Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorFlament, Nicolas
dc.date.accessioned2010-07-27T01:27:26Z
dc.date.available2010-07-27T01:27:26Z
dc.date.issued2010-07-27
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2123/6334
dc.descriptionDoctor of Philosphy (Cotutelle)en_AU
dc.description.abstractThe secular cooling of the mantle and of the continental lithosphere trigger an increase in the area of emerged land. The corollary increase in weathering and erosion processes has major consequences for the evolution of Earth's external envelopes. We developed a physical model to evaluate the area of emerged land as a function of mantle temperature, continental area, and of the distribution of continental elevations. Our numerical results show that less than 15% of Earth's surface consisted of emerged land by the end of the Archaean. This is consistent with many geological and geochemical observations. To estimate the secular cooling of the continental lithosphere, we combined thermo-mechanical models with fi eld observations. Our results, constrained by geological data, suggest that the Moho temperature has decreased by ~ 200ºC over 2.7 Ga in the Pilbara Craton. To evaluate the eff ect of continental growth on the evolution of the area of emerged land, we developed a model based on published thermal evolution models. Our results suggest that the area of emerged land was less than 5% of Earth's surface in the Archaean, and that it does not depend on crustal growth. This allows to reconcile the evolution of oceanic 87Sr/86Sr with early crustal growth models. Continents are enriched in phosphorus, which is essential to the biosphere. The emergence of the continents would thus have triggered an increase in the production of oxygen by photosynthetic micro-organisms, possibly contributing to the oxidation of the atmosphere 2.4 Ga ago.en_AU
dc.publisherUniversity of Sydneyen_AU
dc.publisherScience. School of Geosciencesen_AU
dc.rightsThe author retains copyright of this thesis.
dc.rights.urihttp://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html
dc.subjectGeophysicsen_AU
dc.subjectGeologyen_AU
dc.subjectGeodynamicsen_AU
dc.titleSecular cooling of the solid Earth, emergence of the continents, and evolution of Earth's external envelopesen_AU
dc.typePhD Doctorateen_AU
dc.date.valid2010en_AU


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record