Researchers: Rocks Discovered in Australia Were Once Sitting in North America

By Holly Kellum

The land Down Under may not have been so far down under once upon a time.

Rock discovered in Australia from millions of years ago appears to have come from North America, researchers at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, say.

The rocks, discovered some 250 miles (412 kilometers) west of Cairns near Georgetown in Far North Queensland, have characteristics that are unlike rocks native to Australia, the researchers say.

In a study published in the journal Geology on Jan. 17, the team says this shows that a chunk of land broke off from eastern Canada about 1.7 billion years ago and floated around before colliding with northern Australia some 100 million years later.

This collision helped form the supercontinent Nuna, also known as Columbia, they say.

Nuna was one of Earth’s many supercontinents, the most recent of the major ones being Pangea.

When the supercontinent separated some 300 million years later, the researchers say, that chunk of land stayed with Australia.

“This was a critical part of global continental reorganization when almost all continents on Earth assembled to form the supercontinent called Nuna,” Curtin University PhD student Adam Nordsvan from the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences said in a press release.

“This new finding is a key step in understanding how Earth’s first supercontinent Nuna may have formed, a subject still being pursued by our multidisciplinary team here at Curtin University,” added the study’s co-author, Professor Li Zhengxiang, also from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

 

Recommended Video:

Lost World War I Submarine Found 103 Years Later

 
 
 

China’s Citizens Pay More as Domestic Agricultural Production Dips, US Imports Become More Expensive

China’s Citizens Pay More as Domestic Agricultural Production Dips, US Imports Become More Expensive
Beijing’s trump card in the trade war between China and the United States has been to slap retaliatory ...
READ MORE >
 

Shipwreck From Only WWII Battle in America Found Off Alaska

Shipwreck From Only WWII Battle in America Found Off Alaska
Scientists have discovered part of the stern section that was blown off a U.S. Navy destroyer during World ...
READ MORE >
 

Aretha Franklin Dies at Age 76, Confirms Publicist

Aretha Franklin Dies at Age 76, Confirms Publicist
Aretha Franklin, the first female singer to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and ...
READ MORE >
 

Trump Slams Cuomo for Saying America ‘Was Never That Great’

Trump Slams Cuomo for Saying America ‘Was Never That Great’
A comment about America uttered by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo caused a firestorm on Aug. 15, sparking ...
READ MORE >