The ancient Earth was a water world by exploring the open ocean crust, According to geologists, Earth is the aquatic world of a submerged continent 3.2 billion years ago after analyzing oxygen isotope data from ancient oceanic crust that is now exposed to drought in Australia.
An ancient earth without an emerging continent can resemble a “water world”, which is an important limitation of the environment with regard to the origin and development of life on earth and the possibility of its existence elsewhere.
According to the researchers, his work on the project began when he spoke with Wing at the conference and learned about the well-preserved oceanic crust of 3.2 billion years old from Archeon Aeon (4 to 2.5 billion years ago) in remote Australia West.
Previous studies have produced a large library of geochemical data that already exists on the site.
Johnson joined the Wing research team and in 2018 visited the oceanic crust on a trip that included flights to Perth and a 17-hour journey north to the coastal region near Port Hedland. The ancient Earth was a water world by exploring the open ocean crust.
After taking a rock sample itself and digging it into an existing data library, Johnson created an oxygen isotope cross section lattice and the temperature value found in the rock.
Isotopes are atoms of chemical elements with the same number of protons in the nucleus but different numbers of neutrons.
In this case, differences in oxygen isotopes left in old rocks provide evidence of the interaction of rock and water billions of years ago.
After having a two-dimensional grid based on intact rock data, Johnson created an inverted model for estimating oxygen isotopes in ancient oceans.
The result: Ancient sea water was enriched at around 4 per thousand more heavy oxygen isotopes (oxygen with eight protons and 10 neutrons, written as 18O) than oceans without ice.
Water flowing through the old oceanic crust is different from current seawater in its interactions with much higher temperatures, which can enrich the ocean with heavy oxygen isotopes. Or the water cycle on a continental scale can reduce the percentage of heavy isotopes in seawater. The ancient Earth was a water world by exploring the open ocean crust.
Our preferred and rather simplistic hypothesis is that weathering continents from land begins after 3.2 billion years and attracts heavy isotopes to the sea.
The idea that water moves through oceanic crust is not like today and causes differences in the composition of isotopes not supported by rocks.
The 3 billion year old oceanic crust we examined looks like a much younger oceanic crust.
Surveys show that geologists can model and find new and quantitative ways to solve problems, even if 3.2 billion years of sea water they would never see or take samples.
According to the researchers, the only place for the development of the first ecosystem without continents and drought above sea level is the oceans.