The 4.5-billion-year record contained in Earth’s continental crust reveals a seven-phase evolution, from an initial magma ocean to the present-day environment in which we live.
Billion-Year Rewind Tracks Supercontinents and Mantle Structures
Scientists have traced past pathways of tectonic plates back a billion years using computer models, with intriguing results. Incorporating geologic data as a check on model output, however, has proven tricky.
Tracing Water Particles Back in Time
Every summer, a low-oxygen pool settles off Canada’s western coast. A new study uses robust modeling to track the origins of the dense water.
The Lost Topography Around Continental Rifts
Numerical models provide quantitative constraints on topography lost to erosion, showing how the sediment influx in a sedimentary basin reflects its tectonic and topographic evolution.
Hot Springs Suggest How the Tibetan Plateau Became the Roof of the World
Helium isotopes found in water samples provide a snapshot of what lies beneath the plateau and stimulate debate within the geosciences community.
Incredible Journeys on the Crown of the Continent
Living in Geologic Time: The making, breaking, and backpacking of North America’s Continental Divide.
The Birth, Growth, and Death of Continents
There are various explanations for how the Earth’s continents form, develop, and change but challenges remain in fully understanding the driving forces behind plate tectonics on our planet.
Cratons, Why Are You Still Here?
How have these continental relics from Earth’s early history survived the plate tectonic mixing machine?
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Especially for Continents
A decade-long research collaboration has revealed that the split between Africa and North America roughly 200 million years ago was more drawn out than previously thought.
Modeling the Creation of Cratons, Earth’s Secret Keepers
Geoscientists have long been trying to answer the complicated questions of how and why Earth’s continents formed. New research suggests a solution that surprised even the investigators themselves.