Earth's Oldest Rocks, Second Edition, is the only single reference source for geological research of early Earth. This new edition is an up-to-date collection of scientific articles on all aspects of the early history of the Earth, from planetary accretion at 4.567 billion years ago (Ga), to the onset of modern-style plate tectonics at 3.2 Ga. Since the first edition was published, significant new advances have been made in our understanding of events and processes on early Earth that correspond with new advances in technology. The book includes contributions from over 100 authors, all of whom are experts in their respective fields.
The research in this reference concentrates on what is directly gleaned from the existing rock record to understand how our planet formed and evolved during the planetary accretion phase, formation of the first crust, the changing dynamics of the mantle and style of tectonics, life's foothold and early development, and mineral deposits. It is an ideal resource for academics, students and the general public alike.
- Features more than 150 pages of new material, including new chapters on topics like early solar system materials, oldest evidence of life on Earth, and modelling early tectonics
- Contains comprehensive reviews of areas of ancient lithosphere on Earth, of planetary accretion processes, and of meteorites
- Focuses on specific aspects of early Earth, including the oldest putative life forms, evidence of the composition of the ancient atmosphere-hydrosphere, and the oldest evidence for subduction-accretion
- Presents an overview of geological processes and a model of the tectonic framework of early Earth
1. Introduction 2. Planetary accretion and the Hadean to Eoarchaean Earth
Building the Foundation 3. Eo- to Paleoarchean gneiss complexes 4. Eo- to Paleoarchean greenstone belts 5. Mineral Deposits on early Earth 6. Life on Early Earth 7. Tectonics on early Earth
Prof. van Kranendonk was born and trained in Canada, receiving his PhD in 1992 and then undertaking a post-doc position at the Geological Survey of Canada from 1992-1994. In 1994, he moved to Australia as an ARC post-doctoral fellow at the University of Newcastle, where he commenced research on the Pilbara. He then joined the Geological Survey of Western Australia in 1997, where he worked for 15 years until the start of 2012, when he accepted a position as Professor of Geology at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia, where he is the Director of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. Prof. van Kranendonk is a leading world expert on the early Earth. His main interests are Archean tectonics and the geological setting of early life on Earth. He has appeared on numerous television and radio documentaries on early Earth, and has been involved in educational outreach programs for school children and the general public.
Dr. Bennett is a senior geochemist at the Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. She received her PhD in 1989 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and began a post-doctoral fellow position at RSES the same year as part of the "First Billion Years project where she began collaborative investigations of the oldest rocks in Western Australia and southwest Greenland. In 2000 she became the first tenured female faculty member and is currently Associate Director and Head of the Isotope Geochemistry Group at RSES. Dr. Bennett is an international expert on the geochemistry of the early Earth, particularly as applied to understanding the formation and chemical evolution of the crust and mantle and the origin and development of the oldest continents.
Dr. Hoffmann was born in Germany. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from University of Münster (Germany) and his Ph.D. degree in 2011 from University of Bonn (Germany). After post-doc positions at the Universities of Bonn, Cologne and Berlin, he accepted a lecturer and lab manager position at the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany). He was mapping geologist for the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) during several field seasons in the Archean of western Greenland between 2005 and 2007. He carried out field work in the eastern Kaapvaal craton and in the Isua region of Greenland. He is an expert in Archean geology, where his specialty is in combining field geology and advanced analytical techniques in the field of isotope and trace element geochemistry, petrology and geochemical modelling to place constraints on the evolution of the early continental crust and the Archaean mantle.