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Rodinia

Winter 2008

Gateway to Rodinia

A cantaloupe-sized chunk of granite from the other side of the world has revealed that nearly a billion years ago, the Palouse was “ground zero” when a supercontinent called Rodinia broke up.

“This was the edge of the continent,” says Washington State University geologist Jeff Vervoort, looking out over the rolling hills from his office on the 10th floor of Webster Hall.

Vervoort coaxed the story from the small boulder, which was found by his colleague John Goodge of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Vervoort and Goodge had studied many other ancient rocks, and to them the chunk looked like a “one-point-four,” part of a distinctive … » More …