© 2020

Hadean Earth


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. T. Mark Harrison
    Pages 1-18
  3. T. Mark Harrison
    Pages 19-38
  4. T. Mark Harrison
    Pages 101-122
  5. T. Mark Harrison
    Pages 143-178
  6. T. Mark Harrison
    Pages 179-193
  7. T. Mark Harrison
    Pages 195-216
  8. T. Mark Harrison
    Pages 217-248
  9. T. Mark Harrison
    Pages 249-272
  10. T. Mark Harrison
    Pages 273-286
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 287-291

About this book


This book consolidates the latest research on the Hadean Eon - the first 500 million years of Earth history - which has permitted hypotheses of early Earth evolution to be tested, including geophysical models that include the possibility of plate tectonic-like behavior. These new observations challenge the longstanding Hadean paradigm – based on no observational evidence - of a desiccated, lifeless, continent-free wasteland in which surface petrogenesis was largely due to extraterrestrial impacts. The eon was termed “Hadean” to reflect such a hellish environment. That view began to be challenged in 2001 as results of geochemical analyses of greater than 4 billion year old zircons from Australia emerged. These data were consistent with the zircons forming in a world much more similar to today than long thought and interpreted to indicate that sediment cycling was occurring in the presence of liquid water. This new view leaves open the possibility that life could have emerged shortly after Earth accretion. The epistemic limitations under which the old paradigm persisted are closely examined. The book is principally designed as a monograph but has the potential to be used as a text for advanced graduate courses on early Earth evolution.


Hadean Eon Early Earth Plate Tectonics Planetary Habitabilty Continental Growth Models U-Pb Zircon Dating Hadean Era Earth Evolution

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth, Planetary and Space SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Bibliographic information

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