Slice of Pil­bara reaches Lon­don mu­seum

Pilbara News - - News - AAP RLM/AB

A 2.6 bil­lion-year-old slice of WA’s ge­o­log­i­cally won­drous Pil­bara re­gion is on dis­play at one of Lon­don’s most sig­nif­i­cant cul­tural land­marks, the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum.

The colour­fully lay­ered, 2.5tonne piece of banded iron for­ma­tion was sourced from Rio Tinto’s Mount Tom Price mine and se­lected with the help of tra­di­tional own­ers, the Eastern Gu­ruma peo­ple.

The rock was di­a­mond cut to shape be­fore be­ing shipped al­most 14,000km to Lon­don.

It now forms part of the newly re­fur­bished Hintze Hall dis­play, which was due to be opened by Cather­ine, the Duchess of Cam­bridge and Sir David At­ten­bor­ough on July 14.

BIFs were formed more than three bil­lion years ago when bac­te­ria in oceans be­gan to pro­duce oxy­gen through pho­to­syn­the­sis.

The oxy­gen com­bined with dis­solved iron in the sea to form in­sol­u­ble iron ox­ide, which sep­a­rated out of the wa­ter and sank to the sea floor.

As it set­tled, bands of red and grey iron-ox­ide de­vel­oped be­tween lay­ers of sil­ica-rich sed­i­ment.

With­out this process, there may never have been an oxy­genated ocean to sup­port the even­tual evo­lu­tion of more com­plex life on Earth.

A lay­ered piece of Pil­bara rock at Lon­don’s Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum.

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