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See detailGeoscience for understanding habitability in the solar system and beyond
Dehant, Véronique ULiege; Airo, A; Debaille, Vincianne ULiege et al

in Space Science Reviews (2019), 215

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See detailThe earliest evidence for modern-style plate tectonics recorded by HP–LT metamorphism in the Paleoproterozoic of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
François, Camille ULiege; Debaille, Vincianne ULiege; Paquette, Jean-Louis et al

in Scientific Reports (2018), 8(15452),

Knowing which geodynamic regimes characterised the early Earth is a fundamental question. This implies to determine when and how modern plate tectonics began. Today, the tectonic regime is dominated by ... [more ▼]

Knowing which geodynamic regimes characterised the early Earth is a fundamental question. This implies to determine when and how modern plate tectonics began. Today, the tectonic regime is dominated by mobile-lid tectonics including deep and cold subduction. However, in the early Earth (4.5 to 2 Ga) stagnant-lid tectonics may also have occurred. The study of high pressure–low temperature (HP–LT) metamorphic rocks is important, because these rocks are only produced in present-day subduction settings. Here, we characterize the oldest known HP–LT eclogite worldwide (2089 ± 13 Ma; 17–23 kbar / 500-550°C), discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We provide evidence that the mafic protolith of the eclogite formed at 2216 ± 26 Ma in a rift-type basin, and was then subducted to mantle depths (> 55 km) before being exhumed during a complete Wilson cycle lasting ca. 130 Ma. Our results indicate the operation of modern mobile-lid plate tectonics at 2.2–2.1 Ga. [less ▲]

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