Age of second largest desert disputed

Jun 18, 2007

Scientists in China say they have found evidence proving their nation's Taklimakan Desert, the world's second-largest desert, is older than thought.

Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences said their recent research found evidence the massive desert in the Xinjiang Uygur region is 1.8 million years older than previously estimated, China's official news agency Xinhua reported Sunday.

If the scientific findings from the academy's Institute of Geology and Geophysics hold true, the actual age of the desert would be 5.3 million years old.

The findings come after decades of research by Chinese scientists regarding the arid land that has not produced a universally accepted age for the desert. The last estimation was made in 2002 and it placed the region's age at 3.5 million years old.

The recent study followed the same approach as the earlier estimation by analyzing soil samples, but the newer samples were taken from a Cenozoic Era-dated layer of the desert, the agency reported.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA provides double vision on Typhoon Matmo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What geology has to say about global warming

Jul 14, 2014

Last month I gave a public lecture entitled, "When Maine was California," to an audience in a small town in Maine. It drew parallels between California, today, and Maine, 400 million years ago, when similar ...

Under the bright lights of an aging sun

Jul 04, 2014

Life as we know it on Earth is linked to our star, the Sun, which provides our planet with just the right amount of heat and energy for liquid water to be stable in our lakes, rivers and oceans. However, ...

Lord of the bees

Mar 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —James Hung has collected more than 17,000 wild bees from coastal, desert and mountain areas of San Diego County. But many of his specimens bear little resemblance to the honey bees we normally ...

Ancient beasts roam Spain's wilderness

Mar 02, 2014

In an oak wood spanning the border of Spain and Portugal, an ancient sight unfolds: wild horses, not saddled or shoed, but roaming free as they did centuries ago.

Recommended for you

Jeju Island is a live volcano, study reveals

5 hours ago

In Jeju, a place emerging as a world-famous vacation spot with natural tourism resources, a recent study revealed a volcanic eruption occurred on the island. The Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral ...

Has Antarctic sea ice expansion been overestimated?

6 hours ago

New research suggests that Antarctic sea ice may not be expanding as fast as previously thought. A team of scientists say much of the increase measured for Southern Hemisphere sea ice could be due to a processing ...

User comments : 0