The Evolution of Modern Continents

  • David S. Stevenson
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


In Chapter  2, we looked at the formation of continental crust in the Hadean and Archaean eras. This most likely involved the ascent of hot mantle plumes. In the earliest Hadean era, these made thick basaltic plateau that gradually, and partially, melted at their bases to produce TTGs and lots of komatiite and basalt: greenstone belts. An alternative model, involving the stacking up and partial melting of blocks of basaltic-komatiitic crust, is shown in Fig. 3.1. While it is unlikely to have produced the majority of the early continents, this process could have played a role in areas where mantle motion carried young continental fragments around the surface of the young Earth.


Archaean and Hadean Tectonics

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The Proterozoic

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The Phanerozoic

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David S. Stevenson
    • 1
  1. 1.NottinghamshireUK

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