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New Evidence That Giant Asteroid Impacts Created the Continents - SciTechDaily

New Evidence That Giant Asteroid Impacts Created the Continents - SciTechDaily

New Evidence That Giant Asteroid Impacts Created the Continents - SciTechDaily
Aug 13, 2022 1 min, 7 secs

August 13, 2022.

Evidence that Earth’s continents were formed by giant meteorite impacts has been uncovered in new research.

New research has uncovered the strongest evidence yet that Earth’s continents were formed by giant meteorite impacts, which were especially common during the first billion years or so of our planet’s four-and-a-half-billion-year history.

Curtin University researchers conducted the study, which was published on August 10, 2022, in the journal Nature.

Tim Johnson, from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, the idea that the continents originally formed at sites of giant meteorite impacts has been around for decades.

“By examining tiny crystals of the mineral zircon in rocks from the Pilbara Craton in Western Australia, which represents Earth’s best-preserved remnant of ancient crust, we found evidence of these giant meteorite impacts,” Dr.

“Studying the composition of oxygen isotopes in these zircon crystals revealed a ‘top-down’ process starting with the melting of rocks near the surface and progressing deeper, consistent with the geological effect of giant meteorite impacts.

“Our research provides the first solid evidence that the processes that ultimately formed the continents began with giant meteorite impacts, similar to those responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs, but which occurred billions of years earlier.”.

Understanding the formation and ongoing evolution of the Earth’s continents is crucial according to Dr.

Hartnady, 10 August 2022, Nature.

August 10, 2022


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