October 23, 2021

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Earth’s oldest crystals reveal age of plate tectonics

3 min read


Earth’s constantly moving tectonic plates have created the unique habitable planet we recognize today.

A new study, led by geologist Michael Ackerson from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington has predicted that our planet’s tectonic plates — large slabs of Earth’s crust lying over a liquid mantle — began moving roughly 3.6 billion years ago, when Earth was just under one billion years old. 



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