Data from the European satellite has revealed that eastern Antarctica is a cemetery of continental remains.
Geophysicists from the German University of Kiel have created three-dimensional maps of the ice continent using Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, which operates 300 km above Earth.
They found that the thick ice keeps the remains of the collapse of an ancient super continent. This part of Antarctica seemed homogeneous, unlike the heterogeneous geological composition of other continents.
Few continents remains there
However, the analysis of data has shown that Eastern Antarctica is like a mosaic of at least three small continents, called kortons. The first one looks like a geological part of the rock base of Antarctica, while the other one resembles a part of India. In the third, parts of ancient seabed have merged. Specialists can not say when and how these protocols have contacted and formed Eastern Antarctica. It may have happened 1 billion years ago when the super continent Rodinia was formed, or 500,000 million years ago.