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dc.contributor.authorHawkesworth, Chris J.
dc.contributor.authorCawood, Peter A.
dc.contributor.authorDhuime, Bruno
dc.identifier.citationHawkesworth , C J , Cawood , P A & Dhuime , B 2016 , ' Tectonics and crustal evolution ' , GSA Today , vol. 26 , no. 9 , pp. 4-11 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 246059376
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 6616526a-30f2-4c30-bb73-0b827a4c2680
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84986308312
dc.descriptionWe thank the Natural Environment Research Council (grants NE/J021822/1 and NE/K008862/1) for funding.en
dc.description.abstractThe continental crust is the archive of Earth's history. Its rock units record events that are heterogeneous in time with distinctive peaks and troughs of ages for igneous crystallization, metamorphism, continental margins, and mineralization. This temporal distribution is argued largely to reflect the different preservation potential of rocks generated in different tectonic settings, rather than fundamental pulses of activity, and the peaks of ages are linked to the timing of supercontinent assembly. Isotopic and elemental data from zircons and whole rock crustal compositions suggest that the overall growth of continental crust (crustal addition from the mantle minus recycling of material to the mantle) has been continuous throughout Earth's history. A decrease in the rate of crustal growth ca. 3.0 Ga is related to increased recycling associated with the onset of plate tectonics. We recognize five stages of Earth's evolution: (1) initial accretion and differentiation of the core/mantle system within the first few tens of millions of years; (2) generation of crust in a pre-plate tectonic regime in the period prior to 3.0 Ga; (3) early plate tectonics involving hot subduction with shallow slab breakoff over the period from 3.0 to 1.7 Ga; (4) Earth's middle age from 1.7 to 0.75 Ga, characterized by environmental, evolutionary, and lithospheric stability; (5) modern cold subduction, which has existed for the past 0.75 b.y. Cycles of supercontinent formation and breakup have operated during the last three stages. This evolving tectonic character has likely been controlled by secular changes in mantle temperature and how that impacts on lithospheric behavior. Crustal volumes, reflecting the interplay of crust generation and recycling, increased until Earth's middle age, and they may have decreased in the past ∼1 b.y.
dc.relation.ispartofGSA Todayen
dc.rights© The Geological Society of America, Inc. This work is made available with permission from the journal. This is the final published version of the work, which was originally published at:
dc.subjectGE Environmental Sciencesen
dc.titleTectonics and crustal evolutionen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Geography and Geosciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Earth and Environmental Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Scottish Oceans Instituteen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.St Andrews Isotope Geochemistryen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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