PLATE TECTONICS AND EARTH EVOLUTION: A CONCEPTUAL REVIEW

A. N. Pilchin, L. V. Eppelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Numerous attempts have been made to understand the rules of Earth's tectono-geodynamic processes over the past centuries. While no paradigm has offered comprehensive answers to all of the questions, the present review aims to acquaint readers with the modern state of developments in the tectonic insights of Earth's evolution. A number of very interesting and unique processes and features took place during the evolution of early Earth. Most of these, however, were largely erased over the course of Earth's ensuing evolution; some leaving only traces of their existence and remnant phenomena, especially those taking place in the Hadean and Early to Late Archean. Among such processes and features are: the planetary accretion of Earth, formation of unique rock complexes, initiation of the plate tectonics phenomenon, main forces driving plate tectonics, significant influence of thermal parameters, role of overpressure under different physical-geological environments, stratification of Earth's crust and lithosphere by density, and various other thermodynamic models. Nearly all of these remain enigmatic, due to considerable uncertainty in the timing and method of their evolution, and the ambiguity of their secondary processes and tectono- geophysical indicators. At the same time, these tectono-geodynamic processes and features are also interrelated, and the simultaneous fluctuation of myriad different factors plays a significant role in their formation. Some of these intricate questions are discussed in this paper. What is the role of the plate tectonics phenomenon and when did this process initiate on Earth? Especial attention is paid in the review to the sophisticated historical methods of understanding tectonic processes over the course of various generations of geoscientists. In the conducted analyses, certain physical data derived from other planets of the Solar System were utilized as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-32
Number of pages30
JournalANAS Transactions, Earth Sciences
Volume2020
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 29 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • early Earth evolution
  • main forces
  • models of deep structure
  • plate tectonic processes
  • role of density
  • thermodynamic models
  • Deep Structure
  • Density
  • Thermodynamic modeling

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

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