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The supercontinent Pangaea surrounded by the superocean Panthalassa.

A superocean is an ocean that surrounds a supercontinent. It is less commonly defined as any ocean larger than the current Pacific Ocean.[1] Named global superoceans include Mirovia, which surrounded the supercontinent Rodinia, and Panthalassa, which surrounded the supercontinent Pangaea. Pannotia and Columbia, along with landmasses before Columbia (such as Ur and Kenorland), were also surrounded by superoceans.

As surface water moves unobstructed east to west in superoceans, it tends to warm from the exposure to sunlight so that the western edge of the ocean is warmer than the eastern. Additionally, seasonal changes in temperature, which would have been significantly more rapid inland, probably caused powerful monsoons. In general, however, the mechanics of superoceans are not well understood.[2]

List of superoceans[edit]

Possible Future Superoceans[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McMenamin, Mark A.S.; Schulte McMenamin, Dianna L. (1990). The Emergence of Animals: The Cambrian Breakthrough. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-06647-1. LCCN 89035459.
  2. ^ Martin, Ronald E. (1998). "Cycles and Secular Trends". One Long Experiment: Scale and Process in Earth History. Perspectives in Paleobiology and Earth History. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-10905-5. LCCN 97027821.
  3. ^ Davies, Hannah S.; Green, J. A. Mattias; Duarte, Joao C. (2020). "Back to the future II: Tidal evolution of four supercontinent scenarios". Earth System Dynamics. 11 (1): 291–299. Bibcode:2020ESD....11..291D. doi:10.5194/esd-11-291-2020. S2CID 216321175.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of superocean at Wiktionary