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Australia Earth Science

1.7-Billion-Year-Old Chunk of North America Found Sticking To Australia (livescience.com) 122

walterbyrd shares a report from Live Science: Geologists matching rocks from opposite sides of the globe have found that part of Australia was once attached to North America 1.7 billion years ago. Researchers from Curtin University in Australia examined rocks from the Georgetown region of northern Queensland. The rocks -- sandstone sedimentary rocks that formed in a shallow sea -- had signatures that were unknown in Australia but strongly resembled rocks that can be seen in present-day Canada. The researchers, who described their findings online Jan. 17 in the journal Geology, concluded that the Georgetown area broke away from North America 1.7 billion years ago. Then, 100 million years later, this landmass collided with what is now northern Australia, at the Mount Isa region.

"This was a critical part of global continental reorganization when almost all continents on Earth assembled to form the supercontinent called Nuna," Adam Nordsvan, Curtin University doctoral student and lead author of the study, said in a statement. Nordsvan added that Nuna then broke apart some 300 million years later, with the Georgetown area stuck to Australia as the North American landmass drifted away.

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1.7-Billion-Year-Old Chunk of North America Found Sticking To Australia

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  • by TimothyHollins ( 4720957 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @08:02AM (#55992225)

    Isn't that why we sent the Australians over there in the first place?

    • How do they sleep at night?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    • Re:Theft and larceny (Score:5, Interesting)

      by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @09:09AM (#55992463)

      Isn't that why we sent the Australians over there in the first place?

      Actually the reason that convicts were transported to Australia is because the Brits could no longer dump them in North America due to that pesky revolution thingy.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      • Re:Theft and larceny (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `ikihsam'> on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @10:39AM (#55992901) Homepage

        Oh come on now. That's just because they couldn't dump them in the colonies anymore, they were still doing that in Upper and Lower Canada and the colonial state of Newfoundland. Despite what the wikipedia article says, the crown was still shipping them to north america until the very late 1700's(round about 1795ish), but only into lands "just far enough" to not make it an issue for the newly founded US. See there was even a trick to it, they would declare the prisoners being sent to an "unknown location" and then basically dump them in the territory or colonial state. Who'd then be responsible for well...everything, from feeding to housing, and so on while it "was in dispute with the crown." And that could take years, and in the mean time the prisoners would/could be forced onto a plantation while arguing with the crown over it.

        Lot's of bits of history like that which really doesn't get fully covered. Here's an example from 1789 [lib.unb.ca], also covers some other stuff but worth the reading.

    • Trump will get it back. There is already a petition started.

      • Well, since the article says that the chunk broke off what is now Canada, it should be entertaining* to watch Trump try come up with an even half way plausible basis for a US claim on that rock.

        *problem is, world leaders, elected officials and the like aren't supposed to be entertaining, they're supposed to be competent. Picking a leader on the basis of who might provide the most lulz strikes me as a Bad Thing.

      • by LesFerg ( 452838 )

        Actually he will make the Mexicans get it back. All that rock will make a damned big wall.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      You cant "steal" land by moving it. he property just moves with you.

      Now we have learned something new.... a portion of southern Australia is actually part of Canada.

      Better get ready to start paying your backtaxes, folks.

      • by jrumney ( 197329 )

        Researchers from Curtin University in Australia examined rocks from the Georgetown region of northern Queensland.

        Now we have learned something new.... a portion of southern Australia is actually part of Canada.

        I see by your grasp of geography that you hail from the land of Canada's southern neighbors.

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          I see by your grasp of geography that you hail from the land of Canada's southern neighbors.

          Nooooo.... How dare you imply I have something to do with those filthy renegade colonists.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The entire earth is all connected to itself and the planet is not flat after all. This is earth shattering news!

  • Dumping their crap on our own fair shores for billions of years... without even a thank you note.

    I hope you Chooks turn into Emus and kick your dunny down.
  • For those of us (Score:5, Informative)

    by TFlan91 ( 2615727 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @08:23AM (#55992317)

    For those of us that aren't geologists and saw "Nuna", but read/expected "Pangaea":

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:For those of us (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @08:50AM (#55992411)

      For most of us, even the highly educated, We have a High School or Middle School understanding of most topics. When we furthered our education, it for the most part had became specialized in particular areas, But for those who didn't specialize in that area, we have a limited understanding, in the topic. (Thank you for the link for additional information) Pangaea, was the latest Super Continent which we are shown during or basic education, as it is relatively recent enough that we could plainly see how the Continents fit together. "Nuna" had continental plates that do not look like what we know of, hence hard to teach to kids. And once we get older unless we study geology such topics isn't so relevant to other topics we choose to study.

      This brings up the disturbing trends of people not believing the experts in fields, and some of them are in leadership positions who's actions causes change.
      Now a leader may not follow the advice of the expert, because their may be factors beyond that particular field, that need to be weighed in, however these experts should be listened to as you gut instinct and general knowledge in most things are actually at a basic level.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        Continents fit together. "Nuna" had continental plates that do not look like what we know of, hence hard to teach to kids

        Considering the long age of the earth; it's ridiculous for almost anyone to think they have information on a significant fraction of the geologic history,
        but just because someone heard of Pangea or Nuna or whatever doesn't mean there weren't other supercontinents at different times.

        This brings up the disturbing trends of people not believing the experts in fields, and some of them are

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        This brings up the disturbing trends of people not believing the experts in fields, and some of them are in leadership positions who's actions causes change. Now a leader may not follow the advice of the expert, because their may be factors beyond that particular field, that need to be weighed in, however these experts should be listened to as you gut instinct and general knowledge in most things are actually at a basic level.

        The trouble is in deconstructing knowledge from perspective and agenda. For example take the war on drugs, there's plenty of experts and organizations on both sides of the fence. If you ask a rehab clinic drugs leads to addicts, because the drug users they see are those who became addicted. The police will see criminal drug users. The psychologist will see drug users with psychological problems. On the other hand a medical marijuana shop may stand to make a huge profit if it's legalized for recreational use

    • Thanks.
    • It's comforting that I'm not the only one.

      Thank you for the link.

      LK

    • When I was in grade school, Continental Drift was a hot new theory - well, not really new, a revived theory recently given prominence thanks in part due to advances in computer graphics that made it much easier to visualize the moving puzzle-pieces and experiment with differing arrangements.
      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        The speculation that continents might have 'drifted' was first put forward by Abraham Ortelius in 1596. The concept was independently and more fully developed by Alfred Wegener in 1912

        You should have a lower user ID if you're that old.

        • The concept was independently and more fully developed by Alfred Wegener in 1912

          See Krakatoa by Simon Winchester for an excellent description of Wegener's continental drift concept. Winchester can be long winded and a bit full of himself, but he's an excellent researcher and I'm thoroughly enjoying the book.
        • :-) I think it was 1968 or 1970 when the idea was revived with more support from new ground penetrating radar and other new geophysical information gathering techniques. Computer graphics helped make illustrative animations that sold the idea.
        • The speculation that continents might have 'drifted' was first put forward by Abraham Ortelius in 1596. The concept was independently and more fully developed by Alfred Wegener in 1912

          You should have a lower user ID if you're that old.

          Kids daydreaming in school and looking at the world map hanging on the wall will on occasion notice that the margins of Eurasia-Africa fit into the Americas. Ortelius gets the credit for making this observation because it was incidental to the main reason history remembers him - he was the leading cartographer and atlas publisher of his age. He had in this hands the first good set of maps of the margins of the two continent systems anyone had ever prepared, so he was the first to be able to notice this read

      • I remember as a kid (in the 1970s) playing with a globe noticing that South America would fit rather nicely into Africa. Some things are just kind of obvious on inspection. Perhaps many geologists noticed things like that and started looking for similar strata, etc. in locations that would have been nearby.
        • Yep, that is exactly what happened. People were constantly noticing this plainly evident margin alignment. Wegener reasoned that if the two continent systems once were joined, then the geology and fossils on either side the split at the time it occurred must be the same everywhere, not just here and there. Wegener showed that this was the case. If he had been able to show the opposite he would have decisively disproved the idea.

          Once he had convincing evidence that this was true geologists should have believ

          • It's hard to find convincing evidence for something that's considered impossible. Without some sort of idea as to how continents can drift, Wegener's work was interesting but not conclusive.

    • I've never heard of this "Nuna" before.

      • I've never heard of this "Nuna" before.

        Thank you for your participation. Here's a trophy.

        • Awesome! This is exactly what I was fishing for. Now I'm going to track every post you make and make sure I put my two cents in, so when I collect enough trophies I can melt them down and get money for the scrap. Who the fuck was talking to you again?
          I was underscoring, along with others here, how esoteric this supercontinent is. Almost everyone is familiar with Pangaea. Nuna? Not so much.

          • You're the one that blurted out your ignorance like it was some point of pride.

            Suck it up, buttercup.

            • How did that come across as a "point of pride", tough guy? Maybe the word you're looking for is honesty.. What a concept.

              • Well, like someone said, "'Tis best to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt".

                • OMG, stop the presses, I've never heard of supercontinent "Nuna" before, like 95% of the rest of the human population.. ..so that makes me a fool.
                  It must be nice to be among the elite. If you admitted to something I knew that you didn't, I wouldn't be such a dickwad about it, but then I'm a decent human being.

    • I thank you for the link as I curse you for the link. Now I have added yet another tab to the hundred that I have open, to look at when I quit wasting time on /..

  • ... and propose drilling for oil by summer!
  • So in a way Great Britain joined long lost siblings under the Commonwealth? Isn't that nice of them?

  • by Plumpaquatsch ( 2701653 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @09:01AM (#55992437) Journal
    President Trump demands immediate return of American property. Unnamed private investor will be building a golf resort on it.
    • If it aint got no oil we dont want it.
      • by Teun ( 17872 )
        Foreign oil when Trump just stopped import of cheap solar panels?
        No, Trump prefers to keep his USA First billionaire friends make money locally.
    • It said parts of Canada, not the US. Good reading comprehension.
      Justin Trudeau apologized for the inconvenience to the Ozzies and offered to immigrate half of Australia's deadly snakes and spiders to British Colombia as an appeasement

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        It said parts of Canada, not the US. Good reading comprehension.

        Human Nature Rule #73: good jokes override logic and accuracy. (So do some Presidents, but that's another rule.)

    • On behalf of all Australians we encourage your unnamed investor to build his course and spend as much time playing there as possible. The only things up there are skin cancer, firebombing birds, crocodiles, and the worlds deadliest jellyfish. Think you're safe? Not even Steve Irwin survived up there.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      President Trump demands immediate return of American property.

      Australian leadership replied that Trump can have it if he can haul the chunk away using wind power. At least that's how I'll interpret "blow chunks".

  • Bad blood. It's thieves and criminals what were sent to Australia. So now they stole a piece of someone else's continent?

  • Who knew the aborigines were canucks?
  • I find myself deeply moved in my faith that God would go to all this trouble to mislead idiot atheists into believing the world is more than 6,000 years old.

    I must go at once to donate my children's college fund to Pat Robertson. You go, God!

  • They filled a international court motion to get their land back.
  • by dcw3 ( 649211 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @11:00AM (#55993027) Journal

    We call that the "sticky bit"

  • Has anyone made a klingon joke yet?
  • Make American Whole Again!
  • These exotic terranes, which are rock that originally were part of other continents, are a pretty common occurrence. Most of the eastern seaboard of the US was once part of Africa or South America. Large parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachussets, New Hampshire, Maine Nova Scotia and Newfoundland contain African rocks. The contact between African and North American rocks runs thr

  • We want our rocks back!

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