Welcome the eighth continent Zealandia, which has been discovered by the geologists in the Southwest Pacific region.
The Earth is made up of two different types of crusts are present and they are: continental and oceanic; Zealandia is made up of continental crust — comprising silica-rich rocks, it's a dense and low-velocity structure.
This continent relative to its surroundings has magnified and is 4.9 million sq. km big, which is equal to two-thirds of the size of its neighbour Australia.
Zealandia was a part of the archaic supercontinent—Gondwana and 94 per cent of the continent is immersed in water, a statement by the Geological Society of America (GSA) revealed.
This research was carried out by a cohort of 11 geologists who revealed that this continent is situated towards the east of Australia and New Zealand and New Caledonia are a part of it, hence it should be regarded as a continent, just like the Eurasian landmass, which comprises Europe and Asia, indiatimes.com reported.
"The identification of Zealandia as a geological continent, rather than a collection of continental islands, fragments, and slices, more correctly represents the geology of this part of Earth," The GSA stated
"Zealandia provides a fresh context in which to investigate processes of continental rifting, thinning, and breakup," GSA added.
The Earth comprises 14 major tectonic plates and over the last five decades, a lot of advancement has been observed which aided in analysing these plates better. The geologists could measure the aspects of the tectonic plates at different scales, understood about the continent-ocean boundaries and continental rifting better. It also helped them in unearthing numerous micro-continental fragments.
"Currently used conventions and continents, definitions of continental crust, and micro-continents require no modification to accommodate Zealandia," the geologists said.
As Zealandia has all the characteristics of a continent and its size is bigger than that of a micro-continent, the researchers insist that it should be classified as a continent, as per a report by The Telegraph.
This research has been published in the Geological Society of America.