Plate tectonics got an early start | Science News


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Plate tectonics got an early start

The chemistry of minerals preserved in Australian rocks suggests tectonic activity for Earth’s earliest eon

11:56am, November 26, 2008

The chemical composition of ancient crystals now found in Australian rocks bolsters the notion that tectonic plates may have jostled across Earth’s surface more than 4 billion years ago.

Scientists call the first 600 million years of Earth’s history the “Hadean eon” because of the presumably hellish temperatures on the freshly coalesced and largely molten planet. Also, radioactive isotopes, which generate heat inside Earth as they decay, were much more common then than they ar

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