New Zealand research Institute GNS Science has launched a website, which contains all known data about what is referred to as the eighth continent of the Earth. Other names – Zealand, are given at the end of the last century, the global scientific community, and T Rio-a-Maui, originating from the folklore of the Maori people. Currently 94 % of this ancient continent flooded by the Pacific ocean and the only points protruding above the water – New Zealand and New Caledonia.
It is believed that Zealand was formed as a separate continent about 80 million years ago, splitting from Gondwana super-earths. But unlike other pieces, this is very quickly swallowed up by the vast Pacific ocean, and about 20 million years ago Zealand had virtually disappeared. What has survived, not to compare with former proportions – the area of the mainland was 4.9 million square kilometers, it is just less than a third of modern Australia.
The website is interesting because it contains the latest maps Zealand, including tectonic and bathymetric. It is possible to study the structure of the continent in layers, to mention a critical point, the structure of the coastline etc. It is an interesting tool for studying the Earth’s geological past, and specifically, the eighth continent of the planet.