This length of time is nearly impossible to imagine. Joel Pascagliatti is an avid outdoor enthusiast and musician. TL:DR-No, islands can’t sink and Earthquakes have historically done anything but sink us Do you know how islands work? Dubbed “Zealandia,” the landmass that lies east of Australia covers 1.9 million mi 2 (4.9 million km 2), or an area larger than the Indian subcontinent. Australia is both a continent and a country and New Zealand is also its own country. Geologists have, over the years, identified seven continents in all -- Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica. But the question of who has what claim to what natural resources is still very much unanswered. The rising levels of the sea are thought to have caused the sinking of the submerged lands. IBTimes UK tells you all you need to know about the long lost continent. Zealandia – pieces finally falling together for continent we didn't know we had This article is more than 3 years old. They were slipping past each other a few millimeters at a time each year, and that action slowly pulled Zealandia away from Antarctica and Australia, beginning some 85 million years ago. Zealandia's watery fate was sealed by the motions of two tectonic plates that lay beneath it: the southernmost Pacific Plate and its northern neighbor, the Indo-Australian plate. In a paper published by the Geological Society of America, the team of scientists called the area “Earth’s hidden continent” and suggested that identifying it as such will help Surprisingly, there is no clear definition of what makes a continent except some geographical requirements, which has led to several conflicted opinions for instance the case of Eurasia, where many geologists think Asia and Europe are one entity as it is a single rigid megablock. He loves to write about pop culture, including interesting perspectives on every day subjects. For a period of time, Zealandia was officially part of the Australian continent. So to make Zealandia an official continent is not quite as simple as filing paperwork in a government office. It’s nice to see that there are already some names to go with different regions of the underwater land mass. News on all your favorite celebs, reality TV, and movies. In fact, all of the “islands” in the area, including New Caledonia, Norfolk Island and the Lord Howe Island Group are all the highest elevations of this exciting new continent. It’s doubtful that the discovery of this land mass as a continent will change a whole lot of things, except maps and globes. This continent included Africa, South America, Antarctica and Australia along with some other parts of land here and there. Studying this continental crust is important as scientists try to learn more about the way our continents were originally formed and what they might do in the future. Do you care about your family, community and the way NZ is going? Zealandia has recently been given the status of a continent by several geologists who say that the long lost continent is submerged under water. And then it started sinking yet again." I wonder if Australia is going to get upset now that it will have to share some continental limelight in the area with Zealandia? Over 200 million years ago, there was a massive super-continent on earth that is known as Gondwana. It’s the plate tectonics and their activity that caused the sinking, and are now uplifting the continent. While the designation of Zealandia as a separate continent is mostly a scientific fascination, no one is disputing how great of an economic impact such a distinction could create. Currently mt cook is rising 7mm a year though avalanche and collapse of the peak was measured to of lost 30m by the university otago. Zealandia is occasionally divided by scientists into two regions, North Zealandia (or Western Province) and South Zealandia (or Eastern Province), … It has variously been described as a submerged continent, a continental fragment, a microcontinent, and a continent. Believe it or not, Zealandia is actually beginning the process of rising again. But it turns out that the discovery that Zealandia is actually a continent of its own opens up a whole new area of exploration about our planet. Exclusively Zealandia The microcontinent of Zealandia helps determine New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone, or the offshore area around a country. Fiji. This fragment, called Zealandia, was about half the size of Australia. As we study this new submerged land, we can learn more about the past in terms of crust, fossils, minerals and so much more. Remember that Zealandia is both volcanically and seismically active, meaning that if mother nature wants to start making noise, it could get loud! Imagine some prehistoric species roaming the countryside of Zealandia. ... and those as apparent in the sinking or rising of that that's almost opposite same, or in the Mediterranean and the Aetna [Etna] area, then we may know it has begun.-- Edgar Cayce reading 311-8. Well, maybe not! It makes you wonder how they feel about this exciting discovery. Sinking islands call for NZ action - NZ Herald New Zealand Herald The scientific impact about what can still be learned about Zealandia is the most interesting part about the discovery. Though due to a warming trend in climate change its technically sinking. The total area is estimated to be approximately 4,920,000 square km of which 93% remains submerged below the Pacific Ocean. A smart idea that seems to have stuck Dr. Luyendyk! A landmass called Zealandia (gray region) deserves to join the ranks of continents, some geologists now propose. We’ll see what comes next, but it could take some time. But, new satellite-based gravity maps of the ancient seafloor make it clear that the region is a continuous whole continent. Atoll islands such as Tuvalu are proving remarkably good at keeping their heads above water. Zealandia , also known as Te Riu-a-Māui (Māori) or Tasmantis, is an almost entirely submerged mass of continental crust that subsided after breaking away from Gondwanaland 83–79 million years ago. Just as scientists have discovered Zealandia as an official continent, they also believe that there could be another lost continent they are calling “Mauritia.” This submerged potential continent is located in the Indian Ocean between the Southern tip of India and Madagascar. Zealandia is largely made up of two nearly parallel ridges, separated by a failed rift, where the rift breakup of the continent stops and becomes a filled graben. There’s a lot of cool information uncovered about this hidden continent with some absolutely outrageous facts that you can be sure to add to your dinner table conversation! The United Nations (while interested in global science) doesn’t actually have jurisdictional authority over land classification. It will be a much larger area than appears now. While Zealandia lost out on most of its land above sea level, it will not be regarded as the least populous continent on the planet. This lasted for tens of millions of years, but then some 80 million years ago (give or take) it officially split apart and became its own continental land mass, most of which was for a time, above sea level. Photograph by Lora Johnson, My Shot. Nothing advances science like good old fashioned capitalism and when dollar signs start appearing, things start to move faster. They found evidence of land-based fossils, revealing that the ancient landmass wasn't always buried beneath the waves. Among these, it must include the presence of different types of rock as well as a higher elevation compared to the crust of the earth. Previously, it was thought that the crust underneath the ocean in this area was fragmented into various bits. While there is no formal recognition of the same by the New Zealand government, which is the major habitable administration on Zealandia; there is, however, wide interest in the media about the continent. The New Zealand government has not officially responded to the recognition of Zealandia. Pekar explains that Zealandia sunk in the time of the dinosaurs, "but then for some reason it started rising about 50 million years ago. Areas to the North include Lord Howe Rise and Norfolk Ridge. As it happens, that means that these islands aren’t even islands at all, but a part of this new continent! He didn’t quite intend to name an entire continent, but rather reference the larger region of islands and land around New Zealand. It was originally part of Antarctica (along with Australia) but broke apart, later breaking off from Australia as well. In fact, it kind of has a lot of impact. The identification of this land mass as a continent under the water has some economic impact as well. While Zealandia has been studied for many years, it hasn’t been until now that anyone considered that it is actually its own continent. 22 Nov, 2016 12:45 PM 3 minutes to read Parts of New Zealand are sinking at faster rates than others and rising faster, a scientist says. Consider that volcanic eruptions are kind of like the planet’s opportunity to pass gas. It also helps in the discovery of other underwater continental land as mentioned before in the Indian Ocean. But swaths of other continents also are submerged along their margins (light-shaded regions). Instead of classifying New Zealand as an island only, this kind of changes the game a bit. If the whole continent were to suddenly rise out of the ocean, what is currently New Zealand would be the highest elevations! It first has to become a popular topic in the world of geography and universally agreed upon by scientists. The isolated species living here were affected dramatically around 800 years ago, when humans from Polynesia settled in New Zealand. The idea about who may have mineral rights to much of what’s underneath the water is probably a moot point as well, although New Zealand may have a little more clout now. Scientists began looking into what was beneath the waters around New Zealand a few decades ago. The ridges rise above the sea floor with infrequent rocky islands rising above sea level, Scientists identify two main portions of the continent, North Zealandia (or Western Province) and South Zealandia (or Eastern Province), Compared to other continents it has much wider and deeper continental shelves, The highest point of Zealandia is Aoraki–Mount Cook at 3724 m, The region has elevated bathymetry relative to surrounding oceanic crust, diverse and silica-rich rocks, and relatively thick and low-velocity crustal structure, Volcanism is widespread across Zealandia but generally of low volume. Nick Mortimer/GNS Science. 2 talking about this. Research of this area of the world has been going on for years and it has been an interesting scientific fascination. The continent is largely made up of two parallel ridges, separated by a failed rift. Listen to ZealandiaRising | SoundCloud is an audio platform that lets you listen to what you love and share the sounds you create.. 1 Tracks. The geology of New Zealand is noted for its volcanic activity, earthquakes and geothermal areas because of its position on the boundary of the Australian Plate and Pacific Plates.New Zealand is part of Zealandia, a microcontinent nearly half the size of Australia that broke away from the Gondwanan supercontinent about 83 million years ago. These are the highest points of what was once a much larger expanse of land.As a result, Zealandia wasn’t so much discovered as recognized. To be clear, the underwater land is not a recent find. Now, the Geological Society of America has stated that Zealandia is a geological continent in itself rather than a micro-continent or continental fragment. Does not have to worry about sea level. The ridges rise above the sea floor to heights of 1,000–1,500 m (3,300–4,900 ft), with few rocky islands rising above sea level. In just a few seconds, an underwater reef was thrown about 20 feet above sea level! This is evident as New Zealand has seen itself rising out of the water. Our continents have not stopped moving and they likely never will. This began to open 83 million years ago and persisted for about 30 million years until rifting ceased about 53 million years ago. Is Zealandia Lemuria? Islands aren’t actually floating. While it may seem strange, there is actually no governing body that determines official designations regarding what is and is not a continent on our planet. Sources: Treehugger, National Geographic, The New Daily. The science about what living things once roamed this continent over a hundred million years ago is very fascinating. A tiny Pacific island state that is being submerged by rising oceans will tell New Zealand that it is not disposable. This map shows the estimated or measured uplift rates in different parts of the country. That’s pretty cool for all of us that studied the names of the continents like crazy for a test on Friday back in grade school. But scientists believe that it sunk beneath the water approximately 100 million years ago! New Zealand’s flora and fauna differs from every other large land-mass on earth due to its long isolation and uniqueness as a (near) mammal-free environment. Mountain ranges are rising the fastest, in excess of 5 millimetres per year. So the South island or more correctly the southern alps are rising, however I dont know about the north island. While Zealandia has been studied for many years, it hasn’t been until now that anyone considered that it is actually its own continent. The sea level has risen 130 metres during that time, shrinking the country’s land mass by two million square kilometres and handing it to the sea. Central and Southern Zealandia include Chatham Rise and the Campbell Plateau. Today, the country of New Zealand (the largest above water portion of the new continent) has its own volcanic zones. Interestingly, the name stuck and has become the common name associated with what scientists are universally agreeing is a whole new continent! But we know for a fact that there are seven continents, right? The earth is still largely unknown to mankind. The only catch? “The scientific information we can gain from these sites has the potential to rewrite Australian history,” Dr Benjamin said. Discovering so much land that covers such a large mass leaves a great curiosity about the unknown. Stream Tracks and Playlists from ZealandiaRising on your desktop or mobile device. The Kerguelen Plateau. In terms of size, it is the world's largest current micro-continent, about half the size of the Australian continent.. It will continue rising until the whole New Zealandia plate is once again a continent about sea level lets say 10 million years from now. Geolologists say that if Earth's solid surface had first been mapped like how Mars and Venus are mapped now, Zealandia would have been investigated and identified as one of Earth's continents. While the vast majority of Zealandia is still (and likely will continue to be) under water, it’s an interesting notion that perhaps new islands and an extension of existing islands is entirely possible. The geographical bodies on earth are not governed by any one country or group of countries. Given that the entire continent has sunk beneath the water with so much seismic activity for millions of years and it has not broken apart opens the door to lots of new research. According to geo-political arrangements parts of Zealandia, mainly New Zealand is grouped under Oceania -- the region encompassing the Australian continent, New Zealand and various islands in the Pacific Ocean that are not included in the seven-continent model. Because of its location on two different tectonic plates, there was a lot of seismic activity that caused the land to sink beneath sea level. It did take tens of millions of years to sink in the first place. He originally stated that he called the area Zealandia simply out of convenience, instead of calling all the different land areas by different names. A bit of the continent is above sea level, including New Zealand and New Caledonia. Researchers have discovered that New Zealand is not an island but a continent. But if research picks up and commercial ventures get started, there could be a lot more control over those waters. But finally after decades of study, Zealandia gets to be its very own continent! The question of what this means politically is very uncertain. So it turns out that when you look at the land underwater, that is specifically identified as continental (not part of the earth’s crust) there is a lot of land! There is a substantial mass of land large enough to consider a small continent that is recently getting a lot of discussion. There’s certainly a lot of study with 4.9 million kilometers of land. The more tectonic activity, the more likely for volcanic activity, though there has not been a major devastation upon the continent in modern history however. While the vast majority of Zealandia is still … ZEALANDIA is the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. Some of these are named because of islands (or what we used to think were islands) above sea level. It’s the plate tectonics and their activity that caused the sinking, and are now uplifting the continent. And it’s not uninhabited.That’s because roughly six percent of the landmass’s nearly two million square miles are still above sea level as New Zealand and its outlying islands. Underwater zones exist as well, making the area prime for activity. Because of its location on two distinct tectonic plates (The Australian Plate and the Pacific Plate), Zealandia has a certain amount of volcanic activity both above and below sea level. The area hasn’t always been seen definitively as a continent. But somewhere around 200 million years ago, it started the slow process of breaking apart. Initially it as all land, but it slowly sank as the Tasman Sea grew, and it continued to be stretched and thinned until about 23 … They say Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a rising continent. Zealandia doesn't need any more stamps of approval to officially be designated a continent. The Continent of ZEALANDIA. The story’s headline, “Tuvalu Toodle-oo,” drew on the expectation that Tuvalu would soon sink beneath the rising seas of global warming. The land area of New Zealand is the relatively small part of the continent of Te Riu-a-Māui/Zealandia that is rising due to plate (tectonic) movement, or being built up by aggradation. While it looks like two major islands, it is actually the tallest point of the Zealandia continent! While an entire continent will not rise out of the ocean as a result of an earthquake, it is very interesting to see how much of an impact an earthquake can have on landmasses. 4 Followers. Over 94 percent of it is submerged in the southwest Pacific Ocean, with just the islands of New Zealand and New Caledonia visible above sea level. It is interesting to consider some of the earliest species that lived and thrived on the continent. Zealandia's submerged fossils provide valuable clues to life during those time periods. A large fragment of continental Gondwanaland was separated off by the widening gap. There’s not a whole lot of competition out in that part of the world. When looking at the map, that adds the area of Zealandia with clear boundaries, it appears that as a result of previous studies, geologists have already begun labeling and classifying different geographic regions of the continent. Even today, the continental area of Zealandia is very close to Australia, but it is important to note that it is its own completely separate continent. Sinking of Zealandia, Earth's hidden continent, linked to forging of the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' Zealandia had dramatic elevation changes between 50 and 35 million years ago, then ultimately sank Researchers explored deep under Zealandia's sea floor, obtaining samples of the continent. The Kerguelen Plateau is a submerged continent located in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. These islands house just under five million people and account for about six percent of the land mass of Zealandia. While it takes a very long time to sink or even uplift an entire continent, surprisingly, earthquake activity can accomplish some pretty amazing results! The plateau is one of the Large Ingenious provinces of the world with an area of approximately … Believe it or not, Zealandia is actually beginning the process of rising again. Most recently, due to satellite technology and gravity mapping of the floor of the sea has confirmed all four of the requirements to declare a land mass a continent. Are you 35 and under? Scientists have just returned from a major expedition to Zealandia, a "hidden" Earth continent, likely submerged beneath the sea surface more than 80 million years ago. Territorial waters and natural resource ownership could expand for New Zealand as a result of such a discovery. Believe it or not, we’ve only explored a tiny percentage of the oceans and only know of about ten percent of the total species that inhabit the planet. The name and concept for Zealandia was proposed by Bruce Luyendyk in 1995. While scientists didn’t quite know or understand what they were dealing with (more on this later), one individual determined that giving it a name would be an important start. While it was around 30 million years ago that Zealandia submerged at its peak, it has since begun the uplift process. It’s not quite as simple as popping a Tums or taking some Imodium though. This has created a new sea floor and new aquatic life thriving in that area. This is evident as New Zealand has seen itself rising out of the water. Certainly, there won’t be the same level of naming as in areas that are a little more accessible on the planet, but with more discovery will come more interesting pictures of what may be awaiting us under the water. Don’t waste your time watching for the rise, or you’ll be waiting a while. Zealandia lies on the boundary between two tectonic plates, the Australian plate and the Pacific plate. In November, 2016, a rather large seismic event registering at a magnitude of 7.6 occurred on New Zealand. At 4.9 million kilometers, Zealandia is about half the size of the United States! While the research on this area is not as far along as Zealandia, it is still a fascinating new development. In 2002, Outside magazine published a story about the imminent drowning of the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu. 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The slow separation caused Zealandia to sink, … One of the coolest points about this whole thing is that if you were to drain the ocean, it would turn up that New Zealand isn’t an island after all. There are two known submerged continents, the Kerguelen Plateau and Zealandia. This ensures that no island will sink, ever. Earth scientist from the University of California - Santa Barbara, Bruce Luyendyk coined the phrase all the way back in 1995. Sure, a lot of things are possible, but oceanic boundaries were established many years ago and it wouldn’t seem that this will have any major impact upon those boundaries. While as a continent, it’s still the smallest on earth, the amount of space it takes up is not too shabby. Most of Zealandia lies underwater. Zealandia has recently been given the status of a continent by several geologists who say that the long lost continent is submerged under water. It just goes to prove how much we still do not know about our own home planet! 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