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Heading down early on; start of subduction on Earth

Simon Turner, Tracy Rushmer, Mark Reagan and Jean-Francois Moyen
Heading down early on; start of subduction on Earth
Geology (Boulder) (January 2014) 42 (2): 139-142


How the Earth's earliest crust was formed and when present-day plate tectonics (i.e., subduction) and life commenced remain fundamental questions in Earth sciences. Whereas the bulk composition of the crust is similar to that of rocks generated in subduction settings, it does not necessarily follow that melting and crust formation require subduction. Many workers suggest that subduction may have only commenced toward the end of the Archean or later. Here we observe that both the stratigraphy and geochemistry of rocks found in Quebec, Canada, that have been variously argued to be 4.4 or 3.8 Ga in age, closely match those from the modern-day Izu-Bonin-Mariana forearc. We suggest that this geochemical stratigraphy might provide a more robust test of ancient tectonic setting than individual chemical or isotopic signatures in rocks or detrital minerals. If correct, the match suggests that at least some form of subduction may have been operating as early as the Hadean or Eoarchean. This could have provided an ideal location for the development of first life.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 42
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Heading down early on; start of subduction on Earth
Affiliation: Macquarie University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia
Pages: 139-142
Published: 20140106
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 45
Accession Number: 2014-009732
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Secondary Affiliation: University of Iowa, USA, United StatesUniversite Jean-Monnet, FRA, France
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201407
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