From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Atlantica at about 2 Ga. Archean cratons in grey.

Atlantica (Greek: Ατλαντικα; Atlantika) is an ancient continent that formed during the Proterozoic about 2,000 million years ago (two billion years ago, Ga) from various 2 Ga cratons located in what is now West Africa and eastern South America. [1] The name, introduced by Rogers 1996, was chosen because the continent opened up to form the South Atlantic Ocean. [2]


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.[3]


Reconstruction of Earth 550 Ma ago showing the cratons of Atlantica forming West Gondwana

Atlantica separated from Nena between 1.6–1.4 Ga when Columbia — a supercontinent composed of Ur, Nena, and Atlantica — fragmented. [2] Together with continents Nena and Ur and some minor plates, Atlantica formed the supercontinent Rodinia about 1 Ga ago. The rifting of Rodinia between 1–0.5 Ga resulted in the formation of three new continents: Laurasia and East and West Gondwana, of which Atlantica became the nucleus of the latter. [1] During this later stage, the Neoproterozoic era, a Brasiliano-Pan African orogenic system developed. The central part of this system, the Araçuaí-West Congo orogen, has left a distinct pattern of deformations, still present on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. [4][5]

See also[edit]



  • Alkmim, Fernando F.; Marshak, Stephen; Pedrosa-Soares, Antônio Carlos; Peres, Guilherme Gravina; Cruz, Simone Cerqueira Pereira; Whittington, Alan (September 1, 2006). "Kinematic evolution of the Araçuaí-West Congo orogen in Brazil and Africa: Nutcracker tectonics during the Neoproterozoic assembly of Gondwana". Precambrian Research. 149 (1–2): 43–64. Bibcode:2006PreR..149...43A. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2006.06.007.
  • Noce, Carlos M.; Pedrosa-Soares, Antônio Carlos; da Silva, Luiz Carlos; Armstrong, Richard; Piuzana, Danielle (2007). "Evolution of polycyclic basement complexes in the Aracuaí Orogen, based on U–Pb SHRIMP data: Implications for Brazil–Africa links in Paleoproterozoic time" (PDF). Precambrian Research (159): 60–78. Bibcode:2007PreR..159...60N. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2007.06.001.
  • Rogers, John J. W. (January 1996). "A History of Continents in the Past Three Billion Years". The Journal of Geology. 104 (1): 91–107. Bibcode:1996JG....104...91R. doi:10.1086/629803. JSTOR 30068065.
  • Sankaran, A. V. (2003). "The supercontinent medley: Recent views" (PDF). Current Science. 85 (8): 1121–1123.
  • Yoshida, Masaru; Windley, Brian F.; Dasgupta, Somnath, eds. (2003). Proterozoic East Gondwana: supercontinent assembly and breakup. 206. Geological Society of London. ISBN 1-86239-125-4.