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Earth’s oldest remaining groundwater aged at 1.2 billion years old

An international team of researchers have discovered 1.2-billion-year-old groundwater 2.9 km below the earth’s surface in a gold- and uranium-producing mine in Moab Khotsong, South Africa, shedding more light on how life is sustained below the Earth’s surface and how it may thrive on other planets. The researchers found large amounts of radiogenic helium, neon, argon and xenon, and an unprecedented discovery of an isotope of krypton. “For the first time, we have insight into how energy stored deep in the Earth’s subsurface can be released and distributed more broadly through its crust over time.”

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