In the past, massive meteors collided with the globe, leading to the formation of Earth’s continents. New types of data support this theory. Researchers have discovered the greatest evidence yet for how the continents of Earth first formed, and it is consistent with a long-held belief.
Scientists at Curtin University in Australia suggest that the continents of Earth may have been formed by meteorite strikes, which were significantly more common in the past of our solar system.
Currently, the seven continents that make up Earth constitute less than 30% of the planet’s landmass, with the remaining 70% being water. The planet’s existing geography and terrain are the consequence of millions of years of plate tectonics and crustal activities, which have been the cause of the regional evolution.
“We discovered evidence of these enormous meteorite impacts by examining microscopic crystals of the mineral zircon in rocks from Western Australia’s Pilbara Craton, which reflects Earth’s finest remnant of old crust.” said Tim Johnson, a geologist at Curtin University and the lead author of the new study.
“Our findings suggest that the mechanisms that eventually gave rise to continents began with large meteorite impacts billions of years prior to all those that killed off the dinosaurs.” He added.
As per space.com, the team plans to keep looking at old rocks in regions comparable to Pilbara Craton to see if these results are adapted throughout the planet.
Cover Image: Western Australian Museum