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Seawater dating 20,000 years found in Maldives

Raif Amyl Jalyl
27 May 2019, MVT 13:50
Assistant Professor Clara Blättler with a vial of seawater dating to the last Ice Age—about 20,000 years ago. PHOTO: Jean Lachat
Raif Amyl Jalyl
27 May 2019, MVT 13:50

Seawater dating back to the latest Ice Age, which occurred 20,000 years ago, was recently discovered in Maldives.

According to a team of scientists from the University of Chicago, the seawater was uncovered in limestone deposits found in islands of Maldives. The team further clarified that the seawater belonged to the ending phase of the Ice Age, known as the Last Glacial Period (LGP), that extended for a period of 100,000 years.

Scientists identified that the seawater, extracted during the investigation for a survey report, was the only sample of its kind (from the LGP) that was discovered at sea.

According to the scientists, the sample was recovered during drilling that was conducted to extract samples from limestones in the depths of 'Maa Kandu' area. They then used a hydraulic press to squeeze the water out of the particular sediments that go on to form Maldivian isles.

During preliminary testing on the survey boat, in addition to other differences, the uncovered sample was found to be saltier than that of seawater in the Indian Ocean. The test results revealed that the sample belonged to a time where the water was saltier, cooler and far more chlorinated.

"Considering all aspects of the sample found, it is definitely seawater from the Ice Age. Furthermore, it dates back 20,000 years", said leader of the survey Clara Blattler, in a statement released by the Chicago University.

A detailed report on the investigation is set to be published in July.

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