Intermittent Plate Tectonics?

  title={Intermittent Plate Tectonics?},
  author={P. Silver and M. Behn},
  pages={85 - 88}
Although it is commonly assumed that subduction has operated continuously on Earth without interruption, subduction zones are routinely terminated by ocean closure and supercontinent assembly. Under certain circumstances, this could lead to a dramatic loss of subduction, globally. Closure of a Pacific-type basin, for example, would eliminate most subduction, unless this loss were compensated for by comparable subduction initiation elsewhere. Given the evidence for Pacific-type closure in Earth… Expand
Archean Subduction: Fact or Fiction?
Subduction drives plate tectonics and builds continental crust, and as such is one of the most important processes for shaping the present-day Earth. Here we review both theory and observations forExpand
The inception of plate tectonics: a record of failure
  • C. O'Neill, S. Turner, T. Rushmer
  • Geology, Medicine
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2018
The history of subduction failure on the early Earth is explored, and insights from numerical models of the geodynamic regime at the time are coupleed with insights from thermal evolution models. Expand
Initiation and Evolution of Plate Tectonics on Earth: Theories and Observations
The inception of plate tectonics on Earth and its subsequent evolution are discussed on the basis of theoretical considerations and observational constraints. The likelihood of plate tectonics in theExpand
The future of Earth's oceans: consequences of subduction initiation in the Atlantic and implications for supercontinent formation
Abstract Subduction initiation is a cornerstone in the edifice of plate tectonics. It marks the turning point of the Earth's Wilson cycles and ultimately the supercycles as well. In this paper, weExpand
Plate Boundary Interactions Through Geologic History
Estimates of when plate tectonics began range from the last 20% of Earth history to within the first 5%. While there is no observation that precludes plate tectonics from operating at 4.3 Ga,Expand
Accretionary orogens through Earth history
Abstract Accretionary orogens form at intraoceanic and continental margin convergent plate boundaries. They include the supra-subduction zone forearc, magmatic arc and back-arc components.Expand
Stagnant-lid tectonics in early Earth revealed by 142Nd variations in late Archean rocks
A major change in Earth's geodynamics occurred ~3 billion years (Ga) ago, likely related to the onset of modern and continuous plate tectonics. However, the question of how Earth functioned prior toExpand
Rift and plate boundary evolution across two supercontinent cycles
Abstract The extent of continental rifts and subduction zones through deep geological time provides insights into the mechanisms behind supercontinent cycles and the long term evolution of theExpand
Tectonic evolution and major global earth-surface palaeoenvironmental events in the Palaeoproterozoic
Many, if not all, of the long-term fluctuations in geological processes operating on Earth’s surface are tectonically driven and related to the interplay of plate tectonics and deep mantle dynamicsExpand
Did plate tectonics shutdown in the Palaeoproterozoic? A view from the Siderian geologic record
Abstract The early Proterozoic Era between 2.45 and 2.2 Ga is well known for a distinct minima in juvenile magmatism and detrital zircon abundance, an intriguing observation given its coincidenceExpand


Episodic Precambrian subduction
The Precambrian geological record shows peak of activity at 1.1, 1.9–2.1, 2.7 and 3.5 Ga, often associated with massive crustal production, orogenesis and supercontinent cycles. It has been suggestedExpand
Abstract Episodic growth of continental crust and supercontinents at 2.7, 1.9, and 1.2 Ga may be caused by superevents in the mantle as descending slabs pile up at the 660-km seismic discontinuityExpand
Evidence from ophiolites, blueschists, and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic terranes that the modern episode of subduction tectonics began in Neoproterozoic time
Earth is the only known planet with subduction zones and plate tectonics, and this fact demonstrates that special conditions are required for this mode of planetary heat loss. Sinking of cold, denseExpand
Subduction initiation: spontaneous and induced
Abstract The sinking of lithosphere at subduction zones couples Earth's exterior with its interior, spawns continental crust and powers a tectonic regime that is unique to our planet. In spite of itsExpand
Evolving force balance during incipient subduction
Nearly half of all active subduction zones initiated during the Cenozoic. All subduction zones associated with active back arc extension have initiated since the Eocene, hinting that back arcExpand
Episodic continental growth models: Afterthoughts and extensions
Abstract Although there are still problems that need to be resolved with episodic models for continental growth, a large number of geochemical and geophysical observations can be explained with theseExpand
When and how did plate tectonics begin? Theoretical and empirical considerations
Plate tectonics is the horizontal motion of Earth’s thermal boundary layer (lithosphere) over the convecting mantle (asthenosphere) and is mostly driven by lithosphere sinking in subduction zones.Expand
Initiation of subduction zones along transform and accreting plate boundaries, triple-junction evolution, and forearc spreading centres—implications for ophiolitic geology and obduction
Summary Most large ophiolite complexes have been interpreted as representing the obducted remnants of oceanic basement of forearc regions. A knowledge of the tectonic setting of ophiolite formationExpand
Episodic growth of the Gondwana supercontinent from hafnium and oxygen isotopes in zircon
The first study that integrates hafnium and oxygen isotopes, all measured in situ on the same, precisely dated detrital zircon grains reveals that crust generation in part of Gondwana was limited to major pulses at 1.9 and 3.3 Gyr ago, and that the zircons crystallized during repeated reworking of crust formed at these times. Expand
Archean magmatism and deformation were not products of plate tectonics
Abstract The granite-and-greenstone terrains that dominate upper crust formed from about 3.6 to about 2.6 Ga, and record magmatic and tectonic processes very different from those of a younger time.Expand