Early Earth's chlorine blown away by giant impacts

Element has long puzzled scientists because modern levels are so low

By Erin Wayman, 14:49 PM April 24, 2013

Earthlings may owe a debt of gratitude to the enormous miniplanets that smashed into the planet in its youth. Such collisions might have knocked away much of the supply of chlorine concentrated on the planet’s surface, geochemists propose. Had that loss not occurred, the world’s oceans would have been too salty for complex life to thrive, they suggest.

The scenario may explain why Mars, which suffered fewer large impacts, may have more than twice as much chlorine as Earth does, the research...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/early-earths-chlorine-blown-away-giant-impacts?mode=magazine&context=4553