Geologists have made a fantastic breakthrough! Evidence of the North Atlantic craton, an ancient continent adjacent to northeastern Canada, was found.
Cratons are ancient fragments of Earth’s continental crust.
The North Atlantic craton used to cover an area spanning from modern-day Scotland to Canada.
The long-lost continent was a structural part of our planet’s continental crust before time took it away.
The discovery of the continent happened when a team of Canadian geologists has analyzed a sample of diamond rocks from the Baffin Island, located in Canada.
They were analyzing kimberlite rocks, which formed millions of years ago at extreme depths.
How Does Kimberlite Surface?
Kimberlite unearths when specific geological and chemical processes act upon it.
Sometimes, kimberlites also bring diamonds with them on the road to the surface.
Maya Kopylova, a geologist from the University of British Columbia, even went as far as calling the kimberlites “subterranean rockets” that carry passengers along their trip.
“The passengers are solid chunks of wall rocks that carry a wealth of details on conditions far beneath the surface of our planet over time.”
Importance Of The Rocks
The rocks were of great importance, mainly because of their abnormal mineral structure.
The analysis revealed that the composition of the rocks shared a lot of details with stones from other, distant parts of the North Atlantic craton.
“The mineral composition of other portions of the North Atlantic craton is so unique there was no mistaking it,” stated professor Kopylova.
Similar cratons are still present in the North American region, while others have diverged into small chunks.
Scientists often associate such lost pieces of Earth’s surface crust with missing puzzle pieces.
Discoveries like this one provide precious insight regarding the past and the evolution of our planet. Learning how Earth got to reach the current phase can result in valuable data that will help scientists make accurate predictions of the Earth.