2017-02-17. Zealandia: Is there an eighth continent under New Zealand?

posted Feb 18, 2017, 8:25 PM by Alan Gould
By BBC News. For GSS Life and Climate chapter 7. Excerpt: Say hello to Zealandia, a huge landmass almost entirely submerged in the southwest Pacific. .you might have heard of its highest mountains, the only bits showing above water: New Zealand. Scientists say it qualifies as a continent and have now made a renewed push for it to be recognised as such. In a paper published in the Geological Society of America's Journal, researchers explain that Zealandia measures five million sq km (1.9m sq miles) which is about two thirds of neighbouring Australia. Some 94% of that area is underwater with only a few islands and three major landmasses sticking out above the surface: New Zealand's North and South Islands and New Caledonia. You might think being above water is crucial to making the cut as a continent, but the researchers looked at a different set of criteria, all of which are met by the new kid in town. ...elevation above the surrounding area ...distinctive geology ...a well-defined area ...a crust thicker than the regular ocean floor....  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39000936