Australia and Arizona are separated by a body of water and 8,500 miles. That is a distance covering more than a third of the world. Nevertheless, geologists believe ancient rocks from the Grand Canyon were discovered in Australia. The rocks that were found are made up of minerals that are indicative of the oldest rock layers in America.
Specifically, their geochemical makeup was traced back to the Grand Canyon. This is an incredible, exciting find for many reasons. Of course, the distance between the two geological locations is astonishing. However, the historical significance of this find literally dates back over 1.1 billion years ago. As the Earth is comprised in its current geological state, Australia and North America are extremely far apart. (Especially for rock travel.) Yet, before Pangea, what is now two different continents, were connected through the supercontinent, named Rodinia.
Since not much is known for sure about Rodinia, much of the ancient landmass’ reconstruction is speculated. Yet, the one constant is that Rodina is universally thought to have contained all of today’s continental plates. This consensus has helped scientists literally piece together what little is known for sure about the supercontinent.
Fortunately, this new finding provides geologists with clues to better understand the true construction of Rodinia.
The strange thing about it, though, is that experts claim the rocks did not resemble the other rocks nearby.
Scientists originally believed the rocks were between 1.1 and 1.2 billion years old. Although, after further investigation, they determined two key factors. The first was that the strange rocks were more likely inherent from the walls of the Grand Canyon. The second was that some of the rocks’ layers dated back 1.5 billion years. In terms of rocks, that is a large difference and an even more interesting distance.
Due to these findings, scientists decided is that Tasmania was once attached to what is now the western United States. That is an impressive feat, considering the two areas are now geologically located on nearly opposite sides of the planet.
If the findings are correct, this sheds an enormous amount of insight. This not only goes for what the Earth looked like over a billion years ago, though. Findings like this one also help scientists predict what the Earth might look like a billion years from now.