World’s Oldest Water:
World’s Oldest Water Found in Canada Sheds Light on the Beginning of Life.
- A 2016 study by Canadian geologists is eliciting significant interest, for the clues, it offers in the search for alien life, especially on Mars.
- The research is based on a discovery made by Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar of the University of Toronto, who in 2009 extracted from Canadian mine water that is 1.6 billion years old– the oldest to be found on our planet.
- The discovery of the water 2.4 km below the Earth’s surface has since been heralded as one of great importance, given its ramifications on what we know about the origin and evolution of our planet, the nature of water and life, as well as the possibility of finding life on Mars.
- Sherwood Lollar had been carrying out research at the Kidd Creek mine, located on the 2.7 billion-year-old Canadian Shield, one of the world’s largest continental shields – meaning the oldest and least tectonically active parts of the Earth’s crust.
- Researchers then conducted studies on the sample, finally settling at the 1.6 billion years figure.
- Investigations into the highly saline water led to a pathbreaking discovery: scientists found that chemolithotrophic microbes– bacteria that can thrive in the most extreme surroundings– had been able to survive in the subterranean liquid.
- The Canadian Shield, on which the Kidd mine is located, in the past used to form an ocean floor, as per the report.
- Over millions of years of flux, however, its horizontal seabed became vertical, now preserved in the mine’s rock walls from which the water sample was extracted.