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The main conclusion of this paper is that some form of plate tectonics started at ca. 3.0 Ga or possibly as early as 3.1 Ga., and that, since then, plate tectonics has steadily become dominant over plumes as a mechanism of heat loss. Modern plate tectonics started at ca. 0.6 Ga. The volume history of the continental crust is one of fast Early Archean growth to generate a, probably, globally continuous crust, then a growth, probably exceeded or balanced, long-term, by crustal return to the mantle reservoir.

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