Mauritia (microcontinent)

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Mauritia is a proposed Precambrian microcontinent that broke away as India and Madagascar separated some 60 million years ago.[1][2] Evidence consists of detrital zircon found in sand on Mauritius beaches. Analyses of the zircon crystals produced dates between 660 and 1,970 million years and are considerably older than the 8.9-million-year-old basalt that constitutes the oldest formations on the island. The zircons are interpreted to have been brought up from buried continental crust as fragments entrained as xenocrysts within the basalt.[3] Interpretation of a linear northwest–southeast gravity anomaly indicates the microcontinent may extend 1500 km from the Seychelles to Mauritius roughly parallel to the Indian Ocean oceanic ridge.[4]


  1. ^ Torsvik, Trond H.; Hans Amundsen; Ebbe H. Hartz; Fernando Corfu; Nick Kusznir; Carmen Gaina; Pavel V. Doubrovine; Bernhard Steinberger; Lewis D. Ashwal; Bjørn Jamtveit (2013). "A Precambrian microcontinent in the Indian Ocean" (PDF). Nature Geoscience. doi:10.1038/ngeo1736. ISSN 1752-0894. Retrieved December 2015. 
  2. ^ "Geoscientists Discover Continent Hidden Under Lava in Indian Ocean". 25 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Perkins, Sid (24 February 2013). "Long-lost continent found under the Indian Ocean". Nature. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Ancient micro-continent under the Indian Ocean identified". SpaceDaily. 7 March 2013. 

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Coordinates: 12°10′49.11″S 61°10′1.64″E / 12.1803083°S 61.1671222°E / -12.1803083; 61.1671222