Submarine ridge off Brazil: piece of sole original continent?
RIO DE JANEIRO
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)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
The U.S. and several Gulf Arab allies launched air and missile strikes on Islamic State strongholds in Syria on Tuesday, U.S. officials said, opening a new, far more complicated front in the battle against the militants. Full Article
White House intruder had 800 rounds of ammunition in car -prosecutor Full Article
Japan will not restart nuclear power plants unless safety is restored - Abe Full Article
Exclusive - U.S., France propose U.N. sanctions on foreign Islamist fighters Full Article