3 Jul 2021

This story can be seen at ... it seems a group of researchers think they may have identified a geological secret - a sunken continent hidden under Iceland and the surrounding ocean bed. Shades of Atlantis. How can this be as Plate Tectonics tells us that the Atlantic is spreading - from the Mid Ocean Ridge. Iceland sits atop that geological feature - hence the epic volcanism. The Atlantic, in mainstream consensus thinking, is expanding either side of the Mid Ocean Ridge. How does that idea come to terms with a continent under the waves?

An international team led by Gillian Foulger, of Durham University's department of earth sciences, has suggested the former continent exists between Greenland and Europe. Therefore it straddles the Mid Ocean Ridge. How does that square with current geological thinking? If this theory has legs it may suggest the Pangaea narrative might not be all it is cracked up to be. Pangaea may not have entirely broken up.

The new theory is said to challenge some long held and cherished geological facts on the extent of oceanic and continental crust in the North Atlantic. It may even impinge on how volcanic islands such as Iceland, formed. It is the presence of continental, rather than oceanic crust, which is dynamite..

The new theory is a dedicated chapter in a new book, 'In the Footsteps of Warren Hamilton: New Ideas in Earth Science' published on 29th June [2021] by the Geological Society of America. Foulger's co-scientists include Laurent Gernigon of Norway and Laurent Geoffroy of the University of Brest in Brittany. Apparently, existing theories claim Iceland is built from, and surrounded by oceanic crust. However, the crust under Iceland is over 40 km thick - seven times thicker than normal oceanic crust.  The central part of their theory is that some of this is a relic of continental crust, left over from the Pangaea break up. This might infer, they add, the continental crust may be much bigger than Iceland itself - a hidden continent under the sea. Not only that - something similar could be happening in other places. Zealandia - anyone.

One commenter quotes a few pages from Allen and Delair's book, 'Cataclysm' but I seem to recall reading that some, if not a lot of the Atlantic oceanic crust is of Cretaceous date, meaning there was a surge in its formation around 60 + million years ago. The NCGT web site has regular articles where pieces of former crust are found all over the place, especially in the Pacific. Therefore, there is good evidence, it would seem, that the process of breaking up Pangaea was not as simplistic as geological theory, at the moment, thinks. Another chink in the consensus mind set. These ideas might be more fruitful than the current alternative at the moment, an expanding earth theory. A big question one might ask is whether the continental crust under the Atlantic is one single block that has sunk or is split into pieces.

See also ... ... in this, we learn that areas west of Britain might have also been part of Icelandia -although at the moment the suggestion is that Icelandia is fairly restricted geographically. To go too far in their analysis might quickly shut it down. This, Foulger suggests, would mean redrawing the maps of the ocean bottom. She is described as a leading geologist on the world stage whose research has contributed to mapping the geological components of the seabed in relation to continental land masses. See ... [where the full pdf can be download or read online]. See also ... which describes the North American Craton, the geological core of North America. Over time it has both expanded and shrunk [emerging and submerging, one might think]. Not very helpful as far as Icelandia is concerned but illustrating the way continental crust is not always dry land - and can be drowned for long periods of time. Changes in the geoid of the earth might be a factor to consider. Whatever, this research is certainly something to keep an eye out for as it is potentially game changing. In fact, it even pops up in the July issue of 'Down to Earth' - a geological magazine with a strong Yorkshire flavour. In here the proposed sunken continent is restricted to Greenland, Iceland, and the Faeroe Ridge, as well as the Jan Mayen microplate complex. It could be larger if the Faeroe Plateau and parts of the continental margin of Britain and Ireland was included.