Between Tasmania, the island state of Australia, and Arizona in the United States, about 14, 000 km and they are located almost on opposite parts of the globe. However, a recent find has led scientists to conclude that these two geographic features were once one. And not so long ago, by the standards of geology - just over a billion years ago.
Researchers have found unusual rocks in Tasmania, according to which it was obvious that they are ancient, but at the same time radically different from other old rocks. Geochemical analysis revealed the unique composition of the find, and when they began to look for analogues, the search led to the Grand Canyon. Here, in the most famous geological formation of the North American continent, similar samples were found, only much older. Australian rocks formed 1-1, 2 billion years ago, and the cobblestones from the Grand Canyon - about 1.5 billion years ago.
Scientists came to the conclusion that at that time both the current island of Tasmania and the canyon were part of the ancient continent of Rodinia. She is considered the progenitor of modern continents. Rodinia fell apart, which began to drift and eventually froze where we see them now. The upper crust has stabilized and geologists can study it, but inside the process of movement is still ongoing.
The interest of the find is that it confirms the theory of Rodinia and sets new age criteria for certain events and artifacts. The link between such a distant Grand Canyon and Tasmania will help scientists update the models of the movement of lithospheric plates.