October 2, 2022


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Scientists have discovered what happened to the first continents on Earth!

Scientists have discovered what happened to the first continents on Earth!

The new discovery can explain more puzzling features of kraton, that is, the oldest solid parts of the Earth’s crust in which Earth’s history is recorded. Thanks to the research results, we will be able to understand what happened on our planet in 4.5 billion years.

As geologist Fabio Capitanio from Monash University’s School of Earth in Australia explains: “The rocks at the core of the continents, known as kratons, are more than three billion years old. They formed on the early Earth and hide the mystery of the changing continents and planet over time.”

There are studies that show that the continents have arisen “from the inside”, around the so-called Founded from Kraton. For several million years it was built by rock masses due to the influence of tectonic plates. According to a 2004 study, there are 35 kratons on Earth. Its composition differs from that of the rest of the lithosphere, which is made up of a “strangely diverse mixture of materials” including minerals of different ages, compositions, and sources of origin.

Capitanio and his research team made computational models to get it Earth evolution simulation During the first billions of its existence. This was to analyze the thermal and chemical evolution of the “cratonic mantle”. In addition, they also ran a set of test simulations to see how sensitive their model was to different parameters.

Studies have shown that the first continental masses that appeared on our planet were Unstable and drowned in the mantle. Being deep underground, they melted and mixed with the mantle substance. However, some parts of the original continents may have remained in that part of the planet for a long time before then Reappear Creating layers under the lithosphere. As a result, the lithosphere fragments “hardened”.

Such a process can Explain the heterogeneity of the kraton structure Old rock fragments mix with younger ones. Scientists also suggest that some of these pieces may still be hidden under the lithosphere “waiting to return.” The research team launched this mechanism Mega Regional Relationship (MRR). Geologists believe that this process may have been a key element in the formation of the continents in the early Earth.

As Capitanio says: – Our work is important for two reasons. First, kraton is where important minerals and other minerals are stored/found. Second, they tell us how the planets formed and changed in the past, including how the continents formed and formed How did they support life? How was the atmosphere created?

The results of the research were published in the journal PNAS.

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