Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Geobiology

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 434-436

Gondwanaland, Formation

  • Joseph G. MeertAffiliated withGeological Sciences, University of Florida


Gondwanaland or “Gondwana” is the name for the southern half of the Pangaean supercontinent that existed some 300 million years ago. Gondwanaland is composed of the major continental blocks of South America, Africa, Arabia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, India, Antarctica, and Australia (Figure 1). The name “Gondwana” is derived from a tribe in India (Gonds) and “wana” meaning “land of.” Gondwanaland is superficially divided into a western half (Africa and South America) and an eastern half (India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Antarctica, and Australia).
Gondwanaland, Formation. Figure 1

The Gondwanaland supercontinent. The cratons comprising West Gondwana are shaded in light blue and those comprising East Gondwana are shaded in yellow. Neoproterozoic orogenic belts crisscross the supercontinent. Those associated with the final amalgamation of the supercontinent are the East African Orogen (750–620 Ma; red), the Brasiliano-Damara Orogen (630–520 Ma; blue), and the Kuungan Orogen (5 ...

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