Study: Meteor impacts may have shaped continents

Updated on 08/12/2022 at 16:37

  • Researchers have found the most compelling evidence to date that the continents on our planet were formed by several large meteorite impacts.
  • In the first billion years after the Earth was formed, these were especially common.

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Earth is the only one so far planet, which we know is on several continents. It is still not clear how these emerged and how they developed. Considering that they were once giants meteor impacts It was formed several decades ago. To date, however, there is little concrete evidence to support this theory. Until now.

Our research provides the first conclusive evidence that the processes that eventually shaped the continents began with giant meteorite impacts, said Tim Johnson of Curtin University (Perth). Australia) In a press release. The effects were similar to those of The extinction of the dinosaurs get to the . However, it happened billions of years ago.

Researchers examine rocks from the Pilbara Craton in Australia

For this purpose, the researchers examined the rocks of the so-called Pilbara Craton in Western Australia. The Pilbara Craton is the world’s best preserved crustacean remnant. They analyzed the composition of oxygen isotopes in small crystals of the mineral zircon.

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Investigations revealed a process that began with the melting of rocks near the surface and exacerbated deeper. This is consistent with the geological effects of the giant meteorite impacts. Scientists published their results In the magazine “Nature”.

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“It appears that data from other regions of the world with early continental crust show patterns similar to those in Western Australia,” Johnson continued. He now wants to test the results with other rocks to see if the model can also be used more widely.

Sources used:

  • Curtin University: The study found evidence that the impacts of a giant meteorite created the continents
  • Nature: giant influences and the origin and evolution of the continents

Whether it is ancient temples, golden treasures or dinosaur bones: the depths of the earth and the sea always bring exciting discoveries to light. Below – constantly updated – the most exciting discoveries of the past few years. (with material from dpa and afp)

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