Building Archean cratons from Hadean mafic crust

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Science  17 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6330, pp. 1199-1202
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah3823

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Archean cratons get a Hadean mash-up

The vast majority of the rock record over Earth's 4.6-billion-year history has been destroyed through subduction and recycling back into the mantle. Although some slivers of 4-billion-year-old crust remain in the rock record, only isolated zircon mineral grains are dated to be older. However, O'Neil and Carlson found isotopic evidence of reworked basaltic crust more than 4.3 billion years old mixed into some of the 2.7-billion-year-old rocks of the Superior Province in Canada. Thus, our planet's oldest crust was reworked and retained during formation of at least one continental craton.

Science, this issue p. 1199