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Ancient Supercontinents and the Paleogeography of Earth - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128185339

Ancient Supercontinents and the Paleogeography of Earth

1st Edition

Editors: Lauri Pesonen Johanna Salminen Sten-Ake Elming David Evans Toni Veikkolainen
Paperback ISBN: 9780128185339
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 1st July 2021
Page Count: 470
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Ancient Supercontinents and the Paleogeography of the Earth offers a systematic examination of the cratons of the Precambrian and the supercontinent cycle. Through detailed maps of drift histories and paleogeography of each continent, the book addresses questions about Earth’s evolution, such as whether continental drift took place before Pangea, what was the drift velocity of the ancient continents, whether the continents collided, and whether Earth had supercontinents before Pangea. Additionally, the book will cover the methodologies used, and will apply those methodologies to testing the dipole hypothesis.

Structured clearly with consistent coverage for all cratons, Ancient Supercontinents and the Paleogeography of the Earth combines state-of-the-art paleomagnetic and radiometric data to reconstruct the paleogeography of the Precambrian Earth in the context of major ancient events, such as global glaciations, and summarize apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of the continents. It is an ideal, up-to-date reference for geoscientists and geographers looking for answers to questions surrounding the continental evolution of Earth.

Key Features

  • Provides robust paleogeographies of Precambrian cratons based on high-quality paleomagnetic and radiometric data and critically tested by global geological datasets
  • Includes links to updated databases for the Precambrian such as PALEOMAGIA and other geological databases
  • Presents full-color maps of the drift histories of each continent as well as their paleogeographies
  • Discusses key questions regarding continental drift, the supercontinent cycle, and the dipole hypothesis and analyze palaeography in the context of Earth’s past events


Researchers and graduate students in geosciences and geography

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. A mantle dynamics perspective on the drift of cratons and supercontinent formation in Earth´s history
3. Precambrian geomagnetic field: An overview
4. The Precambrian paleogeography of Laurentia
5. The Precambrian drift history and paleogeography of Baltica
6. The Precambrian drift history and paleogeography of Amazonia
7. The Precambrian drift history and paleogeography of Rio de la Plata craton
8. The Precambrian paleogeography of Siberia
9. Whence Australia: Its drift history and paleography
10. The Precambrian Drift History and Paleogeography of India
11. The Precambrian drift history and paleogeography of the Chinese cratons
12. The Precambrian drift history and paleography of Kalahari
13. The Precambrian drift history and paleogeography of West Africa
14. The Precambrian drift history and paleogeography of Congo-São Francisco craton
15. Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic supercycles
16. Paleo-Mesoproterozoic Nuna supercycle
17. Precambrian Supercontinents: Rodinia
18. Phanerozoic Paleogeography and Pangea
19. An expanding list of reliable paleomagnetic poles for Precambrian tectonic reconstructions


No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2021
1st July 2021
Paperback ISBN:

About the Editors

Lauri Pesonen

Professor (emeritus) Lauri J. Pesonen established the Solid Earth Geophysics Laboratory at the University of Helsinki. He is a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and has been the president of the Geophysical Society of Finland. He received the Knight Medal of the 1st Class Finnish Lion in 1995. The IUA nominated the asteroid 1979A as "Pesonen" according to his activities in studies of supercontinents and meteorite impacts. He initiated the Nordic Paleomagnetic Workshops and organized the Supercontinent Symposium in 2012 in Helsinki. He has published over 145 publications in international peer-refereed journals and was the main editor of the Special Issue on Precambrian Supercontinents.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor Emeritus, Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Finland

Johanna Salminen

Academy of Finland Research Fellow Docent Johanna Salminen is currently working on Precambrian supercontinents and on Neogene magnetostratigraphy. He received her doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, Finland and did her postdoctoral research at the Yale University. USA. She has been a president of the Finnish Geophysical Society. She was awarded Early Career Scientist Award by the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IAGA) in 2015.

Affiliations and Expertise

Principal Investigator, Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Finland

Sten-Ake Elming

Sten-Åke Elming is a professor in Geophysics and has built up the Paleomagnetic Laboratory at the Luleå University of Technology. He is a member and in the board of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He has been in the board for the Nordic Volcanologic Center in Iceland, in the geoscience committee of the Swedish Research Council and within the Nordic Paleomagnetic Working group he has organized two workshops. Elming has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed international journals.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Paleomagnetic Laboratory, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden

David Evans

Toni Veikkolainen

PhD Toni Veikkolainen has worked with various disciplines of geophysics, and has a strong background in scientific computing. He received his doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki in 2014 with the topic on the dipole model of the geomagnetic field. He generated the global database PALEOMAGIA ( which has since 2013 given the researchers of Precambrian paleomagnetism an easy access to a wealth of numeric data. Currently he works with the development of products and services at the Institute of Seismology, University of Helsinki.

Affiliations and Expertise

Seismologist, Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Finland

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