Scientists Discover a 4-Billion-Year-Old Ancient Piece of Earth’s Crust Underneath Western Australia
Researchers found evidence of an approximately 4B old piece of the Earth’s crust that exists beneath the South-West of Western Australia by using lasers to target microscopic grains of a mineral sand.
Ph.D. student Maximilian said lasers were used to vaporize portions of individual grains of the mineral zircon & revealed where the grains were originally eroded from & geological history of region.
This new discovery helps explains how the planet evolved from being uninhabitable to supporting life. Upto 4B old piece of crust has been influencing the geological evolution of WA for billion of yrs.
This piece of crust has survived multiple mountain-building events between Australia, India, and Antarctica and appears to still exist at tens of kilometers of depth under the South-West corner of WA.
When comparing our findings to existing data, it appears many regions around the world experienced a similar timing of early crust formation and preservation.
This suggests a significant change in the evolution of the Earth some four billion years ago, as meteorite bombardment waned, crust stabilized and life on Earth began to establish.
Research supervisor Dr. Milo Barham said no large-scale study of this region had been done before and the results, when compared with existing data, had revealed exciting new insights.
“The edge of the ancient piece of crust appears to define an important crustal boundary controlling where economically important minerals are found,” Dr. Barham said.