In between glowing reports of new ties between India and Australia comes new evidence that the two nations may actually be made of the same mitti (foundational substance).
Or patthar, (rocks) to be precise, given the research is geological.
Recent advancements in genetics have deepened our understanding of the connections between the indigenous peoples of India and Australia. However, an innovative study has revealed recently that the historical bonds between these two nations reach back even further than previously recognised.
The intriguing study has unearthed a strong parallelism in the geographical characteristics of India and Australia, highlighting the enduring links between these diverse landscapes.
A team of scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Johannesburg, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently studied the volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Singhbhum Craton in India (situated in the northern regions of modern-day Odisha and Jharkhand.)
Cratons, which are remnants of ancient continents, offer a glimpse into the processes that shaped the Earth in its early stages.
The findings, published in the journal Precambrian Research, reveal that these rocks are as old as 3.5 billion years and share similar characteristics with geological formations in South Africa and Australia.
The study focused on the Daitari greenstone belt within the Singhbhum Craton and involved extensive fieldwork and precise Uranium-Lead radiometric-age dating.
The research team, led by Dr Jaganmoy Jodder, discovered that the Daitari greenstone belt exhibits geological similarities to the greenstones found in South Africa’s Barberton and Nondweni regions, as well as those in Australia’s Pilbara Craton. The rocks in these areas were formed during the same period, between 3.5 and 3.3 billion years ago, through sub-marine volcanic eruptions.
These ancient South Africa-India-Australia geological ties cannot however confirm whether they were part of a supercontinent.
All the researchers propose is that these ancient continents may have undergone similar geological processes 3.5 billion years ago.
Yet the speculation of deep India-Australia geological ties continues to fascinate, following years of connection with the idea of Gondwanaland and the Gond forests (wan) of central India.
This research opens new avenues for further investigation into the early Earth’s processes and sheds light on our planet’s ancient history.
Studying ancient greenstones is crucial for understanding volcanic processes and the preservation of sedimentary rocks that formed in sub-marine environments. These rocks serve as valuable clues about habitable conditions on Earth in its early stages and act as time capsules that reveal the planet’s evolutionary tale.