Princeton, New Jersey: The reason why oxygen is present on earth today may be due to the changes in its magma around 2.5 billion years ago, researchers at the University of Princeton suggested.
According to National Geographic, the scientist examined over 70,000 rock samples taken from all over the world. The results showed a change in Earth’s magma composition and structure at the end of the Archean period, which lasted from four to 2.5 billion years ago.
“This was actually somewhat unexpected to us,” said the co-author C. Brenhin Keller.
The researchers puzzled as the finding implied that magma was formed in greater depths. This change might have been the reason behind the different chemical compositions in rock samples, Press TV reported.
Such changes could have caused an imbalance of iron in magma which could have led to different reactions with oxygen, the scientists noted.
The gases absorbed the atmospheric oxygen when magma with ferrous iron was produced while magma with ferric iron produced gases that consumed less oxygen, according to the study.
The findings suggested that magma changes occurred at the time the oxygen rose on earth which allowed living organisms to survive here.
The study has been published in the journal Nature.