Ancient environment preserved

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This is a transcript of a QuickTime movie (2.7 MB) recorded in the Pilbara in 2005. Dr Martin Van Kranendonk, a geologist with the Geological Survey of Western Australia, discusses how the rocks in the Marble Bar area have been preserved through time.


This is a little unit of Apex basalt here and then we’ve got the Marble Bar chert. These rocks are 3.467 billion years old and they’re some of the best preserved rocks in the world and it has made Marble Bar a geological Mecca for all sorts of people. It is early Earth preserved and that’s why we’re all here today. And it’s kind of fun to look at something that’s so old and say, yeah, I recognise this process going on in Hawaii today. It’s the same even though it’s really old because we had water, we had magma and they mix in a certain way. That’s very simple. That doesn’t change through time. If you change from water to steam to gas, it changes. Then you get sheet flow in the path. So those kinds of things we can interpret very confidently here. And then of course you get down into the more contentious issues of layers of chert and what’s coming up from where and stuff.




Early Life



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