South African rocks point to an earlier start to life on Earth
At the core of the research are tectonic shifts, without which life on Earth would not exist
Plate tectonics – the movement of the Earth’s crust – started 600 million years earlier than believed, research on volcanic rock in SA has shown.
This finding has an impact on scientists’ knowledge of when continents formed and when life as we know it began.
The research was based on an examination of 3.3-billion year-old South African komatiite magma (volcanic rock) from the Barberton greenstone belt mountains in Mpumalanga, now a world heritage site...