Stromatolite fossil dating
Unusually heavy spring rains recently melted a longstanding snow patch, exposing a distinct layer of rock.The rock layer contained a level bottom, but the top was jagged.
“We have a much better window back in time, thanks to what these folks did.”The fossil was discovered in a barren stretch of Greenland that researchers have patiently explored for some three decades.This loss of snow and ice concerns many people, but on the other hand, it has been a boon for the scientific community.It has exposed a new outcropping of rocks, giving geologists first-time access to a rare window of the earth’s distant past. This idea is beautifully illustrated by the research efforts of a team of Australian scientists.Climate change has triggered the excessive melting of ice and snow in western Greenland.In fact, on the day researchers from Australia reported this discovery in scientific literature, it made headlines in news outlets around the world., geochemists have unearthed a number of chemical markers in the Isua supracrustal belt (ISB) of western Greenland that strongly hint at microbial life on Earth between 3.7 and 3.8 billion years ago.
But origin-of-life researchers debate the bioauthenticity of these geochemical signatures because a number of potential abiotic processes can produce similar geochemical profiles.
As it turns out, these rocks harbor what appears to be the oldest fossils on Earth—stromatolites that date to around 3.7 billion years in age.
This latest insight has important implications for understanding the origin of life.
Researchers said the stromatolites grew in a marine environment.
The fossils date back to earth's Archean Eon, which lasted from about 4 billion to 2.5 billion years ago.
Such early life would also make life on Mars seem less of a long shot.