Sunday, August 14, 2022

The water cycle on the early Earth determined the formation of the continents.

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The storage and distribution of water through the Earth’s crust and subsurface was important

A new study finds that water was transported much deeper into the early Earth than previously thought, shedding new light on how the continents originally formed.

Researchers at Curtin University in Australia have verified that early Earth’s water cycle involved its transport Deeper As far as I thought. This fact, along with the characteristics of its distribution and storage, may have particularly influenced the way the continents were configured.

As the scientists established in their new study, recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, the way Water is stored and transported through the earth’s crust and subsurface It influences many events, from where volcanoes and mineral deposits occur to where earthquakes occur.

Voyage

According to a press release, these movements may have been important in the formation of continents at the beginning of the planet. Experts noted that ultramafic rocks hydrated They provided a major source of water in the deep crust and upper mantle on the early Earth. It is worth remembering that ultramafic rocks are composed of more than 90% basic minerals. In short, it is currently believed that the terrestrial mantle is a compound of ultramafic rocks.

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Australian researchers argued in study that water was an essential ingredient transformation of primitive rocks Derived from the Earth’s mantle in the later floating continental crust. This process then removed the irreversible differentiation of the Earth’s lithosphere and creation of continents In its original state, which later went through various changes till it reached its present structure.

Previous studies suggested that water was transported within Earth 3.5 billion years ago, although this was not exactly known. How did it get inside the early Earth, The scientists used sophisticated modeling to show that ultramafic rocks, from early magnesium-rich volcanic fields that erupted on the ocean floor early in the planet’s history, carried much more seawater than more modern sinks. would have been absorbed.

water and gold on early earth

Water locked in special crystals within the rocks, the rocks being buried and “sweating” and leaving the liquid. In modern lava, it “Sweat” of the Rocks Occurs at a temperature of about 500 °C.

The findings of the team of scientists led by Dr. Michael Hartnady indicate that much of the seawater initially bound within ancient primitive lava may have been released very high temperatureover 700 °C.

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This data would conclusively indicate that Water was transported to very deep levels on the early Earth than was previously thought. Its release would melt the surrounding rocks and eventually form continents. According to experts, this discovery helps to explain the dynamics of the inner workings of the planet for more than 2,500 million years.

In the same sense, he highlighted that some of the oldest parts of the continents, called cratons, are largest gold deposit on earth, These deposits required large amounts of water to form: until today there was no good explanation of their origin.

Thanks to new research, Hartnady and his team believe that this and other questions related to our planet’s distant past may be beginning to be answered, even those are related origin of life on earth,

Reference

Fluid processes in the early Earth and the growth of continents. Michael IH Hartnady et al. Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2022). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2022.117695

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