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Ancient Zircons Date Onset of Plate Tectonics to 3.6 Billion Years Ago – Event Crucial to Making Earth Hospitable to Life – SciTechDaily

Earth’s Oldest Minerals Date Onset of Plate Tectonics to 3.6 Billion Years Ago Ancient zircons from the jack hills of western Australia hone date of an event that…



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Zircons studied by the research team, photographed using cathodoluminescence, a technique that allowed the team to visualize the interiors of the crystals using a specialized scanning electron microscope. Dark circles on the zircons are the cavities left by the laser that was used to analyze the age and chemistry of the zircons. Scientists led by Michael Ackerson, a research geologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, provide new evidence that modern plate tectonics, a defining…

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