In DepthGeology

Dinosaur-age landscapes lurk in Southern Hemisphere

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Science  28 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6447, pp. 1216-1217
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6447.1216

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Summary

Scientists have shown that several plateaus in Brazil are likely Earth's oldest known landscapes, surviving largely unchanged for 70 million years despite heavy, erosive rainfall. For decades, geomorphologists have fixated on regions where plate tectonics accelerate geologic change, thrusting up mountains, opening rifts, and creating traps for oil and gas. But armed with new geochemical tools that can measure the erosion history of a landscape, geoscientists are turning on to the charms of the slow parts of the planet. Researchers hope these lands, typically plateaus that have had their surfaces armored by rain-induced chemical reactions, can provide new windows to Earth's deep history.

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