South Africa: Scientists have discovered traces of the world’s oldest glacier in South Africa. These glaciers are 2.9 billion years old and gold deposits have been found in the rocks inside. The discovery suggests that buffer deposits existed on the continent in the past, scientists say, either when the region was near the Earth’s poles or when part of the Earth froze into an extremely cold ‘snowball earth’.
Along with oxygen isotope concentrations in ancient rocks, physical evidence has also been found, according to a study published in the journal Geochemical Perspectives Letters. This evidence suggests that these glaciers are 2.9 billion years old.
Professor Ilya Bindemann of the University of Oregon, USA, said that we have found a glacial deposit near the gold fields of South Africa. It is one of the few areas on Earth that has not changed. They said that this glacial moraine was formed due to the deposition of fossils. It is basically the debris left by the glacier. which gradually melts and shrinks. It is the oldest moraine deposit ever. ‘We found that 180 oxygen was extremely low in these rocks. While 170 was too much.’ Bindemann said. This suggests that they must have formed at icy temperatures. At the same time, Professor Axel Hoffmann of the University of Johannesburg says that the world’s largest gold deposits are found in the small hills above the studied rocks. In such a case, it may be that the change from ice to greenhouse conditions helped form those gold deposits. However, this has not been confirmed yet and more work is needed in this direction.
The researchers have also analyzed the oxygen isotopes from these rocks, indicating that the climate must have been cold at the time the rocks were deposited. During the analysis, the researchers also studied the amounts of three oxygen isotopes, 160, 170 and 180.
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