Researchers from the Canadian university have uncovered water that they estimate is around two billion years old. As the oldest water ever discovered on Earth, it could improve our understanding of our planet’s prehistoric atmosphere and the origins of life.
The prehistoric water was found at a depth of 3 km (1.86 miles) in Kidd Creek Mine, Timmins, Ontario. The research team, led by Professor Barbara Sherwood Lollar and postdoctoral researcher Oliver Warr, presented their work at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco last week.
Researchers estimated the age of the water by calculating the amount of argon, neon, krypton, and xenon in the water. These gases accumulate in the water over time, Warr told Canada’s CBC News.