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The transition from Hadean-style convective overturn, driven by heating from below, and Phanerozoic-style plate tectonics, driven by the sinking of cool lithospheric slabs, was a major turning point in the thermal evolution of the Earth. Prior to this transition the formation of stable, long-lived crust was rare; after this transition, the formation and amalgamation of continental crust became a central theme of tectonic processes. Evidence for Phanerozoic-style plate tectonics includes (1) the formation of oceanic crust at mid-ocean ridge spreading centers, (2) the formation of island arc volcanic and plutonic complexes, and (3) the formation of accretionary mélange complexes during...

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