Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt - Large
The oldest rocks on Earth are 4.28 billion years old - the Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt, exposed on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay, northern Quebec, Canada. With an age of about 4.28 billion years, it is the only portion of the Earth's crust known to have formed during the Hadean eon. In this greenstone belt the oldest dates came from rocks called "faux amphibolite," which are thought to be ancient volcanic deposits. These beat the previously oldest known rocks, which are about 4.03 billion years old and come from the Acasta Gneiss formation in Canada's Northwest Territories. The only older crustal material is from isolated mineral grains called zircons, which are highly resistant to weathering and geologic processes. The Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt gives researchers a fresh perspective on the early separation of Earth's mantle from the crust. It is thought that a shallow ocean had already existed 300 million years after the Earth's formation. It raises puzzling questions as to ancient bacteria, as they are thought to be needed to precipitate iron availability for the formation of this type of rock. It might very well be that this rock may also contain traces of the oldest form of life in some way.
Size: About 2 1/2" W X 1 3/4" H X 1" D, Weight: about 80 grams
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