Introduction

Geologic evidence for the repeated occurrence of continental collision and rifting since the Archean has led to the hypothesis that the continents periodically coalesced into large landmasses called supercontinents. The best known of the supercontinents include Gond-wana (Fig. 3.4) and Pangea (Fig. 11.27), which formed in the latest Proterozoic and late Paleozoic times, respectively. Other supercontinents, such as Rodinia and Laurussia, also have been proposed for Late Proterozoic and late Paleozoic times, respectively. Processes in the mantle that may have led to their assembly and dispersal are discussed in Section 12.11.

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