According to the researchers, under Iceland could be a submerged micro-continent stretching from Greenland to northern Europe. “Icelandia” can be the answer to many questions.
In a press release, an international team of researchers led by Gillian Folger of Durham University put forward a fascinating theory: Iceland is only the tip of a long submerged microscopic continent. An Atlantis in Northern Europe? For researchers, there is some evidence to suggest this.
The sea depth of up to 600 m in the vicinity of Iceland is much lower than in the rest of the North Atlantic, with most areas deeper than 2000 m. According to the researchers, the crust beneath Iceland, at 40 kilometers across, is about seven times thicker than normal oceanic crust. “When we considered the possibility that the thick crust is indeed continental, our data suddenly made sense,” explained Gillian Folger in the broadcast. In addition, there would be chemical anomalies in the lava rocks in the area, which supports the scientists’ thesis.
Icelandia: the microcontinent could be a million square kilometers
Geologists from Durham University estimate that “Icelandia” may cover an area of 600,000 square kilometres. But if you include the areas bordering Great Britain in the calculation, the entire region, which the researchers dubbed “Greater Icelandia”, could have an area of up to a million square kilometres.
If your theory is correct, it would mean that the continent of Pangea was never actually completely separated, it says in the broadcast. Until now it is believed that this last supercontinent in Earth’s history broke apart more than 50 million years ago.
Greater Adria, Zealandia, Mauritia: Earth’s sunken continent
In any case, “Icelandia” would not be the first submerged micro-continent on Earth. Our planet is constantly changing, continents collide or break apart and entire land is swallowed up by the ocean. Thus came into existence the submerged sub-continent “Greater Adria” in Southern Europe and “Zeelandia” under New Zealand. But those are just a few examples of such incidents. Researchers keep discovering new submerged land. Since 2013 it has been recognized that the micro-continent “Maurisia” is located in the Indian Ocean.
Researchers now want to test their “Icelandia” theory
The team around Gillian Folger is already planning studies and measurements to thoroughly test her thesis. “There is still much more to do to prove the existence of ‘Icelandia’, but at the same time it opens up a new perspective on the geology of our Earth,” Folger said. Because likewise, previously unseen micro-continents could be in other places and change not only maps, but our concept of Earth as well.
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