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Zircon from the deeper-seated Lower Group, Middle Group and Lower Platreef chromitites yields younger concordia ages that may reflect prolonged late-stage volatile activity.
The spin precession of these trapped atoms is then studied to look for any changes due to an external electric field.
The Ti content of Bushveld zircon ranges from 12 to 52 ppm correlating to a crystallization temperature range of 760–930 °C.
The geochemical characteristics of the first zircon generation are consistent with its high-temperature crystallization as the first major U, Th and REE acceptor from a highly-evolved residue of the high-Mg basalt magma, whereas the rims and coreless crystals have crystallized from percolating intercumulus liquid of new influx of the same magma.
(Dave Weatherall) While there is some debate as to whether or not the the age of the rock in the Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt is 3.8 billion years old or 4.3 billion years old, Jonathan O'Neil, assistant professor at the University of Ottawa's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, believes it to be on the older side.
But even if the rock is younger than that, it would still make their finding the oldest record of life on Earth, by 100 million years. "We now have evidence in rock that I can hold in my hand that we had life already established extremely early on the Earth." Discoveries such as this one greatly help scientists better understand the early Earth.