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Laurasia
Laurasia (), a portmanteau for Laurentia and Asia, was the more northern of two large landmasses (the other being Gondwana) that formed part of the Pangaea supercontinent from around (Mya). It separated from Gondwana (beginning in the late Triassic period) during the breakup of Pangaea, drifting farther north after the split and finally broke apart with the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean c. 56 Mya. Laurentia, Avalonia, Baltica, and a series of smaller terranes, collided in the Caledonian orogeny c. 400 Ma to form Laurussia (also known as Euramerica, or the Old Red Sandstone Continent). Laurussia then collided with Gondwana to form Pangaea. Kazakhstania and Siberia were then added to Pangaea 290–300 Ma to form Laurasia. Laurasia finally became an independent continental mass when Pangaea broke up into Gondwana and Laurasia. Terminology and origin of the concept Laurentia, the Palaeozoic core of North America and continental fragments that now make up part of ...
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Gondwana
Gondwana () or Gondwanaland was a supercontinent that existed from the Neoproterozoic (about 550 million years ago) and began to break up during the Jurassic (about 180 million years ago), with the opening of the Drake Passage, separating South America and Antarctica occurring during the Eocene. Gondwana was not considered a supercontinent by the earliest definition, since the landmasses of Baltica, Laurentia, and Siberia were separated from it. It was formed by the accretion of several cratons. Eventually, Gondwana became the largest piece of continental crust of the Paleozoic Era, covering an area of about , about one-fifth of the Earth's surface. During the Carboniferous Period, it merged with Euramerica to form a larger supercontinent called Pangaea. Gondwana (and Pangaea) gradually broke up during the Mesozoic Era. The remnants of Gondwana make up around two-thirds of today's continental area, including South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, the Indian Subcontinent, ...
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Pangaea
Pangaea or Pangea () was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. It assembled from earlier continental units approximately 335 million years ago, and began to break apart about 175 million years ago. In contrast to the present Earth and its distribution of continental mass, Pangaea was centred on the Equator and surrounded by the superocean Panthalassa. Pangaea is the most recent supercontinent to have existed and the first to be reconstructed by geologists. Origin of the concept The name "Pangaea/Pangea" is derived from Ancient Greek ''pan'' (, "all, entire, whole") and ''Gaia'' (, "Mother Earth, land"). The concept that the continents once formed a contiguous land mass was first proposed by Alfred Wegener, the originator of the scientific theory of continental drift, in his 1912 publication ''The Origin of Continents'' (''Die Entstehung der Kontinente'').Alfred Wegener: ''Die Entstehung der Kontinente.'' Dr. A. Petermann's Mitteilung ...
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Avalonia
Avalonia was a microcontinent in the Paleozoic era. Crustal fragments of this former microcontinent underlie south-west Great Britain, southern Ireland, and the eastern coast of North America. It is the source of many of the older rocks of Western Europe, Atlantic Canada, and parts of the coastal United States. Avalonia is named for the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland. Avalonia developed as a volcanic arc on the northern margin of Gondwana. It eventually rifted off, becoming a drifting microcontinent. The Rheic Ocean formed behind it, and the Iapetus Ocean shrank in front. It collided with the continents Baltica, then Laurentia, and finally with Gondwana, ending up in the interior of Pangea. When Pangea broke up, Avalonia's remains were divided by the rift which became the Atlantic Ocean. Development [[Image:Caledonides EN.svg|250px|Location of the Caledonian/Acadian mountain chains in the Early Devonian Epoch. Present day coastlines are shown for reference. Red lines are sutu ...
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Supercontinent
In geology, a supercontinent is the assembly of most or all of Earth's continental blocks or cratons to form a single large landmass. However, some earth scientists use a different definition, "a grouping of formerly dispersed continents", which leaves room for interpretation and is easier to apply to Precambrian times although at least about 75% of the continental crust then in existence has been proposed as a limit to separate supercontinents from other groupings. Supercontinents have assembled and dispersed multiple times in the geologic past (see table). According to modern definitions, a supercontinent does not exist today; the closest thing we have to a supercontinent is the current Afro-Eurasian landmass, which covers approx. 57% of Earth's total land area. The supercontinent Pangaea is the collective name describing all of the continental landmasses when they were most recently near to one another. The positions of continents have been accurately determined back to the ea ...
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Laurentia
upright=1.4|Laurentia, also called the North American craton Laurentia or the North American Craton is a large continental craton that forms the ancient geological core of North America. Many times in its past, Laurentia has been a separate continent, as it is now in the form of North America, although originally it also included the cratonic areas of Greenland and also the northwestern part of Scotland, known as the Hebridean Terrane. During other times in its past, Laurentia has been part of larger continents and supercontinents and itself consists of many smaller terranes assembled on a network of Early Proterozoic orogenic belts. Small microcontinents and oceanic islands collided with and sutured onto the ever-growing Laurentia, and together formed the stable Precambrian craton seen today. The craton is named after the Laurentian Shield, through the Laurentian Mountains, which received their name from the Saint Lawrence River, named after Lawrence of Rome. Interior platform I ...
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Siberia (continent)
Siberia, also known as Angaraland (or simply Angara) and Angarida, is an ancient craton in the heart of Siberia. Today forming the Central Siberian Plateau, it was an independent continent before the Permian period. The Verkhoyansk Sea, a passive continental margin, was fringing the Siberian Craton to the east in what is now the East Siberian Lowland. Angaraland was named in the 1880s by Austrian geologist Eduard Suess who erroneously believed that in the Paleozoic there were two large continents in the Northern Hemisphere: "Atlantis", North America connected to Europe by a peninsula (=Greenland and Iceland); and "Angara-land", eastern Asia, named after the Angara River in Siberia. Precambrian history About 2.5 billion years ago (Siderian), Siberia was part of a continent of Arctica, along with the Canadian Shield. Around 1.1 billion years ago (Stenian), Siberia became part of the supercontinent of Rodinia, a state of affairs which lasted until the Cryogenian about 750 million year ...
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Europe
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east. Europe is commonly considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea, and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. "Europe" (pp. 68–69); "Asia" (pp. 90–91): "A commonly accepted division between Asia and Europe ... is formed by the Ural Mountains, Ural River, Caspian Sea, Caucasus Mountains, and the Black Sea with its outlets, the Bosporus and Dardanelles." Although much of this border is over land, Europe is generally accorded the status of a full continent because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe covers about , o ...
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Triassic
The Triassic ( ) is a geologic period and system which spans 50.6 million years from the end of the Permian Period 251.902 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Jurassic Period 201.36 Mya. The Triassic is the first and shortest period of the Mesozoic Era. Both the start and end of the period are marked by major extinction events. The Triassic period is subdivided into three epochs: Early Triassic, Middle Triassic and Late Triassic. The Triassic began in the wake of the Permian–Triassic extinction event, which left the Earth's biosphere impoverished; it was well into the middle of the Triassic before life recovered its former diversity. Therapsids and archosaurs were the chief terrestrial vertebrates during this time. A specialized subgroup of archosaurs, called dinosaurs, first appeared in the Late Triassic but did not become dominant until the succeeding Jurassic Period. The first true mammals, themselves a specialized subgroup of therapsids, also evolved during this ...
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Alexander Du Toit
Alexander Logie du Toit FRS ( ; 14 March 1878 – 25 February 1948) was a geologist from South Africa and an early supporter of Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift. Early life and education Du Toit was born in Newlands, Cape Town in 1878, and educated at the Diocesan College in Rondebosch and the University of the Cape of Good Hope. Encouraged by his grandfather, Captain Alexander Logie, he graduated in 1899 in mining engineering at the Royal Technical College in Glasgow. After a short period studying geology at the Royal College of Science in London, he returned to Glasgow to lecture in geology, mining and surveying at the University of Glasgow and the Royal Technical College. Career In 1903, du Toit was appointed as a geologist within the Geological Commission of the Cape of Good Hope, and he began to develop an extensive knowledge of the geology of southern Africa by mapping large portions of the Karoo and its dolerite intrusions, publishing numerous papers on the su ...
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Carboniferous
The Carboniferous ( ) is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic that spans 60 million years from the end of the Devonian Period million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Permian Period, Mya. The name ''Carboniferous'' means "coal-bearing" and derives from the Latin words ''carbō'' ("coal") and ''ferō'' ("I bear, I carry"), and was coined by geologists William Conybeare and William Phillips in 1822. Based on a study of the British rock succession, it was the first of the modern 'system' names to be employed, and reflects the fact that many coal beds were formed globally during that time. The Carboniferous is often treated in North America as two geological periods, the earlier Mississippian and the later Pennsylvanian. Terrestrial animal life was well established by the Carboniferous period. Amphibians were the dominant land vertebrates, of which one branch would eventually evolve into amniotes, the first solely terrestrial vertebrates. Arthropods were also very c ...
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North America
North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea, and to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean. Because it is on the North American Tectonic Plate, Greenland is included as part of North America geographically. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 16.5% of the Earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third-largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population. North America was reached by its first human populati ...
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Balkans
The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe with various definitions and meanings, including geopolitical and historical. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the whole of Bulgaria. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea in the northwest, the Ionian Sea in the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the south, the Turkish Straits in the east, and the Black Sea in the northeast. The northern border of the peninsula is variously defined. The highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala, , in the Rila mountain range, Bulgaria. The concept of the Balkan Peninsula was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808, who mistakenly considered the Balkan Mountains the dominant mountain system of Southeast Europe spanning from the Adriatic Sea to the Black Sea. The term ''Balkan Peninsula'' was a synonym for Rumelia in the 19th century, the provinces of the Ottoman Empire in Southeast ...
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Peter Ziegler
Peter Alfred Ziegler (2 November 1928 – 19 July 2013) was a Swiss geologist, who made contributions to the understanding of the geological evolution of Europe and the North Atlantic borderlands, of intraplate tectonics and of plate tectonic controls on the evolution and hydrocarbon potential of sedimentary basins. Ziegler's career consists of 33 years as exploration geologist with the petroleum industry, 30 of which with Shell, and 20 years of university teaching and research. Life and work Born in Winterthur, Ziegler took a PhD degree at the University of Zurich in spring 1955 and immediately joined the petroleum industry. Following three years of fieldwork and well sitting in Israel, Madagascar and the Algerian Sahara with American and French oil companies, he joined Shell Canada in Calgary. For six years he was engaged in the exploration of the Cordilleran foothills of British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, as well as of the Pacific shelf. This involved ...
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