Australia once part of North America: Curtin University

Mindy Sparks
January 23, 2018

Australia and North America may be thousands of miles away from each other, but a new study suggests that more than a billion years ago, a small town in northern Queensland was once part of what we know today as North America. The eastern coast of India was attached to western North America, with southern Australia against western Canada. After drifting for another 100 million years, it crashed into Australia.

NORTHERN Australia was actually part of North America 1.7 billion years ago, suggests research by Curtin University.

In what looks like a case of a jigsaw mishap on a tectonic scale, a team of researchers led by Curtin University (CU) has found a piece of North America - specifically, Canada - in northern Australia.

Also known as Columbia, Nuna was a supercontinent that geologists believe existed from approximately 2.5 to 1.5 billion years ago. They are said to be very similar to rocks that are now found in Canada's precambrian shield. Geologists are still trying to reconstruct how even earlier supercontinents assembled and broke apart before Pangaea. During this period, nearly all continents on Earth grouped together and formed an ancient supercontinent called Nuna, aka the Columbia supercontinent.

"This was a critical part of global continental reorganization when nearly all continents on Earth assembled to form the supercontinent called Nuna", co-author Adam Nordsvan, a student at Curtin University's School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said in the press statement.

They then determined that when the supercontinent Nuna broke apart about 300 million years later, the Georgetown area did not drift away but stayed stuck to Australia. And according to new research, a relatively small region of Australia was once part of Canada when the world's landmasses were gathered in a supercontinent dubbed Nuna.

That's not all. Colliding landmasses typically form mountain ranges. A more recent example is supercontinent Pangea, which formed some 335 million years ago, but separated 160 million years later.

"The team was able to determine this by using both new sedimentological field data and new and existing geochronological data from both Georgetown and Mount Isa", said study co-author Adam Nordsvan, a student at Curtin University's School of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

This physical link to North America wasn't the only discovery made by the school's researchers, as it reports there is evidence mountains were built when the region collided with the rest of Australia. "This new finding is a key step in understanding how Earth's first supercontinent Nuna may have formed".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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