Submarine ridge off Brazil: piece of sole original continent?

RIO DE JANEIRO Tue May 7, 2013 11:52pm IST

Related Topics

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian and Japanese researchers say a granite formation deep off the coast of Brazil could be a piece of an original continent that existed before the Americas, Africa, Europe and other major land masses drifted apart.

After a month long expedition using a research submarine, the scientists say the so-called Rio Grande Elevation, a rise on the ocean floor about 1,500 km (932 miles) southeast of Rio de Janeiro, features granite and minerals, including iron, manganese, and cobalt, that differentiate it from the rest of the surrounding seabed.

As such, the researchers believe, the formation could be a lost piece of Pangaea, the sole continent that geologists say existed before today's continents began to drift apart hundreds of millions of years ago.

While the hypothesis must still be tested through further research, the lost piece "could revolutionize our understanding of the formation and evolution of the Earth's crust," said Roberto Ventura, a director at the Brazilian Geological Service and a member of the team that announced the discovery on Monday.

The research was conducted aboard the Shinkai 6500, a Japanese submarine currently deployed as part of a joint mission by the Brazilian Geological Service, the Oceanographic Institute of the University of Sao Paulo and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

The mission, which will resume after a break in Rio, is gathering geological and biological samples collected in various portions of the South Atlantic.

(Reporting By Paulo Prada; Editing by Sandra Maler)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

School Shooting

School Shooting

Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting.  Full Article 

Mideast Crisis

Mideast Crisis

Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Syrian rebels to aid besieged Kobani.  Full Article 

Canada Shooting

Canada Shooting

Canada vows tougher laws as citizens worry in face of attacks.  Full Article 

"Unilateral Diktat"

"Unilateral Diktat"

Putin accuses United States of damaging world order.  Full Article 

Nuclear Threat

Nuclear Threat

U.S. general says he believes N. Korea can build nuclear warhead.  Full Article 

Hatchet Attack

Hatchet Attack

NYC police say hatchet attack by Islam convert was terrorism.  Full Article 

Bollywood World

Bollywood World

Read stories and reviews Bollywood films.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage