According tomedia reports, the metaphorical birth certificate of the Earth’s tectonic plate may need to be modified. Geophysicists from Yale University said in a press release Wednesday that they have found that plates on Earth may have existed about 4.4 billion years ago, at least 1 billion years earlier than previously thought.
Tectonic plates are part of the continental crust and upper mantle that we know today, and it affects geological events such as earthquakes and volcanoes.
A new study published in Science Advances by Jun Korenaga, a professor of Earth and planetary science at Yale University, and Meng Guo, a graduate student at Yale University, detailed evidence of the development of continental plates in earlier times. The two researchers created geochemical simulations of the early Earth based on argon. The argon element is an inert gas that is discharged into the atmosphere by continental blocks.
“Because of the special properties of radon, we can infer what happened to the solid Earth by studying radon in the atmosphere,” Korenaga said in a press release. “