Thermomechanical models of mantle convection and melting in an inferred hotter Archean Earth show the emergence of pressure-temperature (P-T) regimes that resemble present-day plate tectonic environments yet developed within a non–plate tectonics regime. The models’ P-T gradients are compatible with those inferred from evolving tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite series rocks and the paired metamorphic belt record, supporting the feasibility of divergent and convergent tectonics within a mobilized, yet laterally continuous, lithospheric lid. “Hot” P-T gradients of 10–20 °C km–1 form along asymmetric lithospheric drips, then migrate to areas of deep lithospheric downwelling within ∼300–500 m.y., where they are overprinted by high-pressure warm and, later, cold geothermal signatures, up to ∼8 °C km–1. Comparisons with the crustal production and reworking record suggest that this regime emerged in the Hadean.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.