A 4-billion-year-old piece of Earth's crust discovered beneath Western Australia

It revealed the region's geological history as well as where the grains were originally eroded from.

"This piece of the crust has survived multiple mountain-building events that have occurred between Australia, India, and Antarctica."

Many regions around the world appear to have experienced a similar timing of early crust formation and preservation.

This suggests a significant change in Earth's evolution four billion years ago.

"The ancient crustal edge appears to define an important crustal boundary controlling where economically important minerals are found."

"It is critical to recognise these ancient crustal remnants for the future of optimised, sustainable resource exploration."

It is critical for understanding the significance of life on Earth and our quest to find it on other planets."

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