ⓘ Atlantica


ⓘ Atlantica

Atlantica is an ancient continent that formed during the Proterozoic about 2.000 million years ago from various 2 Ga cratons located in what is now West Africa and eastern South America. The name, introduced by Rogers 1996, was chosen because the continent opened up to form the South Atlantic Ocean.


1. Formation

Atlantica formed simultaneously with Nena at about 1.9 Ga from Archaean cratons, including Amazonia in present-day South America, and the Congo, West Africa and North Africa Cratons in Africa.


2. Breakup

Atlantica separated from Nena between 1.6–1.4 Ga when Columbia - a supercontinent composed of Ur, Nena, and Atlantica - fragmented. Atlantica and continents Nena and Ur and some minor plates formed the supercontinent Rodinia about 1 Ga ago. Between 1–0.5 Ga Rodinia split into three new continents: Laurasia and East and West Gondwana; Atlantica became the nucleus of West Gondwana. During this later stage, the Neoproterozoic era, a Brasiliano-Pan African orogenic system developed. The central part of this system, the Araçuai-West Congo orogen, has left a distinct pattern of deformations, still present on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.