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Statherian Period

The Statherian (Greek: statheros, meaning "stable, firm") is the final geologic period in the Paleoproterozoic Era and lasted from 1800 Ma to 1600 Ma (million years ago). Unlike the previous era it is marked by a geologic calm. Instead of being based on stratigraphy, these dates are defined chronometrically.

During this period the first complex single-celled life appeared.

The period is characterized on most continents by either new platforms or final cratonization of fold belts. Cratonization is a key geological process that forms stable continental masses of considerable scale.


The supercontinent Columbia formed at the beginning of this period. Columbia is estimated to have been about 12,900 kilometres (8,000 miles) from North to South, and about 4,800 km (3,000 miles) across at its widest part. The east coast of India was attached to western North America, with southern Australia against western Canada. Most of South America rotated so that the western edge of modern-day Brazil lined up with eastern North America, forming a continental margin that extended into the southern edge of Scandinavia.

Columbia began to fragment about 1.6 Ga (Billion years) ago, associated with continental rifting along the western margin of Laurentia (Belt-Purcell Supergroup), eastern India (Mahanadi and the Godavari), southern margin of Baltica (Telemark Supergroup), southeastern margin of Siberia (Riphean aulacogens), northwestern margin of South Africa (Kalahari Copper Belt), and northern margin of the North China Block (Zhaertai-Bayan Obo Belt).

Indian Subcontinent

An X-ray tomographic picture of fossil thread-like red algae unearthed in central India may represent the oldest-known plants on Earth, dating from 1.6 billion years ago.


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Page last modified on March 14, 2017, at 04:16 PM