Snowball Earth: Global Ice Age Changed the Face of the Planet
Science & Technology

Snowball Earth: Global Ice Age Changed the Face of the Planet

Credit score: NASA

The research, printed in Terra Nova, examined how distinctive carbonate sedimentary rocks fashioned over the course of thousands and thousands of years after the Snowball Earth.

The sedimentary rocks, very like the limestone in tropical oceans right now, fashioned in oceans starved of sand and dust eroded from the land.

Lead creator Ph.D. candidate Adam Nordsvan, from the College of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Curtin College, stated the new analysis referred to as into query earlier ideas that the formation of the attribute rocks befell over a a lot shorter interval of time.

“It was beforehand thought that these distinctive carbonate rocks have been deposited over lower than 10 thousand years, as the sea stage rose when the ice that lined the total globe melted, however we’ve proven that they have been doubtless deposited over a whole bunch of 1000’s to thousands and thousands of years following the sea-level rise,” Mr Nordsvan stated.

“There’s already some proof that prompt these rocks took a very long time to kind, however nobody had been in a position to clarify why this may need occurred.

“What’s intriguing about the interval following Snowball Earth is that the planet floor was primarily fully renovated. It seems that the prolonged glacial interval eliminated all the seashores, deserts, rivers and floodplains, and reset vital Earth techniques that took thousands and thousands of years to get well.”

Co-author Dr. Milo Barham, additionally from Curtin’s College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, stated the findings might have vital implications for the evolution of advanced life.

“The melting of ice sheets after Snowball Earth brought on a dramatic rise in sea stage, in the end flooding the continents, driving a outstanding retreat of shorelines and the growth of clearer ocean water,” Dr. Barham stated.

“Researchers have lengthy been conscious that the timing of Snowball Earth and the growth of extra advanced life appear to have coincided, however nobody has actually considered how the oceans being starved of sediment may need helped historical organisms thrive in the oceans.”


The analysis was co-authored by researchers from the College of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Curtin College and the Eberhard Karls College of Tubingen in Germany.

Reference: “Main shoreline retreat and sediment hunger following Snowball Earth” by Adam R. Nordsvan, Milo Barham, Grant Cox, Uwe Kirscher and Ross N. Mitchell, 10 September 2019, Terra Nova.
DOI: 10.1111/ter.12426

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