The continental crust is the principal record of conditions on the Earth for the last 4.4 Ga. Less than 10% of the crustal rocks exposed are older than 2.5 Ga, and yet 50% of the continental crust may have stabilized by that time. A key archive is minerals like zircon which can be precisely dated and preserve robust isotope and trace element signals. Much of the early crust was mafic in composition, and the late Archaean marks the transition from a period of uniformly poor preservation potential to one in which the geological record appears to be biased by the tectonic setting in which the rocks were formed.
|Title of host publication||Frontiers in Geochemistry|
|Subtitle of host publication||Contribution of Geochemistry to the Study of the Earth|
|Publisher||John Wiley & Sons|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Apr 2011|