World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Continental fragment

Article Id: WHEBN0015822342
Reproduction Date:

Title: Continental fragment  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Submerged continent, Mythical continents, Region, Armorican terrane, Sarmatian Craton
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Continental fragment

Continental crustal fragments, partially synonymous with microcontinents,[1] are fragments of continents that have been broken off from main continental masses forming distinct islands, often several hundred kilometers from their place of origin.[2] All continents are fragments; the terms 'continental fragment' and 'microcontinent' are restricted to those smaller than Australia. Other than perhaps Zealandia, they are not known to contain a craton or fragment of a craton. Continental fragments include some seamounts and underwater plateaus.

Some microcontinents are fragments of Gondwana or other ancient cratonic continents: Zealandia, which includes New Zealand and New Caledonia; Madagascar; the northern Mascarene Plateau, which includes the Seychelles; the island of Timor,[3] etc. Other islands, such as several in the Caribbean Sea, are composed largely of granitic rock as well, but all continents contain both granitic and basaltic crust, and there is no clear dividing line which islands would be considered microcontinents under such a definition. The Kerguelen Plateau is a large igneous province formed by a volcanic hot spot, but was associated with the breakup of Gondwana, was for a time above water, and is therefore considered to be a microcontinent, though not a continental fragment,[4][5] whereas other hotspot islands such as Iceland and Hawaii are considered neither microcontinents nor continental fragments. This is not a choice in the classification of all islands: The British Isles, Sri Lanka, Borneo, and Newfoundland for example are within the continental shelves of their adjacent continents, separated from the mainland by inland seas flooding its margins.

Several islands in the eastern Indonesian archipelago are considered continental fragments, although this is a controversial theory. These include Sumba, Timor (Nusa Tenggara), Banggai-Sulu Islands (Sulawesi), Obi, southern Bacan, and the Buru-Seram-Ambon complex (Maluku).[6]

Continental fragments (pieces of Pangaea smaller than Sahul)
Other microcontinents


  1. ^ "Microcontinent" was initially the broader term, because it was defined morphologically rather than genetically (in term or genesis or origin). Scrutton, Roger A. (1976) "Microcontinents and Their Significance" pp. 177–189 In Drake, Charles L. (1976) (editor) Geodynamics: Progress and Prospects American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., ISBN 978-0-87590-203-6. But, using Scrutton's definition, "microcontinent" is a narrower term, excluding aseismic ridges of continental material, such as the Lomonosov Ridge and the Jan Mayen Ridge, which could still be considered "continental fragments".
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ UT Austin scientist plays major rule in study of underwater "micro-continent". Retrieved on 2007-07-03
  5. ^ Sci/Tech 'Lost continent' discovered Retrieved on 2007-07-03
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.