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The Early Earth: Physical, Chemical & Biological Development

Product Code: SP199
Series: GSL Special Publications
Author/Editor: Edited C M R Fowler, C Ebinger and C J Hawkesworth
Publication Date: 27 January 2003
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Description

This volume contains a series of papers on a wide range of aspects of the early development of the Earth in the first 2000 Ma of Earth’s history, including geophysics, structure and tectonics, atmosphere, origin of life, biosphere, deep mantle geochemistry, early oceans, microbial ecology, the aim being to facilitate discussion and understanding of this area of research.

The book is divided into three parts: (1) Geophysical and Petrological Constraints on Archaean Lithosphere: These papers highlight differences in structure and composition of Archaean and post-Archaean lithosphere, with contributions from seismologists, petrologists, and geochemists. Seismic evidence for the formation and evolution of cratons is presented. Shear wave splitting results, petrologic data and crustal deformation fabrics are used to characterize variations of anisotropy in order to investigate the coupling and decoupling of the crust and upper mantle beneath cratons, isotopic data from large cratons suggesting that the lithospheric mantle is the same age as the overlying crust, provide further constraints on the modification of cratonic roots with time. (2) Models of Cratonic Evolution and Modification: These papers focus on global and regional models of cratonic accretion based on evidence from the rock record. Numerical models of cratonic rock both in normal mantle flow and in the presence of plums suggest that cratons decrease in size by lateral erosion rather than by thinning. (3) Constraints on the Archaean Environment: These papers are concerned with the physical, chemical and biological controls on Earth’s surface environment in the late Hadean and the Archaean. Archaean strata record the early biogenic controls on the carbon cycle, and shift to an oxygen-rich atmosphere. The timing of hydrogen loss, carbon-dioxide build-up, the appearance of life, and the origins of photosynthesis are all controversial topics discussed here.

Subjects covered include the chemical and biological controls on the atmospheric and oceans, early controls on the carbon cycle and photosynthesis, petrologic, isotopic, tectonic and seismic evidence for the composition and structure of Archaean lithosphere.

Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN: 1-86239-109-2
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-86239-109-3
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 352
Weight: 1.20 kg

Contents

Geophysical and petrological constraints on Archaean lithosphere Formation and evolution of Archaean cratons: insights from southern Africa, D E James & M J Fouch • Seismic heterogeneity and anistrophy in the Western Superior Province, Canada: insights into the evolution of an Archaean craton, J M Kendall, S Sol, C J Thomson, D J White, I Asudeh, C S Snell & F H Sutherland • The structure of the upper mantle beneath southern Africa, K Priestly & D McKenzie • The development of lithospheric keels beneath the earliest continents: time constraints using PGE and Re–Os isotope systematics, D G Pearson, G J Irvine, R W Carlson, M G Kopylova & D A Ionov • Strange partners: formation and survival of continental crust and lithospheric mantle, N T Arndt, E Lewin & F Albarède • Pb isotope variations in Archaean time and possible links to the sources of certain Mesozoic–Recent basalts, B Luais & C J Hawkesworth • Seismic evidence for a mantle source for mid-Proterozoic anorthosites and implications for models of crustal growth, G Musacchio & W D Mooney • Models of cratonic evolution and modification Deflection of mantle plume material by cratonic keels, N H Sleep, C J Ebinger, J M Kendall • Archaean tectonics: a review, with illustrations from the Slave Craton, W Bleeker • Tectono-magmatic evolution of the Zimbabwe Craton, H A Jelsma & P H G M Dirks • Constraints on the Archaean environment Formation and early evolution of the atmosphere, B Marty & N Dauphas • Carbon dioxide cycling through the mantle and implications for the climate of ancient Earth, K Zahnle & N H Sleep • Global modelling of continent formation and destruction through geological time and implications for CO2 drawdown in the Archean Eon, J D Kramers • Fermor Lecture: the influence of life on the face of the Earth: garnets and moving continents, E G Nesbit • Stable isotopes in the Archaean Belingwe belt, Zimbabwe: evidence for a diverse microbial mat ecology, N V Grassineau, E G Nesbit, C M R Fowler, M J Bickle, D Lowry, H J Chapman, D P Mattey, P Abell, J Yong & A Martin • The metamorphic history of the Isua Greenstone Belt, West Greenland, H Rollinson •

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