Scientists have discovered a 4-billion-year-old fragment of ancient Earth’s crust beneath Western Australia

Earth is made up of three main layers: crust, mantle and core.

Lasers pave the way for finding older crust.

Researchers at Curtin University found evidence of a nearly four-billion-year-old portion of Earth’s crust beneath Western Australia’s southwest by using lasers smaller than a human hair to target microscopic grains of minerals extracted from beach sand Is.

a Ph.D. student Maximilian Drolener said the laser was used to vaporize individual grain fragments of the zircon mineral and reveal where the grains originally eroded as well as the geological history of the area. . This new discovery helps explain how the planet evolved from uninhabited to supporting life.

“There is evidence that a four-billion-year-old fragment the size of Ireland influenced the geological development of Western Australia over the past few billion years and was a major component of the rocks that formed in Washington during this time.” Mr. Dreller said.

“This piece of crust has survived several mountain-building events between Australia, India and Antarctica and is still present at depths of tens of kilometers below the southwest corner of Western Australia. Comparison of our findings with existing data When observed, it appears that in many regions around the world, the same time has been observed for the formation and preservation of the early crust. This represents a significant change in Earth’s evolution about four billion years ago, when meteorites The bombardment subsided, the crust settled and life began to form.”

Dr Milo Parham, research supervisor at the Timescales of Mineral Systems Group in the Curtin School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said that no large-scale study had ever been done in this area before, and the results, compared to existing data, were interesting.. . New Insight.

“The cut edges of ancient crust mark important crustal boundaries that control where to find economically important minerals,” said Dr. Barham.

“The identification of ancient crustal remains is critical for future optimal exploration of sustainable resources. Studying the early Earth is a challenge as time passes, but it is important to understand the importance of life on Earth and our quest to find it on other planets.” “

References: Maximilian Drolner, Christopher L. Kirkland, Milo Parham, Noreen J. Evans and Bradley J. “Paleolithic Firm Plantation in West Yelgarn Craton, Western Australia” by MacDonald, Available here. New Land.
DOI: 10.1111/III.12610

Mr. Drolner, Dr. Param and study co-author Professor Chris Kirkland are affiliated with the Institute for Geosciences Research (TIGeR). Curtin’s premier earth science research institute is funded by the Western Australian Mineral Research Institute.

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