Secret Continent under the water
Secret Continent under the water: In 2017, a new continent was discovered Zealandia. A couple of years later scientists discovered that it was directly connected to the most dangerous volcanoes on planet Earth. What do this hidden continent and the Ring of Fire have in common?
Zealandia: A Hidden Underwater Continent
Back in the 70s, we knew that an additional continent may exist on our planet, but in more detail, Secret Continent under the water, Zealandia wasn’t studied until 2017. Most of it about 4.9 million square kilometers or 1.9 million square miles. An area larger than India is hidden under the ocean. Only a few areas appear on the surface in the form of the islands of New Zealand, New Caledonia, and several other small islands in the region. Are most of us understand it a continent cannot be underwater as a continent is always mostly above sea level? However, this is a better definition of the word mainland.
As continent refers primarily to a large block of the Earth’s crust, including both the protruding islands and the underwater portion. In the case of Secret Continent under the water, Zealandia, the underwater section accounts for almost the entire continent. Zealandia could be mistaken for a fragment of the ocean floor if it weren’t for its chemical composition, its low magnesium and iron content for scientists to categorize this section of the Earth’s crust as a continent. In addition, the continental crust around New Zealand is clearly separated from the rocks of the Australian, and oceanic plates.
History of Zealandia
However, Secret Continent under the water, Zealandia was not always underwater. Over 85 million years ago it was part of the supercontinent Gondwana. When this giant collapsed part of Zealandia was covered by water and formed the Tasman Sea. Other regions of Zealandia together with Australia formed one continent, which also subsequently collapsed approximately 60 million years ago. this means that dinosaurs witnessed the times. In the Pacific Ocean with the exception of Australia, 90% of the most dangerous earthquakes on earth occur inside this ring. The most dangerous volcanoes are also concentrated in this region of the 540 active volcanoes, on earth 328 are located along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean. According to geophysicist Rupert Sutherland of victoria university of wellington, and Gerald Dickins of Rice University in Texas the formation of these volcanoes led to the emergence of modern Zealandia, and made it an independent continent.
How it Sunk?
When the slabs began to overlap part of northern Zealandia rose 3 kilometers or 1.86 miles. While other sections sunk to almost the same level. As a result, 95 percent of the continent was at a depth of one kilometer or 0.6 miles underwater. it can be assumed that Zealandia was a pretty picturesque place because its sunken territories are dotted with mountains. The largest of these is the Lord Howe Rise submarine mountain range. Its length is about 2,500 kilometers or 1550 miles. Its width reaches 500 kilometers or 310 miles. To see these mountains you need to travel more than 1500 meters or 5,000 feet underwater. They were formed when Zealandia separated from Australia 60 million years ago and became a dividing strip between the two continents.
The second flooded part of Zealandia, the challenger’s plateau, formed even earlier, during the collapse of Gondwana, during the collapse this 500 kilometers or 310-mile piece of land immediately went underwater. Being covered by the Tasman Sea. The rest of Zealandia is covered by other mountain systems. 50 million years ago perhaps the earth would be a safer place. The number of devastating earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes would be much lower. There would have been no Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster in 2011, nor the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, and tsunami. The problem with overpopulation would also not be as acute. Since there would be a territory the size of India free for humans to settle on.
On the other hand, we are very lucky that the Ring of Fire formed before Homo sapiens appeared. The active movement of tectonic plates was most likely accompanied by a long powerful earthquake. Earthquake, that modern mankind could not have survived. Plate movement in this region continues to this day, which sometimes causes devastating earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In places where two tectonic plates collide hot magma or lava is pushed to the surface. This all happens over a distance of 40,000 kilometers or 24,900 miles almost the length of the equator.
Most Dangerous Volcanoes
The highest volcano of the Ring is in the Andes Ojos del Salado located on the border of Chile and Argentina. It reaches a height of 6,893 meters or 22,615 feet. This volcano is considered dormant. In the entire history of their observation of it, researchers haven’t seen a single eruption. However, Ojos del Salado is not extinct which means future eruptions are quite likely.
A little to the north in Mexico at an altitude of 5,426 meters or 17,800 feet sits one of the most dangerous volcanoes of the Ring, Popocatepetl. The problem is that about 20 million people live near this active volcano. In the event of a sudden eruption, the complete evacuation of so many people would be simply impossible. Further north about 13 volcanoes of the Ring are located. They are in the area ranging from the American state of Oregon to the Canadian state of British Colombia.
Mount Saint Helens
One of them is Mount St. Helens not far from Seattle and Portland. it’s known for its eruption in 1980 which killed 57 people. In Alaska in the surrounding Aleutian Islands, there are about 52 volcanoes that makeup part of the Ring of Fire. However, the Aleutian trench located nearby in the Pacific Ocean is in great danger. Its depth reaches about 7680 meters or about 25,200 feet. This trench has regularly been the source of the most powerful earthquakes in history. These include the great Alaskan earthquake of 1964, which had a magnitude of 8.4.
The largest number of volcanoes in the ring is on the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean one of them is located 90 kilometers or 56 miles from Tokyo. we’re talking about Mount Fuji a sleeping volcano that has not erupted since 1708. But this doesn’t mean nothing could ever happen again. Most of the volcanoes belonging to the Ring of Fire are in Indonesia. There are about 130 from the moment scientists began observing the volcanoes, 76 of them have erupted about 1,100 times. As a part of the Zealandia continent, New Zealand wasn’t spared volcanic activity.
The highest local volcano Mount Ruapehu is known for playing the role of a road ruin. The volcano on which Frodo Baggins was to destroy the One Ring in the movie The Lord of the Rings. The same processes within the Earth’s crust both create and destroy. The emergence of an underwater continent and the most powerful volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are two sides of the same coin. Perhaps, the processes that seem to be destroying our planet now will become the foundation for something new in the future. what do you think?