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Early Earth Systems: A Geochemical Approach

ISBN: 978-1-4443-0894-5
296 pages
March 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Early Earth Systems: A Geochemical Approach (1444308947) cover image
Early Earth Systems provides a complete history of the Earth from its beginnings to the end of the Archaean. This journey through the Earth's early history begins with the Earth's origin, then examines the evolution of the mantle, the origin of the continental crust, the origin and evolution of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, and ends with the origin of life.
  • Looks at the evidence for the Earth's very early differentiation into core, mantle, crust, atmosphere and oceans and how this differentiation saw extreme interactions within the Earth system.
  • Discusses Archaean Earth processes within the framework of the Earth System Science paradigm, providing a qualitative assessment of the principal reservoirs and fluxes in the early Earth.

“The book would be perfect for a graduate-level or upper level undergraduate course on the early Earth. It will also serve as a great starting point for researchers in solid-Earth geochemistry who want to know more about the Earth’s early atmosphere and biosphere, and vice versa for low temperature geochemists who want to get a modern overview of the Earth’s interior.”       Geological Magazine, 2008

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1. The Earth System.

Introduction.

The Nature of the Early Geological Record.

Archaean Lithological Associations.

The Oldest Rocks.

How Much do we Really Know About the Early Earth?.

2. The Origin and Differentiation of the Earth.

The Origin and Early History of the Universe.

Star Formation.

The Condensation of the Solar System.

Earth Differentiation – the First Earth System.

3. The Evolution of the Earth’s Mantle.

Understanding the Mantle.

The Earth’s Earliest Mantle.

Mantle Models.

4. The Origin of the Continental Crust.

Modern Crust Formation – Models and Mechanisms.

First Order Constraints on the Origin of the Continental Crust.

The Secular Evolution of the Earth’s Continental Crust.

Crustal Growth During the Archaean.

Crust-Mantle Interactions: Reservoirs and Fluxes.

5. The Origin of the Earth’s Atmosphere and Oceans.

The Volatile Budget of the Modern Earth.

The Origin of the Earth’s Atmosphere and Oceans.

The Nature of the Archaean Atmosphere.

The Nature of the Archaean Oceans.

6. The Origin of Life.

Setting the Scene for Life.

Geochemical Signals of Biological Activity.

The Geological Record of Life’s Origins.

The Microbial Record of Life’s Origins.

In the Beginning….

7. Postscript.

References.

Index

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Hugh Rollinson is Professor of Earth Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University.
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  • Provides a complete history of the Earth from its beginnings to the end of the Archaean period.
  • Examines the Earth's origin, the evolution of the mantle, the origin of the continental crust, the origin and evolution of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, and the origin of life.
  • Looks at the evidence for the Earth's very early differentiation into core, mantle, crust, atmosphere and oceans and how this differentiation saw extreme interactions within the Earth system.
  • Discusses Archaean Earth processes within the framework of the Earth System Science paradigm, providing a qualitative assessment of the principal reservoirs and fluxes in the early Earth.
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“This is a book for everyone fascinated by a description of the Earth's history in terms of Earth system science.” (Pure and Applied Geophysics)

"Hugh Rollinson sets out in his book Early Earth Systems: A Geochemical Approach to summarize what we know (and don’t know) about this enigmatic portion of our planet’s evolution. He does an excellent job of it." (Geological Magazine, November 2008)

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