ater is considered to be the second most important source of life, just before air, something that most organic life constantly needs. The oldest water in the present time is located in Canada, more specifically, Kidd Creek mine in northern Ontario.
In the late 2000s, a team of researchers from the University of Toronto Mississauga spent almost seven years going through the depths of the mine in search of the oldest geological location to date. In 2016 researchers stumbled upon what is believed to be the oldest water, estimated at least 2 billion years old, but closer to 2.7 billion.
The conditions at the bottom of the mine have been perfect to preserve the water. This ancient water had been located at a depth of 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) and this is because the Kidd Creek mine is known as the deepest basal metal mine in the world, housing various metal minerals from copper zinc, and silver to even gold.
How is the water’s age tested?
While the miners delved further, the researchers took advantage of the opportunity to delve deeper into the pit. They studied the gases contained inside the water to examine it. Gases such as helium and xenon can become trapped in water trapped in rock fractures, and detecting these can reveal the age of the water.
Nevertheless, the enormous water age is not the only significant discovery. When the researchers examined the liquid, they discovered signs of life. While they have yet to locate any living microorganisms, they have discovered the fingerprint of life. They can deduce from this that some sort of microbiology has been present in the water for an extended length of time.
The notion that something may survive and even thrive in water so old and deep within the Earth has significant consequences. An interesting thought is that there is the possibility of finding even older water if miners keep on digging deeper.
This type of ancient water is very likely to be hidden in gas pockets. Still, these are usually avoided by miners due to the risk of explosion or intoxication.