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The strikingly banded rocks scattered across the upper Midwest and elsewhere throughout the world are actually ambassadors from the past, offering clues to the environment of the early Earth more than 2 billion years ago.
In a surprising study in Nature, a team led by a Brown University graduate student shows that a sharp boundary exists between the Earthâ€™s hard outermost shell and a more pliable layer beneath, a difference in geological strength underpinning plate tectonic theory. The findings are strong evidence that temperature alone canâ€™t account for differences between the regions, which allow plate tectonics to occur.
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