A piece of the earth’s crust 4 billion years old was discovered by scientists under Australia

(ORDO NEWS) — When this piece of the earth’s crust was on the surface, our planet looked very different.

Scientists using ultra-thin lasers have discovered deep under Australia a piece of the earth’s crust the size of Ireland. Its age can reach 4 billion years.

Given that our planet is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old, this discovery could provide some insight into the very early tectonic forces bending the Earth that helped shape the rocky outer shell of our planet’s surface.

As reported in the journal Terra Nova, researchers at Curtin University in Perth have collected tiny grains of zircon recovered from beach sand in Western Australia and processed them with an ultra-fine laser.

The analysis showed where the minerals had weathered from, indicating that their origin is in 100,000 square kilometers of a piece of the earth’s crust, which is between 4 and 3.8 billion years old.

“There is evidence that a piece of the earth’s crust up to four billion years old, the size of Ireland, has influenced the geological evolution of the state of Washington (in Western Australia) over the past several billion years and is a key component of the rocks formed in this state,” says the presenter study author Maximilian Drollner.

“This piece of Earth’s crust has survived numerous mountain building events between Australia, India and Antarctica and appears to still exist tens of kilometers below the southwest corner of Washington State.”

The age of this piece of the earth’s crust is of great interest. At that time, the planet moved from the Hadean era – a “hellish” landscape, when the Earth looked like a fireball of molten rock, to the first era of the Archean period, when a solid crust appeared.

A piece of the earths crust 4 billion years old was discovered by scientists under Australia 2

Estimates vary, but it is believed that life appeared on Earth about 3.75 billion years ago. Given these dates, exploring the crust beneath Washington could provide some insight into how our planet became habitable.

“This indicates a significant change in the evolution of the Earth about four billion years ago, when the meteor bombardment weakened, the crust stabilized and life began to emerge on Earth,” Drollner explained.

This research method can also be used to locate economically important minerals, but it can also help us search for life in other parts of the universe.


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