Continents and Oceans are forms of the Earth’s crust. The shape of the Earth’s surface consists of land and also waters. In this case, a continent is a form of land while the ocean is a form of its waters. Has it ever crossed your mind about the origin of the formation of continents and also the oceans on planet Earth?
Apart from this question, it turns out that ancient scientists have been very concerned about this. Even scientists also do a study on it and also conduct research on the formation of oceans and also continents. Did you know that the shape of the surface of the ancient earth is not the same as today?
Previously the continent was not as it is today, but only one in the form of a large terrestrial ecosystem and was named Pangea likewise with the ocean. In the past, there was only one large ocean, not fragmented as it is now. On this occasion, we will discuss the history of the formation of oceans and also continents. Let’s check this out!
History of the formation of continents and oceans
The form of the Earth keeps changing. It looks different from the past. Currently, we know that there are 7 types of the continents in the world and there are 4 oceans. Ocean and Continent go through a long process to form as it is now. It is difficult indeed to explain how this process happened considering that modern humans appeared on Earth long after the existence of dinosaurs and early hominid predecessors on Earth.
So if you want to do the research, you have to go back to find out the evidence and relate it to the real conditions that exist on Earth. Alfred Wagener is the person who revealed the theory of continental formation.
About the process of forming our continent, we will be guided by the theory of Alfred Wagener. Wagener’s theory is also called the Continent Shift Theory. According to this theory, the process of forming Continents is as follows:
- About approximately 300 million years ago on this Earth, there was only a very large land mass called Pangea or Continent of Pangea.
- Over time, due to the movement of the Earth’s plates and other factors, the continent of Pangea was split into two called Laurasia (north) and Gondwana (south). The process of breaking the Pangea Continent occurred around 135 million years ago.
- Then the Continent of Laurasia continued to move northward, away from Gondwana and is now a North American Continent.
- While the Gondwana Continent is divided into several Continents, including The western part continues to shift westward to form South America, The eastern part continues to shift to the east to form the African Continent, The small part in the east continues to shift towards the northeast to form India, and One more part is split into two, one continues to move northeast and the other continues to move south.
- Then the Continents still move and North America joins one with South America.
- Eurasia forms the Continent of Europe and Asia.
- While the fragments that moved southwards moved southward to form the Antarctic continent.
- Then the fragments that point to the northeast from the Continent of Australia.
Now that would be some long journey of the continent, which initially had only one very large form, Pangea, which eventually divided one continent into seven parts. From the information above, we can conclude that this division and shift in continents signifies that every time the continent or land that we occupy is moving even though we don’t feel it directly. Until now our continent or land continues to move. In fact, it does not rule out the possibility that one day one continent will rejoin the other continents.
After knowing the history of continental formation, what about the ocean? Basically, the process of ocean formation cannot be separated from the shape of the earth’s surface in the form of a basin. A very broad basin on the surface of the Earth filled with water will form an ocean or sea. Then, why does the ocean taste salty?
The salty taste of seawater or oceans is obtained from rainwater that flows from the land to the sea, mostly carrying chemical materials, especially Sodium Chloride (NaCl). Because there are many waves in the ocean, Sodium Chloride is stirred by the current and makes the ocean water taste salty.
In the beginning, there was only one ocean since there was only one mainland, but as the land split, then the ocean was divided into 4 types, namely:
The area of the waters or oceans on this Earth is far wider than the land, which reaches 71% compared to a land which is only 29%. Now you know about the forming process of continent and ocean, right? Hopeful this information will be useful for all of you.