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During its life span from mid-Carboniferous (320 Ma) merger to mid-Jurassic (160 Ma) initial breakup, Pangea comprised two contrasting sedimentary provinces: (1) an emergent southern (Gondwanaland) province, with no more than 15% of the landmass covered by the sea, dominated by nonmarine facies, and (2) a submergent northern or Laurasian province, 25% or more covered by the sea, dominated by marine facies. This contrast arose from the unequal size of Pangea's original components. The 100-million-km2 area of Paleozoic Gondwanaland, which generated a large heat anomaly in and beneath the lithosphere, dwarfed the 30-million-km2 area of Laurentia and was 10 times the size of the two Chinese microplates. Pangea inherited the contrast and maintained it by the growth of its own heat anomaly.
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