Singhbhum : Earth’s earliest landmass – UPSC Prelims

  • According to a study, India’s Singhbhum region may have been Earth’s earliest continental land to rise above the ocean 3.2 billion years ago.
  • The researchers studied the granites that form the continental crust of Singhbhum region. Scientists found sandstones in Singhbhum region with geological signatures of ancient river channels, tidal plains, and beaches over 3.2 billion years old.
What are the key findings of the study?
  • Earth’s first landmass emerged 3.2 billion years ago: Currently, a widely accepted view is that the continents rose from the oceans about 2.5 billion years ago. However, the study has suggested that this has happened 700 million years earlier which is about 3.2 billion years ago.
  • Moreover, the earliest continental landmass to emerge may have been Jharkhand’s Singhbhum region.
Earth’s earliest continents emerged from massive outbursts of magma: The study has also challenged another well-accepted notion that continents rose above the ocean due to plate tectonics.
  • According to the study, Earth’s earliest continents emerged not through plate tectonic processes but from massive outbursts of magma that hardened into continental crust.
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