light railway, set in a phenomenon of natural beauty: strings of coral atolls, floating in turquoise, that were once the peaks of a Gondwanaland mountain range known as Limuria, long covered by 21,000 square miles of the Indian Ocean.
On barren rock faces, tortured red-sandstone folds testify to the geological upheaval that followed the break-up of Gondwanaland and that formed the four parallel ranges that make this area unlike anywhere else on Earth.
Gondwanaland gradually split up into Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea.
The southern landmasses of Australia, Africa, and South America separated from a megacontinent called Gondwanaland about 80 million years ago, leaving Antarctica astride the South Pole.
On Tuesday look for ``The Haunted Forest,'' about strange giant insects and other natives of the Gondwanaland Forest in New Zealand.
Late Paleozoic glacial episodes in Gondwanaland reflected in transgressive-regressive depositional sequences in Euramerica.
The area is directly adjacent to the marine trench formed during the breakup of Gondwanaland (where the African continent separated from South America), and the associated inundation with turbidite deposits (Amis Formation of the Zerissene Group).
At that time, the future continents of Australia, South America, Antarctica, and Africa were all joined into a single continent called Gondwanaland.
Millions upon millions of years ago when the region known today as Botswana was a part of the continent of Gondwanaland, huge deposits of carbon in the earth's fiery core were compacted under massive pressure, crystallised and transformed into diamonds -- nature's most precious and hardest of all gems.
If this turns out to be true, the Copperbelt might not be unique and equivalents could be found somewhere else in Africa or in the Gondwanaland paleocontinent.