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Earth’s early magma oceans detected in 3.7 billion year-old Greenland rocks

By Helen M Williams, Reader in Geochemistry, University of Cambridge
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Earth hasn’t always been a blue and green oasis of life in an otherwise inhospitable solar system. During our planet’s first 50 million years, around 4.5 billion years ago, its surface was a hellscape of magma oceans, bubbling and belching with heat from Earth’s interior.

The subsequent cooling of the planet from this molten state, and the crystallisation of these magma oceans into solid rock, was a defining stage in the assembly of our planet’s structure, the chemistry of its surface, and the formation of its…


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