16

The idea of a southern continent is older than the actual discovery of the Antarctica. There was an expectation of the possible existence of a Terra Australis balance the global landmasses and the theory went far back. However, those models were not based on true evidence but rather aesthetic arguments that later just happened to come true. In contradiction, ...


8

You forgot about continents First of all, it's necessary to point out the false premise in your question: It is not true that "all plates that are currently left are younger than Cretaceous". There is a near-continuous record of rocks stretching all the way back to the Hadean Eon 4 billion years ago. And there are older crystals called zircons that are ...


8

Probably the first recorded observation (and certainly one of the first) of the Antarctic mainland was of the Trinity Peninsula, part of the Antarctic Peninsula, by Edward Bransfield in 1820. Even from a distance, it's obvious that it's solid land. Picture source: swisseduc.ch It could have been by the fact that if you stand there you don't drift ...


7

Assuming that the surface density is relatively constant, it would be impossible to have all of the above water land mass concentrated on one side of the Earth. That's a bad assumption. Four key differences between oceanic and continental crust are Chemical composition. The rock that forms oceanic crust has more calcium and magnesium but less aluminum and ...


6

Sea level rise estimates use changes in relative mean sea level. The definition being: Relative sea level is the sea level related to the level of the continental crust. Relative sea level changes can thus be caused by absolute changes of the sea level and/or by absolute movements of the continental crust. In general, Mean Sea Level means the 'water ...


6

In the GSA Today article that Michael linked to in the comments, it says: The Glossary of Geology defines a continent as “one of the Earth’s major land masses, including both dry land and continental shelves” (Neuendorf et al., 2005). It is generally agreed that continents have all the following attributes: high elevation relative to regions ...


3

Just to reiterate some of the points previously said here: Continental crust fragments that collided are sticky. This results in mountain belts that essentially "glue" the two crusts together. Subduction of a plate that contains both oceanic and continental crusts underneath continental crust will inevitably lead the the complete loss of the oceanic crust, ...


3

Partly, it depends on where you got educated. In many countries of Europe, Oceania is the continent. Calling the continent Australia is pretty much considered "English-centric". The reasoning for calling it Oceania is that Australia is only part of the continent. The extend of the mainland during the ice ages included part of today's Indonesia and Papua-New ...


2

Australia is a continent and Oceania is a region. Continents are vaguely defined as large landmasses separated by water or just by historical context. Earth scientists have much more precise definitions of what a continental plate is vs an oceanic plate. In the case of Australia, the continental plate consists of the landmasses Australia, Tasmania and New ...


2

OK. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that oceanic and continental crust does have the same density (it doesn't, but that doesn't matter). Let's further assume that everything under the earth's crust has constant density (it doesn't, but that also doesn't matter) To a first approximation, the oceans will form a surface of constant distance from the ...


2

I've been searching for a map that shows all continents in their actual size that is free of projection distortion, to no avail That's because such a thing does not exist. A projection by definition has distortion, otherwise it would not be a projection. The only way to have a distortion free view of the planet is by having a physical globe, and looking at ...


1

Both of the processes you describe occur; in some cases such as the Himalayas the plates are not subducted and a moving plate, in this case the Indian plate, bulldozes the continental crust ahead of it into a high mountain range. In most cases, such as the Pacific rim for example, subduction is the norm. Where there is subduction there are usually many ...


1

I think the mechanisms that you're looking for are subduction, paired with the "stickiness" of continental crust. The subduction of oceanic crust under continental crust inevitably creates a net movement of crustal material toward a continental plate. Any oceanic plate that is carrying continental material will therefore always drag that continent toward ...


1

This is Oceania according to this Norwegian meteorological website https://www.yr.no/place/Oceania/. As you can see, it is a quite a large area. The website has a very precise weather forecast for almost every place on Earth. The continent is Australia and the area of the Earth is Oceania.


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