You are here:

Geology/about earth


Explain about the age of the earth

Dear Asad,

Thanks for sending me your question.

It is really an interesting question as so far Earth scientists have not yet found out conclusively the precise age. The major obstacles to determine the precise age of the Earth directly from Earth rocks is that the  oldest rocks have been greatly destroyed, altered and modified many times in earth's history due the processes of the plate tectonics. One most plausible way to find out the age to determine the age of the  Solar System and to calculate an age for the Earth by the belief that the Earth and the other  solid bodies within the Solar System have also formed at the same time and are, therefore, of the same age.

One method  to calculate the age is the measurement of of decay of long-lived radioactive isotopes elements.  These experiments are being done on the rocks of  Earth, Moon and meteorites are measured by the decay of radioactive isotopes of elements that occur naturally in rocks and minerals and that decay with half lives of 700 million to more than 100 billion years to stable isotopes of other elements.

Rocks exceeding  3.5 billion years are found but  oldest rock record, Acasta Gneiss is found in northwestern Canada near Great Slave Lake i.e. 4 billion years old and 3.7 to 3.8 billion years Isua Supracrustal rocks in West Greenland but well-studied rocks nearly as old are also found in the Minnesota River Valley and northern Michigan (3.5-3.7 billion years#, in Swaziland #3.4-3.5 billion years#, and in Western Australia #3.4-3.6 billion years). Interestingly,  these ancient rocks are not from any sort of "primordial crust" but are lava flows and sediments deposited in shallow water, an indication that Earth history began well before these rocks were deposited.

A single zircon crystal in sedimentary rocks which was found in  Western Australia, showed radiometric age of 4.3 billion years which is probably the  oldest materials to be found on Earth so far but what is the origin and source of this  zircon crystal is not yet known.
Thousands of meteorites, which are fragments of asteroids that fall to Earth, have been recovered. These primitive objects provide the best ages for the time of formation of the Solar System. There are more than 70 meteorites, of different types, whose ages have been measured using radiometric dating techniques conclude that  meteorites, and therefore the Solar System, formed between 4.53 and 4.58 billion years ago.

For additional information on this subject, please see the this video which will know more about Earth.
Please feel free to send another question and kindly RATE the answer if you are satisfied.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Syed Tariq Hasany


MY HUMBLE REQUEST. BEFORE SENDING A QUESTION PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULY. ANSWERING ONLY PUBLIC QUESTIONS. Ask questions of exploration of Petroleum, and specific regions for specific answers about Pakistan, Central Asia, Middle East and Far East. Ask questions of Business side of the petroleum Geology. Love to guide students and also Career related issues PRIVATE QUESTIONS on I am not expert of Hard rocks (Igneous and metamorphic rocks)Volcanic activity and related petrology, mineralogy and its exploration. BE SPECIFOC WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW AND ASK WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT. Show me your determination and commitment to learn. PLEASE TRY TO WRITE RIGHT, PROPER AND CORRECT LANGUAGE. DO NOT USE TEXT(SMS)STYLE. Thanks TARIQ


Petroleum Exploration

Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd

In Pakistani and Asian Petroleum Confertence special Publications

BSc Honours in Geology and Master of Science degree in Petroleum Geology

Awards and Honors
Active member AAPG, SPE and PAPG Treasurer PAPG and AAPG Visiting Geoscientist

©2016 All rights reserved.