According to researchers, under Iceland there could be a submerged microcontinent stretching from Greenland to Northern Europe. “Icelandia” could be the answer to many questions.
In a press release, an international team of researchers led by Gillian Foulger from Durham University put forward a fascinating theory: Iceland is only the tip of a long-sunken microcontinent. An Atlantis in Northern Europe? For the researchers, there is some evidence to suggest this.
The sea depth of up to 600 meters in the area around Iceland is significantly less than in the rest of the North Atlantic, which is over 2000 meters deep in most areas. According to the researchers, the crust under Iceland, at 40 kilometers, is almost seven times thicker than an ordinary oceanic crust. “When we considered the possibility that the thick crust is actually continental, our data suddenly made sense,” explained Gillian Foulger in the broadcast. In addition, there would be chemical anomalies in the lava rocks in the area, which support the scientists’ thesis.
Icelandia: microcontinent could be a million square kilometers
The geologists at Durham University estimate that “Icelandia” could cover an area of 600,000 square kilometers. But if you include the bordering areas of Great Britain in the calculations, the entire area, which the researchers dubbed “Greater Icelandia”, could even have an area of up to one million square kilometers.
If your theory is correct, it would mean that the continent of Pangea was never really completely broken apart, it says in the broadcast. So far it has been assumed that this last supercontinent in the history of the earth drifted apart more than 50 million years ago.
Greater Adria, Zealandia, Mauritia: the sunken continents of the earth
In any case, “Icelandia” would not be the first submerged microcontinent on earth. Our planet is constantly changing, continents collide or break and entire land masses are swallowed up by the ocean. This is how the submerged micro-continents “Greater Adria” in southern Europe and “Zealandia” under New Zealand came into being. But they are only a few examples of such phenomena. Researchers keep discovering new sunken land masses. Since 2013 it has been assumed that the microcontinent “Mauritia” is located in the Indian Ocean.
Researchers now want to test their “Icelandia” theory
In order to thoroughly check your thesis, the team around Gillian Foulger is already planning studies and measurements. “There is still a lot to do to prove the existence of Icelandia, but at the same time it opens up a whole new perspective on the geology of our earth,” said Foulger. Because similar, previously undiscovered micro-continents could be in other places and not only change maps, but also our conception of the earth.
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