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Earth Science

Researchers Complete New Gondwana Map 116

An anonymous reader writes "A new computer simulated map has revealed the past position of the Australian, Antarctic and Indian tectonic plates, demonstrating how they formed the supercontinent Gondwana 165 million years ago. 'It was a simple technique, matching the geological boundaries on each plate. The geological units formed before the continents broke apart, so we used their position to put this ancient jigsaw puzzle back together again,' said Lloyd White of Royal Holloway University in a press release. 'We found that many existing studies had positioned the plates in the wrong place because the geological units did not align on each plate.'"
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Researchers Complete New Gondwana Map

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  • still connected? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Aren't all the continents still connected? The only thing that has changed is where the low points are that are filled in with water.

  • by drwho ( 4190 ) on Sunday July 07, 2013 @04:31PM (#44212045) Homepage Journal

    When is google maps going to have this? I want to trace where my house was back then.

    • by Extremus ( 1043274 ) on Sunday July 07, 2013 @04:37PM (#44212075)

      Sir, you have a really old house.

    • I want to trace where my house was back then.

      That depends on what material is your house built of.

    • When is google maps going to have this? I want to trace where my house was back then.

      actually this raises an interesting question, if the landmasses are moving - which they are; then there is no actual absolute frame of reference for position on the earths surface over time, we can make informed guesses as to speed of land movement and extrapolate backwards temporally, but there is no actual 'unmoving' part of the earth (that i am aware of). the greenwich meridian is of course moving, perhaps our gps and

      • by colfer ( 619105 )

        Much of the science is based on magnetic orientation in rocks and pole flipping at known times in the past. For the rest, just work back from the present plates.

        • by Macgrrl ( 762836 )


          I read this as Much of the science is based on magic orientation in rocks and thought you were being sarcastic or had an imaginary friend telling you the earth was only about 6,000 years old.

        • by Luyseyal ( 3154 )

          Comoving coordinates [wikipedia.org]?

          Yeah, I'm being a little facetious though you might be able to figure out some sort of topology where it could work... way over my head, though.


    • Google maps already has this. Check the paleo-reconstructions box.

    • Re:Google maps? (Score:5, Informative)

      by icebike ( 68054 ) on Sunday July 07, 2013 @07:56PM (#44213001)

      When is google maps going to have this? I want to trace where my house was back then.


      I would have been happy just to have the Summary link to the actual map instead of something several clicks removed.

      The actual story is HERE [sciencedaily.com]
      and a video of the breakup is here [vimeo.com]

      Why do posters link to things that are simply Click-Frauds for some advertiser campaign? And why do editors let them?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Why do posters link to things that are simply Click-Frauds for some advertiser campaign?

        You've answered your own question there.

        And why do editors let them?


      • by rizole ( 666389 )
        Editors? Slashdot has editors?
        • Editors? Slashdot has editors?

          They are more elusive than the fabled Lochness Monster, but they've been known to poke their heads up on occasion.

          Granted, its been quite a while, but a Friend of a Friend once saw ...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, there are some add-on KMZ files that allow you to animate plate positions and paleogeography [google.com], but they're fairly simple.

      If you want more technical, you can run GPlates [gplates.org], a fantastic, cross-platform (Windows, OS X, Linux) open-source program for modeling plate motions. Unfortunately the learning curve is pretty steep, but if you follow the tutorials you can do some very cool animations. You can even load GIS files and your own plate rotation poles if you're into that sort of thing and are willing

  • When did they change it from Gondwanaland to Gondwana? Was no-one looking after the sign [wikipedia.org]?
  • Map? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mystakaphoros ( 2664209 ) on Sunday July 07, 2013 @04:42PM (#44212103) Homepage
    Neat article! But... um... where's the map?
  • by Omegaman ( 703 ) on Sunday July 07, 2013 @04:50PM (#44212149)

    In searching for the actual new map of Gondwana, the researchers in the article have this video of three continents separating.
    http://vimeo.com/68311221 [vimeo.com]

  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Sunday July 07, 2013 @05:31PM (#44212349)

    In another paper I saw that Norway+Sweden was next to Colombia and Finland next to Venezuela:
    http://www.deepdyve.com/lp/elsevier/baltica-amazonia-and-the-samba-connection-1000-million-years-of-6ICpDpEcbF [deepdyve.com]

    The "baltica-amazonia-and-the-samba-connection" :)

    This was apparently long _before_ the Gondwana.

    There is more to the Earths history than many want to understand.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Sunday July 07, 2013 @06:05PM (#44212525)

    The next time I take vacation in Gondwanaland.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Sunday July 07, 2013 @07:24PM (#44212865)
    Stop Continental Drift!
  • And New Zealand just pops into existence at the end like some just anchored a boat and fished it up out of the sea

  • Pangaea is the original unified supercontinent. Animation of its breakup is here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pangea_animation_03.gif [wikipedia.org]

    Gondwana is one of the units formed as a product of the Pangaea breakup.

    This study claims heightened accuracy of the Gondwana breakup

  • Damn, that s a shitty article. Sourcing a poorly hand drawn illustration of a dinosaur that isn't even relevant to the discussion from Wikimedia commons?

  • Reunite Gondwanaland! - the Pangaean Liberation Front.


  • The real result is here linked from the press release page. There is a citation to the refereed journal in the pressrelease.

    http://vimeo.com/68311221 [vimeo.com]

    What the article probably argues for is that correlation of units on Antarctica, and Australia are well correlated. The number of linkages for India seem to be fewer, but other geologic features elucidate that history pretty will, It begins about 165 MYA, but this latest reconstruction dates the split of the rest as much more recent, about 35 MYA. I assule

  • The article cited in the press release is behind a paywall, and the abstract for it isn't even available.

    If research is funded by public funds, journals should make an e-copy available for free. Journals should not be able to hide research, especially that funded by a government, for profit. Even the need to find reviewers does not justify that they get to charge for access, at least ot an e-copy. IMHO.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky