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Researchers recently found a 4.3 billion-year-old piece of the Earth’s crust in Canada over the weekend. With an estimate that Earth’s age is 4.6 billion years, this is one of the oldest pieces of mineral ever collected and still in good condition. As for how this piece of rock all stayed in one piece, that is a mystery.
Scientists also recently found what is believed to be pieces of rock from the Canadian Shield. These are believed to be about 2.7 billion years old. This find suggested that some of the Earth’s crust from this area may be wholly intact and survived the formation of the continental shield.
Speaking of mineral finds, a research team from the University of Ottawa and Carnegie Science (two separate entities) found samarium and neodymium rock just north of the Great Lakes in the Superior Province of Canada. The research team analyzed the isotope ratios, through a series of tests and found that such rocks would have been formed over 2.7 billion years ago. This type of rock is said to be formed by a recycling of minerals over thousands of years, through processes of erosion and weathering.
According to geology professor Jonathan O’Neil, a lot of the unique finds have been in a hotspot which he considers to be the nucleus of the Canadian Shield. He further explained that Earth has a unique and complex history of crust formations. The rocks are always constantly recycling and remolding in a way that only occurs on certain areas of the Earth.
With this newest find, the resulting minerals can be tested and investigated to see what exactly the compositions are and how they go to be that way. Key questions of the Earth’s earliest days are still yet to be answered, and researchers at Canadian universities are pondering over this rock. At least until test results come back.