Jhamarkotra and Zawar

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Overview:

Recently, the Society of Earth Scientists (SES), a group of independent researchers bridging the gap between earth science and society gathered to scout a fossil park at Jhamarkotra and the metallurgical remains at Zawar, around 20 km southeast of Udaipur, Rajasthan.

About Jhamarkotra:

  • A fossil park at Jhamarkotra located in the state of Rajasthan hosts stromatolites dating back 1.8 billion years, exhibiting a variety of textures and sizes.
  • A stromatolite is a layered sedimentary rock created by microorganisms.
  • Stromatolites are sometimes called ‘crocodile-skin rock’ due to their unusual textures. 
  • As such, stromatolite fossils preserve records of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae – the earliest life on the planet.
  • These organisms developed the ability to photosynthesise and make their food. By doing so, they pumped large quantities of oxygen into the atmosphere of primaeval earth, allowing most other life to evolve and flourish.
  • Jhamarkotra’s fossils are phosphate-rich because the trapped sediments were mainly phosphate minerals.

About Zawar

  • It is an interesting geo-heritage site that lies some 40 km south of Udaipur which is the world’s oldest known zinc-smelting site.
  • The discovery here of earthen retorts – brinjal-shaped, long-necked vessels – is particularly significant: their presence here suggests Zawar had a unique zinc-smelting legacy.
  • Zawar’s zinc-smelting operations date back 2,000 years.

 


Q1) What is are Stromatolites?

Stromatolites are layered mounds, columns, and sheet-like sedimentary rocks. They were originally formed by the growth of layer upon layer of cyanobacteria.

Source: Writ in stone: Do you know India’s geo heritage sites of Jhamarkotra and Zawar?