Rheic Ocean

The Rheische ocean (rare and falsely also Rhea Ocean) was in the earth's an ocean that existed from Unterordovizium to the Lower Devonian. He separated the continents Laurentia at that time, Baltica and Avalonia or the later resulting from this large continent Laurussia the north by the Gondwana supercontinent in the south. His former maximum width is not known, but is expected to have amounted to more than 1000 km. The suture, at this ocean was closed later today runs across Central Europe. With the closure of this ocean and by the folding of the edge regions, the Variszikum arose.


The name Rheischer ocean was proposed in 1972 by W. Stuart McKerrow and Alfred M. Ziegler ( Rheic Ocean ). However, the authors do not indicate how the name was formed. Due to the two other proposed in this work Termini " Pleionic Ocean" and " Ocean THEIC " is to assume that they were formed by figures of Greek mythology ( Pleione, Theia and Rhea ). The Titan Rhea was the daughter of Uranus and Gaia.


The Rheische ocean formed in the southern hemisphere between the Gondwana supercontinent in the south and in Unterordovizium terminating the northern edge of Gondwana and migrating northward small continent Avalonia. In Oberordovizium this small continent merged first with Baltica, a bit later in the united Untersilur collided Baltica / Avalonia with Laurentia. Presumably, during the Silurian of Rheische Ocean reached its maximum width, the safe was over 1000 km. In the Silurian then broke off another crustal block from the northern edge of Gondwana and drifted north, the Hun - Super Terran, which later split into the European and Asian Hun Terrane. The ocean was subducted Rheische in this northern drift under the Hun - Super Terran. Between the Hun - Super Terran and Gondwana, a new ocean, the Palaeotethys opened. In the Lower Devonian the European Hun Terrane collided ( in Central Europe, this is Armorica with crustal blocks that were broken off from the southern edge Balticas. In Central Europe, between these crustal blocks (Central German Crystalline Zone) and Baltica was a narrow ocean basins originated, the Rhenoherzynische Ocean. Had the Rheische Ocean in ceased middle Devonian to exist. during the Devonian and Carboniferous of the western part of Gondwana migrated further north. in this area the Palaeotethys now was subducted under the Hun - Super Terran. in the upper Carboniferous Gondwana collided in this area with Laurussia, the Rhenoherzynische ocean was subducted and Variscides unfolded. further east collided with the Asian Hun Terrane little later and at different times with Baltica and Sibiria. , where the Palaeotethys was initially received and opened like a wedge to the east.