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Considerable geochemical evidence supports initiation of plate tectonics on Earth shortly after the end of the Hadean. Nb/Th and Th/U of mafic-ultramafic rocks from the depleted upper mantle began to change from 7 to 18.2 and 4.2 to 2.6 (respectively) at 3.6 Ga. This signals the appearance of subduction-altered slabs in general mantle circulation from subduction initiated by 3.9 Ga. Juvenile crustal rocks began to show derivation from progressively depleted mantle with typical igneous ɛNd: ɛHf = 1:2 after 3.6 Ga. Cratons with stable mantle keels that have subduction imprints began to appear by at least 3.5...

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