Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

Antarctica and the American Southwest: Former Neighbors?

DiscoblogBy Andrew MosemanJuly 11, 2008 6:46 PM
sand-and-snow-good220.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Do penguins like salsa? As the continents have made their slow drift around the world, the landmasses have intermingled in all sorts of ways, and occasionally formed supercontinents like Pangaea and Gondwanaland. Now, University of Minnesota Duluth geologist John Goodge says that in a supercontinent called Rodinia, which sat near the Equator 800 million years ago, Antarctica and Arizona used to be neighbors. According to Science News, experts have argued over what bordered Laurentia—the geologic name for the large landmass that contained most of what is now North America—during the time the continents were clustered in Rodinia. Australia, Siberia and China were all candidates. So Goodge tested the presence of different chemical isotopes, trying to get a match. And he did—to Eastern Antarctica. Granite found there matches the chemical composition of granite from the American Southwest, he says, and the Transantarctic Mountains contain the same sediments as Laurentian samples he's studied. The Antarctica-America connection may have been short-lived; Rodinia broke apart about 750 million years ago. No word yet whether the split was amicable. Image: iStockphoto

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In