The Old Rocks of Australia

There are some very old rocks in Australia.

Early scientists thought that Australian flora, fauna and geology were different from the rest of the world because they had formed later. Today we know that the world's most ancient rocks are found in Australia.
Deep Gorges of the Hamersley Range of the Pilbara Region
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Western Australia's continental crust is older than 3500 years. Zircons older than 4400 years have been found in Australia. This is only about 200 million years younger than (what we today believe) is the age of our planet. When it was observed in the 1800s that fossils found in sedimentary rocks in Australia are very similar to those in Africa, India and South America, it was suggested that these continents were once joined together.

Hancock Gorge, Karijini National Park, Pilbara, Western Australia, Australia, Pacific
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Scientists named that continent Gondwana and suggested that it broke up. But it wasn't until the 1960s when the theory of plate tectonics developed, as the mechanisms that move plates were understood and the theory of Gondwana continent was accepted.

A Moon Rises over a Young World
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Today we know that Gondwana was only the latest supercontinent where Australia belonged, an earlier one was Rodinia.


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