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File:Blakey 600moll.jpg
The land during the Ediacaran period (late Neoproterozoic) (600 Million years ago)

Pannotia also known as Greater Gondwanaland and Vendian supercontinent, is a supercontinent that may have existed during the Neoproterozoic (Ediacaran period), about 600 million years ago, at the end of the Precambrian, about 600 million years ago. After that, it split into smaller continents. The small ones were Laurentia, Siberia and Baltica, with the main landmass, Gondwana, south of them. [1]


About 750 million years ago the older supercontinent Rodinia split apart into three continents. They were Proto-Laurasia (which broke apart and eventually re-formed as Laurasia), the continental craton of Congo, and Proto-Gondwana. It contained all of Gondwana except the Congo craton and Atlantica.

Proto-Laurasia rotated southward toward the South Pole. Proto-Gondwana rotated counterclockwise. The Congo craton came between Proto-Gondwana and Proto-Laurasia about 600 milion years ago. This formed Pannotia.

Pannotia looked like a V that faced northeast. Inside the V was an ocean that opened up during the break-up of Rodinia, the Panthalassic Ocean, an ocean that became the early Pacific Ocean. There was a mid-ocean ridge in the middle of the Panthalassic Ocean. Outside of the V was a very large ancient ocean called the Panafrican Ocean that may have surrounded Pannotia, equal to the future Panthalassic Ocean.

Pannotia was short-lived. The collisions that formed Pannotia were brief collisions, and the continents making up Pannotia already had active rifting. By about 550 million years ago , or only about 50 million years after Pannotia formed, Pannotia separated into four continents. They are called Laurentia, Baltica, Siberia and Gondwana. Later the landmasses would recombine to form the most recent supercontinent, Pangaea.[2]

File:Blakey 560moll.jpg
Pannotia beginning to break up.
New oceans appear once the supercontinent broke apart.

Related Pages


  1. "Pannotia". Palaeos. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  2. "Pannotia". UCMP Glossary. Retrieved 2013-05-12.

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