A newly refined map of Zealandia was created by a small international team of geologists and seismologists who used the data from rock samples on the ocean floor as the eighth continent is majorly submerged in water.
The updated map has shown the location of the magmatic arc axis that forms the Zealandia continent as well as a number of important geological features.
Where is Zealandia?
As per a report by Phys.org, this eighth continent of the world named Zealandia is 94 per cent under the sea and the remaining 6 per cent are the islands which include New Zealand country and other islands nearby.
The report further said that previously, volcanic forces separated the supercontinent Gondwana and created the continents we now have in place about 83 million years earlier.
Because it is submerged beneath the ocean, Zealandia is not nearly as well studied as the conventional continents, resulting in inconsistencies in its presumed form and structure.
How was the new map created?
In order to refine the existing maps of Zealandia, the research team studied the collection of rocks and sediment samples collected from the ocean floor, most of which came from drilling sites, and others came from the shores of the islands in the area.
Subsequently, samples were investigated by the team as part of a secondary study which included analysis of seismic data in the region. The whole Zealandia continent, comprising 5 Mkm2, was then mapped in more detail.
According to the report, the examination of the samples revealed geological patterns in Western Antarctica suggesting that a subduction zone may exist near Campbell Plateau on New Zealand's west coast.
However, the scientists did not detect magnetic anomalies in this region that disprove theories of a strike-slip along the Campbell Fault.
The scientists further suggested that the Campbell Magnetic Anomaly System resulted from the stretching of Gondwana as it was being torn apart. That stretching eventually led to a break, which resulted in the creation of an ocean floor that makes up the lower parts of the Zealandia continent, reportedly.