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Evidence of Continental Crust on Mars

photo source: NASA

NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered evidence of a continental crust similar to Earth’s on Mars. A paper published in Nature Geoscience documented the analysis of around 20 rock samples; many of the rocks in the Gale Crater, Curiosity’s landing site, were found to have a similar composition to rocks found in Earth’s continental crust. Though further study is required, Curiosity’s findings suggest tectonic activity on Mars. The research team’s leader, Violaine Sautter, noted that Mars’ tectonic activity would have occurred 4.57 to 4.47 billion years ago.

Prior to the rover’s discovery, scientists considered continental crust to be unique to Earth. This evidence to the contrary suggests that Mars’ early history could be more similar to Earth’s than previously thought.