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Drake Passage Hides A Fragment Of The Ancient Continent
14.09.2006 15:25
Drake Passage Hides A Fragment Of The Ancient Continent

Joint Russian and German bottom survey of World oceans southern part near the Drake Passage resulted in discovery of the previously unknown vast underwater plateau Pirie.
      
      Scientists from Russian Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry and German Polar and Marine Research Institute consider the Pirie Plateau to be a piece of the ancient continent Gondwana, which affects ice regime of Antarctica, thermal regime of World ocean and Earths climate.
      
      The Pirie Plateau appears to be a top of a micro-continent and, together with Bruce-Discovery plateau, forms a large fragment of the ancient continent Gondwana. Long ago this hilly plateau was a part of the continental bridge between South America and West Antarctica. As South America moved northwards from Antarctica, the bridge slowly submerged in the sea, forming the cold West Wind Drift, one of the most powerful currents of the World ocean, which forms Earths climate together with the Gulf Stream current.
      
      The Pirie Plateau continues to submerge, thus forming Earths climate via affecting the West Wind Drifts intensity and ice regime of Antarctica.
      
      Source: Informnauka


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