Earth:List of paleocontinents

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This is a list of paleocontinents, significant landmasses that have been proposed to exist in the geological past. The degree of certainty to which the identified landmasses can regarded as independent entities reduces as geologists look further back in time. The list includes cratons, supercratons, microcontinents, continents and supercontinents. For the Archean to Paleoproterozoic cores of most of the continents see also list of shields and cratons.

List of paleocontinents

Name Age (Ma) Period/Era Range Type Comments Sources
Amazonia Craton [1][2][3]
Arabia–Nubia Neoproterozoic Microcontinent Rifted off Rodinia at about 840 Ma. Then accreted to North Africa with large volume of juvenile crust during the Pan-African orogeny to form the Arabian-Nubian Shield. [4][5]
Arctica Neoarchean Supercraton [6]
Atlantica 1500 Mesoproterozoic Continent Formed from a series of cratons during the development of Columbia - independent from about 1500 Ma, following break-up of Columbia - part of Rodinia from 1000 Ma [2]
Avalonia Cambrian Continent Rifted off northern Gondwana in the Cambrian, eventually colliding with Laurentia and Baltica in the Caledonian Orogeny to form Laurussia. [7]
Baltica 2000 Paleoproterozoic Continent Formed from three cratonic fragments - the Baltic Shield, Sarmatia and Volgo–Uralia. Formed part of Columbia, then Rodinia and Pannotia. Collided with Laurentia and Avalonia to form Laurussia. [1][4][2][8]
Cathaysia Continent Fused with the Yangtze block to form the South China Craton during the Early Paleozoic. [9]
Cimmeria 250 Late Carboniferous–Early Permian Continent Rifted off margin of Gondwana, opening up Neotethys, collided with Laurasia about 150 Ma in the Cimmerian Orogeny. Regarded as being made up of many separate continental fragments. [10]
Columbia (Nuna) 2100 Paleoproterozoic Supercontinent Oldest widely accepted supercontinent. also known as Nuna. [11][3]
East Antarctica Craton [12]
East European Craton The cratonic core of Baltica or a synonym for the paleocontinent [2][8]
Gondwana Late Neoproterozoic Continent Also described as a supercontinent [4][13]
India Continent [1][4]
Kalahari Craton [1][4]
Kazakhstania Continent [14]
Kenorland Neoarchean Supercontinent Alternatively, landmasses may have grouped into two supercratons, Sclavia and Superia [15]
Laurasia Carboniferous-Permian Continent Formed by the break-up of Pangaea after Kazakhstania and Siberia had joined with the former Laurussia [13]
Laurentia Paleoarchean Continent [1]
Laurussia Early Devonian Continent The "Old Red Continent" formed by the Caledonian Orogeny, joined with Gondwana to form Pangaea [16]
Mawson Continent [3]
Nena 1900 Paleoproterozoic Continent [11]
North Australia Craton [17]
North China 2500 Paleoproterozoic Craton [1][4]
Pangaea Late Permian Supercontinent [13]
Pannotia Neoproterozoic Supercontinent [18]
Rodinia Mesoproterozoic Supercontinent [4]
São Francisco–Congo 1800 Proterozoic Craton [1][11]
Sclavia Paleoarchean Supercraton [15]
Siberia Proterozoic Continent [1][4]
South Australia Craton [17]
South China Neoproterozoic Craton [4]
Superia 2680 Neoarchean Supercraton [15]
Tarim Early Mesoproterozoic Craton [19][4]
Ur 3100 Mesoarchean Continent [20]
Vaalbara Late Neoarchean–Early Paleoproterozoic Continent [15]
West Africa Paleoproterozoic Craton [2][1][3]
West Australia 1800 Late Paleoprotereozoic Craton [17]
Yangtze Late Neoarchean–Early Paleoproterozoic Craton Fused with the Cathaysia block to form the South China Craton during the Early Paleozoic. [9]


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  10. Ueno, K. (2003). "The Permian fusulinoidean faunas of the Sibumasu and Baoshan blocks: their implications for the paleogeographic and paleoclimatologic reconstruction of the Cimmerian Continent". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 193 (1): 1–24. doi:10.1016/S0031-0182(02)00708-3. Bibcode2003PPP...193....1U. 
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