We all heard the legends about how continents were born and what each geographical point represents. However, science revealed many secrets and presented the actual facts. Maybe we will never manage to solve all the mysteries and answer all the questions, but important steps towards finding out the actual process of continent formation are being made as we speak.
Recent satellite images uncovered formations which seem to be remnants of lost continents. The items were found under Antarctica’s ice sheets and can be considered more clues about the continents’ path until they reached the present state. Furthermore, the information helps scientists predict the ice sheets’ future movement.
The continental remnants were spotted with the help of modern technology
By using techniques like data obtained with the help of a gravity-mapping satellite combined with seismological information, scientists managed to put together the missing pieces from the Earth’s lithosphere. The images taken from underneath the ice from Antarctica lead to the conclusion that continents were joined until 160 million years ago.
Other findings prove that there are some differences between the East and West of Antarctica. Scientists say that the study’s results can help them predict how the continent’s structure could change in the future.
As the ice melts, Antarctica will modify its structure. Ice sheets will continue to move and many regions from the mainland will be affected by these changes. Roger Haagmans, a scientist involved in ESA’s GOCE mission, declared that gravity gradients are a precise way to have a look inside the Earth.
Besides, the data provides deeper insights on how the continents were united in the past. That was before the plate motion drove them apart, but the matter still needs to be researched. Scientists know that they need more information, so they will continue to study the continental rupture.
Lena Pierce is a reporter for Great Lakes Ledger. After graduating from Ryerson In Toronto, Lena got an internship at CBC radio in Calgary. Lena was also a beat reporter for the Calgary Flames. Lena mostly cover sports and community events. Contact Lena here.