Birth of the Kaapvaal Tectosphere 3.08 Billion Years Ago Journal Article uri icon



  • The crustal remnants of Earth's Archean continents have been shielded from mantle convection by thick roots of ancient mantle lithosphere. The precise time of crust-root coupling (tectosphere birth) is poorly known but is needed to test competing theories of continental plate genesis. Our mapping and geochronology of an impact-generated section through the Mesoarchean crust of the Kaapvaal craton indicates tectosphere birth at 3.08 ± 0.01 billion years ago, roughly 0.12 billion years after crust assembly. Growth of the southern African mantle root by subduction processes occurred within about 0.2 billion years. The assembly of crust before mantle may be common to the tectosphere.

publication date

  • January 19, 2001

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • June 30, 2014 12:43 PM

Full Author List

  • Moser DE; Flowers RM; Hart RJ

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 465

end page

  • 468


  • 291


  • 5503