Baltica is a name applied by geologists to a late-Proterozoic
The Proterozoic is a geological eon representing a period before the first abundant complex life on Earth. The name Proterozoic comes from the Greek "earlier life"...

, early-Palaeozoic continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

 that now includes the East European craton
East European craton
The East European craton is the core of the Baltica proto-plate and consists of three crustal regions/segments: Fennoscandia to the northwest, Volgo-Uralia to the east, and Sarmatia to the south...

 of northwestern Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

. Baltica was created as an entity not earlier than 1.8 billion years ago. Before this time, the three segments/continents that now comprise the East European craton were in different places on the globe. Baltica existed on a tectonic plate called the Baltic Plate
Baltic Plate
The Baltic Plate was an ancient tectonic plate that existed from the Cambrian period to the Carboniferous period. The Baltic Plate collided against Siberia, to form the Ural Mountains about 500 million years ago. The Baltic Plate, however, fused onto the Eurasian Plate when the Baltic Plate...


Partial history

  • ~1.8 billion years ago, Baltica was part of the major supercontinent
    In geology, a supercontinent is a landmass comprising more than one continental core, or craton. The assembly of cratons and accreted terranes that form Eurasia qualifies as a supercontinent today.-History:...

    Columbia (supercontinent)
    Columbia, also known as Nuna and Hudsonland, was one of Earth's oldest supercontinents. It was first proposed by J.J.W. Rogers and M. Santosh and is thought to have existed approximately 1.8 to 1.5 billion years ago in the Paleoproterozoic Era. Zhao et al...

  • ~1.5 billion years ago, Baltica along with Arctica
    Arctica was an ancient continent which formed approximately 2.5 billion years ago in the Neoarchean era.Arctica consisted of the Canadian and Siberian shields, and is now roughly situated in the Arctic around the current North Pole.- History :...

     and East Antarctica
    East Antarctic craton
    The East Antarctic craton is an ancient craton that forms most of Antarctica. The East Antarctic craton was part of the Nena supercontinent 1.8 billion years ago.During the early Paleozoic Era East Antarctica joined the Gondwana supercontinent.- Breakup :...

     were part of the minor supercontinent Nena
    Nena (supercontinent)
    Nena was an ancient minor supercontinent that consisted of the cratons of Arctica, Baltica, and East Antarctica. Forming about 1.8 billion years ago, the continent was part of the global supercontinent, Columbia. Nena is an acronym that derives from Northern Europe and North...

  • ~1.1 billion years ago, Baltica was part of the major supercontinent Rodinia
    In geology, Rodinia is the name of a supercontinent, a continent which contained most or all of Earth's landmass. According to plate tectonic reconstructions, Rodinia existed between 1.1 billion and 750 million years ago, in the Neoproterozoic era...

  • ~750 million years ago, Baltica was part of the minor supercontinent Protolaurasia.
  • ~600 million years ago, Baltica was part of the major supercontinent Pannotia
    Pannotia, first described by Ian W. D. Dalziel in 1997, is a hypothetical supercontinent that existed from the Pan-African orogeny about six hundred million years ago to the end of the Precambrian about five hundred and fifty million years ago. It is also known as the Vendian supercontinent...

  • ~Cambrian
    The Cambrian is the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, lasting from Mya ; it is succeeded by the Ordovician. Its subdivisions, and indeed its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latin name for Wales, where Britain's...

    , Baltica was an independent continent.
  • ~late Ordovician
    The Ordovician is a geologic period and system, the second of six of the Paleozoic Era, and covers the time between 488.3±1.7 to 443.7±1.5 million years ago . It follows the Cambrian Period and is followed by the Silurian Period...

    , Baltica collided with Avalonia
    Avalonia was a microcontinent in the Paleozoic era. Crustal fragments of this former microcontinent underlie south-west Great Britain, and the eastern coast of North America. It is the source of many of the older rocks of Western Europe, Atlantic Canada, and parts of the coastal United States...

     (most of modern Western Europe)
  • ~Devonian
    The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic Era spanning from the end of the Silurian Period, about 416.0 ± 2.8 Mya , to the beginning of the Carboniferous Period, about 359.2 ± 2.5 Mya...

    , Baltica collided against Laurentia
    Laurentia is a large area of continental craton, which forms the ancient geological core of the North American continent...

    , forming the minor supercontinent Euramerica
    Euramerica was a minor supercontinent created in the Devonian as the result of a collision between the Laurentian, Baltica, and Avalonia cratons .300 million years ago in the Late Carboniferous tropical rainforests lay over the equator of Euramerica...

  • ~Permian
    The PermianThe term "Permian" was introduced into geology in 1841 by Sir Sir R. I. Murchison, president of the Geological Society of London, who identified typical strata in extensive Russian explorations undertaken with Edouard de Verneuil; Murchison asserted in 1841 that he named his "Permian...

    , all major continents collided against each other to form the major supercontinent Pangaea
    Pangaea, Pangæa, or Pangea is hypothesized as a supercontinent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras about 250 million years ago, before the component continents were separated into their current configuration....

  • ~Jurassic
    The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Mya to  Mya, that is, from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic era, also known as the age of reptiles. The start of the period is marked by...

    , Pangaea rifted into two minor supercontinents, Laurasia
    In paleogeography, Laurasia was the northernmost of two supercontinents that formed part of the Pangaea supercontinent from approximately...

     and Gondwana
    In paleogeography, Gondwana , originally Gondwanaland, was the southernmost of two supercontinents that later became parts of the Pangaea supercontinent. It existed from approximately 510 to 180 million years ago . Gondwana is believed to have sutured between ca. 570 and 510 Mya,...

    . Baltica was part of the minor supercontinent Laurasia.
  • ~Cretaceous
    The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

    , Baltica was part of the minor supercontinent Eurasia
    Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

  • ~Present, Baltica is part of the forming minor supercontinent Afro-Eurasia
    Afro-Eurasia or less commonly Afrasia or Eurafrasia is the term used to describe the largest landmass on earth. It may be defined as a supercontinent, consisting of Africa and Eurasia...

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