Zircon grains contain information about the early history of the Earth

(ORDO NEWS) — The mineral is billions of years old. Thanks to grains of zircon, scientists will be able to obtain a lot of information about how the biosphere developed, the continents evolved and the mineral resources of the Earth were formed, even though it was previously believed that the early history of our planet has sunk into oblivion. This is reported by the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

The researchers suggest that the zircon formed when the plates collided. According to scientists, the mineral managed to survive due to its high resistance to erosion. He is billions of years old.

“In every grain of sand, the history of billions of years of the Earth is encrypted, and our technique helps to extract this information,” said the Australian University of Curtin geologist Milo Barham.

By analyzing the age of zircon grains, scientists will be able to recreate geological events that occurred before they were formed. Thus, the researchers analyzed different zircon deposits on the East and West coasts of South America.

On the West Coast, experts have found young specimens that were formed during the movement of tectonic plates, which caused volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in the Andes. And on the East Coast, where experts found not only young grains, but also old ones, such activity did not occur.

Geologists from Australia expect that their new method will help restore the dynamics of the movement of tectonic plates in different periods of the Earth.

Earlier it was reported that an international group of scientists put forward a new hypothesis for the appearance of oxygen on Earth, which is an alternative to the Great Oxidation Event hypothesis.


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