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Such techniques have had an enormous impact on scientific knowledge of Earth history because precise dates can now be obtained on rocks in all orogenic (mountain) belts ranging in age from the early Archean (about 4 billion years old) to the early Neogene (roughly 20 million years old). The oldest known rocks on Earth, estimated at billion years old, are the faux amphibolite volcanic deposits of the Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt in Quebec, Canada. A radiometric dating technique that measures the ratio of the rare earth elements neodymium and samarium present in a rock sample was used to produce the estimate. Also, by extrapolating backward in time to a situation when there was no lead that had been produced by radiogenic processes, a figure of about billion years is obtained for the minimum age of the Earth. This figure is of the same order as ages obtained for certain meteorites and lunar rocks.

Earth's lithosphere is divided into several rigid tectonic plates that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. About 71% of Earth's surface is covered with water , mostly by oceans . [29] The remaining 29% is land consisting of continents and islands that together have many lakes, rivers and other sources of water that contribute to the hydrosphere . The majority of Earth's polar regions are covered in ice, including the Antarctic ice sheet and the sea ice of the Arctic ice pack. Earth's interior remains active with a solid iron inner core, a liquid outer core that generates the Earth's magnetic field , and a convecting mantle that drives plate tectonics.


Dating planet earth

Dating planet earth