It gives us a little perspective in environmental issues: Hebrew University researchers have determined that a patch of land in Israel’s Negev Desert is the oldest piece of exposed land on earth.
Because of weather events, volcanic activity and long term effects of tectonic activity, the face of the earth is constantly changing. But not on this patch of land in Israel.
According to scientists the ancient patch of “desert pavement” has been sitting there, as it is today, for the past 1.8 million years, give or take a few thousand.
Four times older than the desert pavement in Nevada, I can just imagine all the kings and biblical heros from the time, and before who have walked the land. I wonder if the land there carries records that can be used for deepening our knowledge about climate change?
In regions that are extremely flat and dry, where tectonic activity is low and rocks are resistant to weathering, the surface can be preserved for millions of years, Ari Matmon, researcher in the study said: “This is something we were not sure about until now.”
“The surface we dated most likely represents large areas in the Sahara and Arabia Deserts,” Matmon said. “We hope to be able to collect samples from other locations in the Sahara and Arabia Deserts and establish the global extent of these old surfaces.”