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Title: Atlantica  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pannotia, Earth sciences/Archives, Atlantica (disambiguation), Proterozoic, Historical continents
Collection: Historical Continents, History of the Atlantic Ocean, Proterozoic
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Atlantica at about 2 Ga. Archean cratons in grey.

Atlantica (Greek: Ατλαντικα; Atlantika) is an ancient continent that formed during the Proterozoic about (two billion years ago, Ga) from various 2 Ga cratons located in what is now West Africa and eastern South America. [1] The name, introduced by Rogers 1996, was chosen because the continent opened up to form the South Atlantic Ocean. [2]


  • Formation 1
  • Breakup 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5


Atlantica formed simultaneously with Nena at about 1.9 Ga from Archaean cratons, including Amazonia in present-day South America, and the Congo, West Africa and North Africa Cratons in Africa.[3]


Reconstruction of Earth 550 Ma ago showing the cratons of Atlantica forming West Gondwana

Atlantica separated from Nena between 1.6–1.4 Ga when Columbia — a supercontinent composed of Ur, Nena, and Atlantica — fragmented. [2] Together with continents Nena and Ur and some minor plates, Atlantica formed the supercontinent Rodinia about 1 Ga ago. The rifting of Rodinia between 1–0.5 Ga resulted in the formation of three new continents: Laurasia and East and West Gondwana, of which Atlantica became the nucleus of the latter. [1] During this later stage, the Neoproterozoic era, a Brasiliano-Pan African orogenic system developed. The central part of this system, the Araçuaí-West Congo orogen, has left a distinct pattern of deformations, still present on both sides of the Atlantic. [4][5]

See also


  1. ^ a b Rogers 1996
  2. ^ a b Sankaran 2003, p. 1122
  3. ^ Yoshida, Windley & Dasgupta 2003, p. 16
  4. ^ Alkmim et al. 2006, Abstract
  5. ^ Noce et al. 2007, p. 60


  • Alkmim, Fernando F.; Marshak, Stephen; Pedrosa-Soares, Antônio Carlos; Peres, Guilherme Gravina; Cruz, Simone Cerqueira Pereira; Whittington, Alan (September 1, 2006). "Kinematic evolution of the Araçuaí-West Congo orogen in Brazil and Africa: Nutcracker tectonics during the Neoproterozoic assembly of Gondwana". Precambrian Research 149 (1-2): 43–64.  
  • Noce, Carlos M.; Pedrosa-Soares, Antônio Carlos; da Silva, Luiz Carlos; Armstrong, Richard; Piuzana, Danielle (2007). "Evolution of polycyclic basement complexes in the Aracuaí Orogen, based on U–Pb SHRIMP data: Implications for Brazil–Africa links in Paleoproterozoic time" (PDF). Precambrian Research (159): 60–78.  
  • Rogers, John J. W. (January 1996). "A History of Continents in the Past Three Billion Years". The Journal of Geology 104 (1): 91–107.  
  • Sankaran, A. V. (2003). "The supercontinent medley: Recent views" (PDF). Current Science 85 (8): 1121–1123. 
  • Yoshida, Masaru; Windley, Brian F.; Dasgupta, Somnath, eds. (2003). Proterozoic East Gondwana: supercontinent assembly and breakup 206. Geological Society of London.  
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