Earth’s oldest water found in Ontario


TORONTO – A team of researchers from the University of Toronto says they have discovered the world’s oldest water in Canada.

Professor Barbara Sherwood Lollar says the water was found at a mine in Timmins, Ont., about three kilometres beneath the Earth’s surface.

Lollar, who lead the research team, says laboratory tests revealed the water was about two billion years old.

She says the discovery of the “smelly” liquid pushes back the understanding of the Earth’s oldest flowing water and that its composition can support life.

Lollar says the finding has implications for life on Mars because the Canadian Shield, where the water was discovered, is geologically similar to the neighbouring planet and it’s likely that similar energy-rich water is somewhere deep beneath its surface.

The research was presented last week at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.