Please Explain: Oceans

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ever wonder why the surf is up or the tides are out? On today's Please Explain, Dr. William B. F. Ryan of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Dr. Paul Falkowski of Rutgers University will answer your questions on everything from algae to undertow.

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Dr. Paul Falkowski
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Comments [3]

Chadwick Holmes from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Dr. Paul Falkowski's statement that the oldest rocks on earth are from the Isua Formation in Greenland (3.7-3.8 billion years old) is incorrect. The oldest rocks are actually the 4 billion year old Acasta Gneisses (where gneiss is pronounced like "nice") in Canada. In addition, single grains of the mineral zircon have been found in Western Australia that are about 4.4 billion years old! What makes this particularly interesting is these zircons have an oxygen isotope signature that suggests there was water (i.e. the ocean) on the surface of the earth 4.4 billion years ago. As a point of reference, the Earth itself is believed to be 4.5-4.6 billion years old.

Aug. 04 2007 11:24 AM

Leonard: What a marvelously complicated discussion. Please bring the scientists back. If I had Pulitzer I would give it to you.

I would like you to raise this question. Why is it that the oldest continent in the world, Africa, does not have The African Ocean?

with thanks, Professor Tejani

Aug. 03 2007 02:36 PM
Tejas Ranade from New Jersey

Please provide additional links and list of books that are relevant to this topic - particularly on the origins of life in the oceans.

Aug. 03 2007 01:46 PM

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