Continents and Supercontinents

Hardcover | September 1, 2004

byJohn J. W. Rogers, M. Santosh

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To this day, there is a great amount of controversy about where, when and how the so-called supercontinents--Pangea, Godwana, Rodinia, and Columbia--were made and broken. Continents and Supercontinents frames that controversy by giving all the necessary background on how continental crust isformed, modified, and destroyed, and what forces move plates. It also discusses how these processes affect the composition of seawater, climate, and the evolution of life. Rogers and Santosh begin with a survey of plate tectonics, and go on to describe the composition, production, and destruction of continental and oceanic crust, and show that cratons or assemblies of cratons became the first true continents, approximately one billion years after the earliestcontinental crust evolved. The middle part of the book concentrates on supercontinents, beginning with a discussion of types of orogenic belts, distinguishing those that formed by closure of an ocean basin within the belt and those that formed by intracontinental deformation caused by stressesgenerated elsewhere. This information permits discrimination between models of supercontinent formation by accretion of numerous small terranes and by reorganization of large old continental blocks. This background leads to a description of the assembly and fragmentation of supercontinents throughout earth history. The record is most difficult to interpret for the oldest supercontinent, Columbia, and also controversial for Rodinia, the next youngest supercontinent. The configurations andpattern of breakup of Gondwana and Pangea are well known, but some aspects of their assembly are unclear. The book also briefly describes the histories of continents after the breakup of Pangea, and discusses how changes in the composition of seawater, climate, and life may have been affected bythe sizes and locations of continents and supercontinents.

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To this day, there is a great amount of controversy about where, when and how the so-called supercontinents--Pangea, Godwana, Rodinia, and Columbia--were made and broken. Continents and Supercontinents frames that controversy by giving all the necessary background on how continental crust isformed, modified, and destroyed, and what fo...

John J. W. Rogers is at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. M. Santosh is at Kochi University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 7.09 × 10.12 × 0.79 inPublished:September 1, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195165896

ISBN - 13:9780195165890

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Table of Contents

1. Continental Drift--The Road to Plate Tectonics2. Plate Tectonics Now and in the Pastn 3Creation, Destruction, and Changes in Volume of Continental Crust through Time4. Growth of Cratons and Their Post-Stabilization Histories5. Assembly of Continents and Establishment of Lower Crust and Upper Mantle6. Assembly and Dispersal of Supercontinents7. Supercontinents Older Than Gondwana8. Gondwana and Pangea9. Rifting of Pangea and Formation of Present Ocean Basins10. History of Continents after Rifting from Pangea11. Effects of Continents and Supercontinents on Climate12. Effects of Continents and Supercontinents on Organic EvolutionAppendix A. Seismic MethodsAppendix B. Heat Flow and Thermal GradientsAppendix C. PaleomagnetismAppendix D. Isotopic SystemsAppendix E. CratonsAppendix F. Anorogenic Magmatic SuitesAppendix G. Orogenic Belts of Grenville AgeAppendix H. Orogenic Belts of 2.1-1.3-Ga AgeAppendix I. Orogenic Belts of Pan-African-Brasiliano AgeReferencesAuthor IndexSubject Index

Editorial Reviews

"...this book provides a very thorough review of its subject matter, and will be accessible to those who have had an introduction to tectonics, petrology, and geochemistry."--Choice