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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Latest Oldest rock Stories

2012-03-29 23:24:21

New research has revealed that some events in Earth's history happened more recently than previously thought. Scientists from the British Geological Survey and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, publishing this week in the journal Science, have refined the data used to determine how much time has passed since a mineral or rock was formed. They report uranium isotopic composition of minerals, used to date major geological events, which are more accurate than previously published. The...

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2008-09-28 10:25:00

A strip of bedrock located in the eastern area of Canada's Hudson Bay was discovered to have the oldest rocks on Earth, said scientists on Thursday. The rocks were formed about 4.28 billion years ago, shortly after the planet was created. It might even contain evidence of movement by ancient creatures. If these findings are indeed correct, this would definitely be the first proof of life on Earth. However, co-author of the article, Don Francis, warned that this had not been verified as of...

2008-06-17 15:00:43

U.S. scientists studying minerals called zircons say a harsh climate might have scoured or even destroyed the surface of the Earth's earliest continents. University of Wisconsin-Madison geologist Professor John Valley said Zircons, the oldest known materials on Earth, offer a window in time back as far as 4.4 billion years ago. Because the crystals are exceptionally resistant to chemical changes, Valley said they are now used to determine the age of ancient rocks. Valley previously used...

2007-02-07 12:50:18

Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has become a bane of modern society, may have saved Earth from freezing over early in the planet's history, according to the first detailed laboratory analysis of the world's oldest sedimentary rocks. Scientists have theorized for years that high concentrations of greenhouse gases could have helped Earth avoid global freezing in its youth by allowing the atmosphere to retain more heat than it lost. Now a team from the University of Chicago and the...

2005-11-17 17:23:10

A surprising new study by an international team of researchers has concluded Earth's continents most likely were in place soon after the planet was formed, overturning a long-held theory that the early planet was either moon-like or dominated by oceans. The team came to the conclusion following an analysis of a rare metal element known as hafnium in ancient minerals from the Jack Hills in Western Australia, thought to be among the oldest rocks on Earth. Hafnium is found in association with...


Latest Oldest rock Reference Libraries

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2005-05-25 10:17:59

Zircon is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates. Its chemical formula is ZrSiO4. Hafnium is almost always present ranging from 1 to 4%. The crystal structure of zircon is tetragonal crystal class. The natural color of zircon varies between colorless, yellow-golden, red, brown or green. Specimens that show gem quality are a popular substitute for diamond (but note that cubic zirconia is a completely different synthetic mineral with a different chemical composition). Zircon is a...

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