Thread: Plate tectonics
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sylas
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Sep1-09, 01:49 AM
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Quote Quote by zankaon View Post
When did plate tectonics start? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_tectonics
That's a bit of an open question; but it seems there are indications that it began very early; as much as 4 billion years ago. This is associated with new ideas about the "Hadean" (Hellish) era; it may not have been as diabolical as previously thought.

Here's an article from the NYT which discusses these ideas: A New Picture of the Early Earth. The relevant science article is
  • Hopkins, M. et. al. (2008) "Low heat flow inferred from >4 Gyr zircons suggests Hadean plate boundary interactions" in Nature 456, 493-496 (27 November 2008) doi:10.1038/nature07465

Cheers -- sylas