Oxygen-isotope evidence from ancient zircons for liquid water at the Earth's surface 4,300 Myr ago

  title={Oxygen-isotope evidence from ancient zircons for liquid water at the Earth's surface 4,300 Myr ago},
  author={Stephen J. Mojzsis and T. Mark Harrison and R. T. Pidgeon},
Granitoid gneisses and supracrustal rocks that are 3,800–4,000 Myr old are the oldest recognized exposures of continental crust. To obtain insight into conditions at the Earth's surface more than 4 Gyr ago requires the analysis of yet older rocks or their mineral remnants. Such an opportunity is presented by detrital zircons more than 4 Gyr old found within 3-Gyr-old quartzitic rocks in the Murchison District of Western Australia. Here we report in situ U–Pb and oxygen isotope results for such… 
Primitive oxygen-isotope ratio recorded in magmatic zircon from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Abstract The oxygen-isotope composition of the Earth’s upper mantle is an important reference for understanding mantle and crust geochemical cycles. Olivine is the most commonly used mineral for
4.4 billion years of crustal maturation: oxygen isotope ratios of magmatic zircon
Analysis of δ18O in igneous zircons of known age traces the evolution of intracrustal recycling and crust-mantle interaction through time. This record is especially sensitive because oxygen isotope
The oldest rocks on Earth: time constraints and geological controversies
Abstract Ages in the range 3.6–4.0 Ga (billion years) have been reported for the oldest, continental, granitoid orthogeneisses, whose magmatic precursors were probably formed by partial melting or
Low heat flow inferred from >4 Gyr zircons suggests Hadean plate boundary interactions
An examination of over 400 Hadean zircons from Jack Hills is presented, which shows that some inclusion assemblages are conducive to thermobarometry, and it is suggested that the magmas from which the Jack Hills Hadeans zircon crystallized were formed largely in an underthrust environment, perhaps similar to modern convergent margins.


Jack Hills, evidence of more very old detrital zircons in Western Australia
The age of the Earth's oldest crustal minerals sets a time-limit on the earliest preservation of buoyant solid crust. The oldest mineral ages reported so far are ∼4,180 Myr for detrital zircons from
Nature of the Earth's earliest crust from hafnium isotopes in single detrital zircons
Continental crust forms from, and thus chemically depletes, the Earth's mantle. Evidence that the Earth's mantle was already chemically depleted by melting before the formation of today's oldest
Ion microprobe identification of 4,100–4,200 Myr-old terrestrial zircons
We report here the existence of detrital zircons from Western Australia which are far older than any known terrestrial rocks. They are from quartzites at Mt Narryer (Fig. 1), a locality which has
Oxygen isotope heterogeneity of the mantle deduced from global 18O systematics of basalts from different geotectonic settings
Based upon a compilation and analysis of O-isotope data for Neogene volcanic rocks worldwide, the δ18O variation for 743 basalts (historic lavas, submarine glasses, and lavas with <0.75 wt% H2O) is
Zircon megacrysts from kimberlite: oxygen isotope variability among mantle melts
Abstract The oxygen isotope ratios of Phanerozoic zircons from kimberlite pipes in the Kaapvaal Craton of southern Africa and the Siberian Platform vary from 4.7 to 5.9‰ VSMOW. High precision,