Today, we see the Earth as one of the huge planets, divided into seven continents and each continent contains many countries and surrounding areas. But this was not the case 4 billion years ago. At that time, the earth had a very hot temperature and it was very difficult for the inhabitants to live a life here. All the mountains and hilly areas we see today were not there at that time. Slowly and with due course, many rocks broke into pieces forming land and land was divided naturally. In addition to know about how were the continents formed, we have prepared a detailed report here. Kindly follow the report. Furthermore, many theories have come up since ancient times regarding the formation of continents. When it comes to continents, many of the longest debates have taken place among geologists, each one of them having their own opinions and set of theories which are strong with facts and proofs.
One such research was done by the Nagel team. The Nagels had studied some of the oldest rocks on Earth. Their main attention was on the south western region of Greenland’s Isua region. This region had some of the oldest rocks and they were worth observing as they gave many facts about the continents and their formation. These continents are found near the basalt rocks which are found near ocean areas. The base of the seas and oceans are made up of this basalt rock. Both these rocks were very helpful to the Nagels as they believed that basalt rocks melted down due to high temperature on the planet. This led to the formation of continental rocks. Different types of rocks have different melting points. This makes it easy for the formation of continental rocks. They can also test the layers of rock and estimate its depth.
Many geologists were of the opinion that the earth’s crust was made up after constant wear and tear of different rocks spread across the globe. They also have many evidences to support their point. The structure of minerals and rocks and the rock strata helped them to come to this partial conclusion. Continuous structures of rocks have helped them investigate more in this direction. There is a deep relation between the ancient rocks and their proximity with rocks of various types. The Earth is indeed very old. It was formed about 4.56 billion years ago. One study says that earth had evidence of water around 100 million years after it came into existence. Later on, the surface cooled down and continuous crust started spreading over large areas of the Earth. After another few billion years, the crush was seen to be unstable and uneven at some areas. This rock was melted down again and again by the molten magma let out during volcano eruptions. Outside forces like comets and asteroids also added to the melting of earth’s crust at a high rate. This process was repeated continuously. The melting process and solidifying process was so frequent that a crust was formed. Even today, we can find such ancient rocks. Sometimes these rocks unite together to form a huge and continuous landmass while some times it is broken into smaller parts such that they drift apart from each other and scatter here and there. Today we have many cratons found in rocky areas. Cratons are nothing but smaller parts of the remains of ancient rocks and remains of the older continents and they grow thicker with time. It is a huge mass and normally survives most of the natural calamities. Many rocks break and join according to nature’s demand but these cratons remain still such that they can survive most of the calamities.
Know more : The 7 Continents and 5 Oceans of the World
In ancient ages, one such continent which was formed from the Paleoarchean was the Vaalbara supercontinent. It was very vast and was bigger than what Australia is today. It was known as the ‘supercontinent’ because it was a huge landmass. Most of the Earth was ocean and sea, and parts of landmass were found here and there. This name is actually derived from two words i.e. Kaapvaal and Pilbara. These were two cratons which were connected once upon a time. Later on this super mass of rock started to breakup about 2.8 billion years ago. Talking about Arctic continent, it was formed around 2.5 billion years ago. This huge mass was formed from the Canadian Shield which was also known as Kenorland continent, the Greenland and Wyoming cratons. It was a huge mass and was located near the North Pole and hence it was named Arctica. The continent of Atlantica was another continent formed around 2.0 billion years back. It was a huge continuous mass of land extending over the northern area. It was made of mainly ancient cratons which at present are West and Central Africa and Northeastern South America. This land mass is now covered by the Atlantic Ocean.
Right now we have seven continents covering the whole earth but in ancient times many other continents had formed which may even exist today and might be somewhere deep down the seas and oceans. It was said the earth had a very hot climate as compared to today’s weather. About 4 million years ago earth was one complete mass of land without any partitions but later on due to some wear and tear effect on the earth’s crust, the land began to divide in two parts and later on with other climatic changes, earth was further divided. It was during this period that India got its first and one of the famous mountain ranges named Himalayas which stands still and strong even today. There is one more theory which supports the formation of earth’s crust and various continents. It is said that about 4.5 billion years ago earth was a big mass of fire and used to move around in the space without any hindrance. The gases which were too hot used to escape in to the space but later on the temperature of earth’s surface cooled down and gases were not able to escape then. With this, the earth’s gravity increased and surrounding gases formed the atmosphere.
Earth has never been a stable planet. Many changes have taken place on the earth’s crust as well as the rocks which have led to this present structure of earth that we can see today. Many changes have continuously taken place since the start of time. Life on earth came a long time after the formation of continents. Though we may be aware of only seven continents, there are many nameless continents submerged in the seas and oceans which are now declared as a continuous mass of land. Till now, so many theories have come and each one is as strong as the other. In future we might get some new theories which will be supported with more evidences and proofs. So this research is never ending as it is not so easy to track the details of the Earth and its existence four to five billion years ago.
“How was the Continents Formed?” is a major question in front of all the geologists and scientists of today. Getting to know the exact roots is a difficult task. Several theories have been put forward through extensive researches to understand the formation of the land we live on today.