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Find Your Science at GSA
13 August 2008
GSA Release No. 08-41
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach

Earth Moves in Unique Ways

Boulder, CO, USA – Earth is unique in comparison to the solar system’s other silicate-metal planets—in addition to its oceans and oxygen atmosphere, Earth is the only planet that exhibits plate tectonics. This new Geological Society of America Special Paper examines this distinctive Earth feature and asks when “modern-style” plate tectonics began. Sure to capture the interest of a wide range of earth and planetary scientists, the authors also provide an excellent graduate-level text summarizing current knowledge.

Inspired by a GSA Penrose Conference in Lander, Wyoming, USA, 14–18 June 2006, this GSA Special Paper discusses the beginning and evolution of plate tectonics on Earth, and gives readers an introduction to some of the uncertainties and controversies related to the evolution of the planet.

Volume editors Kent Condie of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Victoria Pease of Stockholm University include a cross section of papers from the Lander Conference. The first three sections of this 14-chapter book cover isotopic, geochemical, metamorphic, mineralization, and mantle geodynamic constraints, and address the question of when “modern-style” plate tectonics began on planet Earth. The next set of papers focuses on the geodynamic or geophysical constraints for the beginning of plate tectonics. The volume’s final section synthesizes a broad range of evidence, from planetary analogues and geodynamic modeling, to Earth’s preserved geologic record.

Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online store or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, .

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann, .

When Did Plate Tectonics Begin on Planet Earth?
Kent C. Condie and Victoria Pease (editors)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 440
2008, 294 pages, US$80.00, GSA member price US$56.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2440-9