Cathaysia was a microcontinent
or a group of terrane
s that rifted off Gondwana
during the Late Paleozoic
The terms "Cathaysia", "Cathaysialand" and "Cathaysia Terrane" have been used by various authors for different continental blocks or terrane
s and assemblages thereof. During the Devonian
, the South China
continents had separated from Gondwana
and they collided during the Carboniferous
to finally form a superterrane in the Permian
. "Cathaysia" has been used for some or all of the constellations involved in this tectonic journey. For example, in South China formed from the amalgamation of the "Yangtse and Cathaysia Blocks", whilst groups North China, South China, and Indochina into the "Cathaysian terranes".
Cathaysia, ''sensu'' Scotese, are a few of the almost 70 microcontinents that are involved in the formation of Asia. Furthermore, Cathaysia, both ''sensu'' Scotese and Li et al., is grouped among the "lonely wanderers" of — smaller continents whose position varies dramatically between plate reconstruction
During the Permian Cathaysia/South China was located near the Equator and within the Paleo-Tethys Ocean
together with the North China
continent and these two small continents share what is often called the "Cathaysian floras and faunas" (in contrast to the "Gondwanan floras and faunas").
As North and South China collided during the Late Triassic
the Qinling Ocean
South China was covered with coal forest
s formed by seed ferns of the order Callistophytales
, whilst tree-like Lycopodiophytes
survived into the Permian.
Category:Geology of China