Snowball Earth Theory Undermined?
A UK-Swiss team of researchers, led by Professor Philip Allen of Imperial College London’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering, has found evidence of hot and cold cyclic conditions in glacial sedimentary rocks found in Oman.
These rocks are dated from 850 – 544 Ma, which was during a time that many scientists have said represents a time when Earth experienced massive freezing. This has been dubbed the ‘Snow Ball Earth’ theory.
The research team used a technique called chemical index alteration, which allows scientists to look at the mineral and chemical compositions of sedimentary rocks and determine weathering rates. Higher rates of weathering are generally associated with warmer or more humid conditions. The team found three intervals that related to higher raters of chemical weathering, indicating that there must have been some sort of warmer climate conditions.
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