A supercontinent is a large area of land which has more than one continental core, or craton. They are formed by continental plate convergence. Continental plates have periodically collided and assembled in periods of orogeny (mountain building) to form supercontinents. The cycle of supercontinent formation, breakup, dispersal and reformation by plate tectonics occurs every 450 million years or so.
Eurasia is certainly a supercontinent, but the Americas are usually considered separately. Even more clearly, Gondwana and Laurasia were supercontinents formed by the breakup of the global supercontinent Pangaea.
Ancient supercontinents[change | change source]
- Euramerica / Laurussia / Old Red Sandstone Continent
In order of age[change | change source]
- Vaalbara (~3.6 Ga ago)
- Ur (~3.1 Ga ago)
- Kenorland (~2.6 Ga ago)
- Columbia, also called Nuna (~1.8–1.5 Ga ago)
- Rodinia (~1.1 Ga–~750 million years ago)
- Pannotia, also called Vendian (~600–~540 million years ago)
- Oldredia (~418–~380 million years ago)
- Euramerica (~300 million years ago)
- Pangaea (~300–~200 million years ago)
- Laurasia (~510–~200 million years ago)'
- Gondwana (~510–~180 million years ago)