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– Gondwana named by Eduard Suess
– Named after region in central India
– Derived from Sanskrit for forest of the Gonds
– Gondwana sedimentary sequences described by H. B. Medlicott
– Some prefer the term Gondwanaland for clarity

– Gondwana assembly a protracted process
– Lack of paleo-magnetic data hinders full understanding
– Pan-African orogeny caused continental fragments to merge
– Mozambique Belt interpreted as suture between East and West Gondwana
– Three orogenies recognized in the 1990s due to oil and mining data

– Regions part of Gondwana shared floral and zoological elements
– Gondwana remnants make up two-thirds of today’s continental area
– Gondwana covered about one-fifth of Earth’s surface
– Gondwana fused with Euramerica to form Pangea
– Gondwana started fragmenting during the Early Jurassic

**Tectonic Plates:**
– Gondwana remnants part of African, Antarctic, Indo-Australian, and South American Plates
– Gondwana not considered a supercontinent by earliest definition
– Gondwana separated from northern Pangea during the Triassic
Antarctica separated from South America during the Paleogene
– Gondwana sometimes referred to as Gondwanaland

**Geological Context:**
– Gondwana assembly began c.800to650 Ma
– East African Orogeny collision of India and Madagascar with East Africa
– Brasiliano and Kuunga orogenies led to South America collision with Africa
– Gondwana largest continental crust in the Palaeozoic Era
– Gondwana began fragmenting around 180 million years ago

Gondwana (Wikipedia)

Gondwana ( /ɡɒndˈwɑːnə/) was a large landmass, sometimes referred to as a supercontinent. The remnants of Gondwana make up around two-thirds of today's continental area, including South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Zealandia, Arabia, and the Indian Subcontinent.

Gondwana 420 million years ago (late Silurian). View centred on the South Pole.
Historical continent
Formed600 Mya
Today part ofAfrica
North America
South America
Smaller continentsSouth America
Tectonic platesAfrican Plate
Antarctic Plate
Indo-Australian Plate
South American Plate

Gondwana was formed by the accretion of several cratons (large stable blocks of the Earth's crust), beginning c. 800 to 650 Ma with the East African Orogeny, the collision of India and Madagascar with East Africa, and culminating in c. 600 to 530 Ma with the overlapping Brasiliano and Kuunga orogenies, the collision of South America with Africa, and the addition of Australia and Antarctica, respectively. Eventually, Gondwana became the largest piece of continental crust of the Palaeozoic Era, covering an area of some 100,000,000 km2 (39,000,000 sq mi), about one-fifth of the Earth's surface. It fused with Euramerica during the Carboniferous to form Pangea. It began to separate from northern Pangea (Laurasia) during the Triassic, and started to fragment during the Early Jurassic (around 180 million years ago). The final stages of break-up, involving the separation of Antarctica from South America (forming the Drake Passage) and Australia, occurred during the Paleogene (from around 66 to 23 million years ago (Ma)). Gondwana was not considered a supercontinent by the earliest definition, since the landmasses of Baltica, Laurentia, and Siberia were separated from it. To differentiate it from the Indian region of the same name (see § Name), it is also commonly called Gondwanaland.

Regions that were part of Gondwana shared floral and zoological elements that persist to the present day.

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