News FocusGeophysics

Ancient Continent Opens Window on the Early Earth

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Science  17 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5448, pp. 2254-2256
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5448.2254

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ACASTA RIVER, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES-- For the past 5 years, a team of geologists has been mapping and precisely dating the ancient rocks in this remote part of Canada. They now report that they have placed the Acasta rocks--some of which are the oldest on Earth--within a relatively large protocontinent, and that they can trace its history for 1.5 billion years after its beginnings 4 billion years ago. In the process they are shedding light on some of the most important questions about the early Earth.