The Curtin University released a study according to which the Earth went through a more “chill” period in its evolution, approximately 2.2 billion years ago, sparkling new debate over the Paleoproterozoic era and what went on during it, from a geological standpoint.
The study, which was recently published in the Nature Geoscience, indicates that during the Paleoproterozoic era, the continental magmatism stopped almost completely, which lead to important geological consequences, visible even to this day.
The research performed under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Spencer, points to the fact that the Paleoproterozoic era was marked by a low number of erupting volcanoes, a lower level of sedimentation, but also by a significant slow-down in the mobility of the tectonic plates. This era was of significant importance in the evolution of the Earth, as this was the first time the atmosphere came in contact with oxygen, but it was also the time of the first global ice age. However, there were numerous other processes taking place, which registered a significant slow-down during that time.
The necessary research for the study was performed on rocks extracted from multiple areas of the world, as well as on the geological information gathered so far, one of the conclusions being that there is little information preserved from the Paleoproterozoic era. This conclusion comes in support of the hypothesis that the Earth had a slow-down period during this era. This period is estimated to have lasted around 100 million years, after which the geology of the Earth began to speed up its evolution with more intense volcanic activity and composition change in the continental crust.
According to the researchers who published this study, these new findings are very valuable for gaining an insight into the origins of the Earth’s natural resources, but also into the impact of this period on the geological events that took place.