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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gondwanaland

[gän′dwän·ə‚land]
(geology)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
This boundary joint to the LAB define a low-velocity zone in the Australian mantle, which is also present for a similar depth range in the continents (South America, Antarctica and Africa) that were part of the same super-continent Gondwanaland.
The ostrich's closest living relatives, the rheas, emu, cassowaries, kiwis, and tinamous, are found in the New World or islands of the southern hemisphere--and it's likely that they, too, rafted away on their own pieces of the former Gondwanaland.
My geologist friends tell me that something over 200 million years ago many of what today are the earth's major continents were joined in a single "supercontinent" known as Gondwanaland. It included, in part, what is now South America, Africa, Australia, Antartica, Arabia, and the Indian Peninsula.
Suffice it to say that this exotic piece of geology, a remnant of Gondwanaland left behind after the breakup of Pangea, is the 'home' of the GEO CENTRE and is given special attention.
The region was subjected to major rifting episodes during the Mesozoic with the break-up of Gondwanaland and subsequent formation of the Perth Basin to the west and the Eucla Basin to the south.
In short, build a theme park and there goes Gondwanaland.
Think too of the friends of phlogiston, the foes of Gondwanaland
The islands broke away from Gondwanaland more than 80 million years ago, and for about 79,999,200 years after that, save for two species of bat, there were no mammals.
Several poems make mention of Livingstone (46) and there is even reference to the geological history of Gondwanaland.
Since the Cambrian, these plates have converged into a giant continent (Pangaea), separated into two continents (Lamasia and Gondwanaland), and further separated into the seven continents we now know.
The scientist points to persistent similarities in plant families that date back hundreds of millions of years ago to the "super-continent" known as Gondwanaland. "When the continents of the Southern Hemisphere that were once all part of the same Gondwanaland mass broke apart, each took with it genetic material related to plants on lands that drifted in other directions.
He lived in the nearby strawberry-colored block of fiats whose plaque read "Gondwanaland"--other neighbors had christened their house or apartments "Emoh Ruo," "Ice Castle" "Mermaid Avenue." I saw him often around Ashbury.