The Rodinia Jigsaw Puzzle

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Science  30 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5624, pp. 1379-1381
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083469

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As a result of plate tectonics, the continents on Earth's surface periodically come together to form supercontinents. Much is known about the most recent supercontinent, Pangaea, which reached its maximum extent about 250 million years ago. But an earlier supercontinent, Rodinia, remains shrouded in mystery. In his Perspective, Torsvik explains how recent data have altered models of the supercontinent's assembly and breakup. He concludes that without better geologic and paleomagnetic data, reconstructions of Rodinia will remain mired in controversy.

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