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chapter 10 - Grotzinger Jordan Press Siever Understanding...

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Understanding Earth Chapter 10: EVOLUTION OF THE CONTINENTS Grotzinger • Jordan • Press • Siever
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What are continents?
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Regions have different characteristics
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Basin and Range topography
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North America Most of the stable, low-relief interiors of continents are very old rock called shields or cratons . The Canadian Shield represents Precambrian crust, unmodified since. The interior platform : up to 2 km of sediments deposited in lakes and shallow seas Continental growth at the margins Today’s continents were‘assembled’ by plate tectonic processes
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The Oldest Rock 4.1 Billion Years Isua Gneiss (Greenland)
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Progressive Growth of Continents
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Core to Margin Growth 1. 1. 1. 2. 3. 4. 4. 5. 6. 3.
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Chemical Differentiation
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Early crust was mafic (oceanic) Early Earth’s Crust ?
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Large amount of ultramafic rocks – more melting, high T
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Early Earth = “VERTICAL TECTONICS” Vertical tectonics (Archean) forms early continents
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Subduction Begins (the start of plate tectonics?) End Archean / Beginning of Proterozoic By 2.5 Ga, have continent collisions Modern tectonics
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