5 years ago

The Columbia supercontinent revisited

The Columbia supercontinent revisited
Just over 15years ago, a proposal forwarded by Rogers and Santosh (2002) posited the existence of a pre-Rodinia supercontinent which they called Columbia. The conjecture invigorated research into the Paleo-Mesoproterozoic interval that was; in our opinion, inappropriately dubbed ‘the boring billion’. Given the wealth of new information about the supercontinent, this review paper takes a careful look at the paleomagnetic evidence that is used to reconstruct Columbia. Our contribution represents a status report and indicates that; despite the exponential increase in available data, knowledge of the assembly, duration and breakup history of the supercontinent are contentious. The commonality of ~1.7–2.1Ga orogenic systems around the globe are indicative of major changes in paleogeography and growth of larger landmasses. There is continued discussion about the interconnectedness of those orogenic systems in a global picture. Arguments for Columbia posit a ~1500–1400Ma age for maximum packing. Paleomagnetic data from many of the constituent cratons during the 1500–1400Ma interval can be interpreted to support a large landmass, but the consistency of the proposal cannot be reliably demonstrated for earlier or later times. One of the more intriguing advances are the apparent long-lived connections between Laurentia, Siberia and Baltica that may have formed the core of both Columbia and Rodinia.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1342937X17300485

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