Public Release: 

Weathering of early Earth rocks

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Researchers report that zircon crystals, rock samples from the Hadean eon, preserve a record of the weathered rock that comprised the source magmas of the zircons in silicon and oxygen isotopes; the isotope records suggest that sedimentary rocks such as cherts or banded iron formations may have existed more than 4 billion years ago and that the precursor sedimentary rocks could have served as substrates for primitive biochemistry on a young Earth as early as 4.1 billion years ago.


Article #18-08335: "Origin and significance of Si and O isotope heterogeneities in Phanerozoic, Archean, and Hadean zircon," by Dustin Trail et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: Dustin Trail, University of Rochester, NY; tel: 585-276-7182; e-mail:

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