Early Earth

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Early Earth is a term usually defined as Earth's first one billion years, or gigayear.[1] On the geologic time scale, this comprises all of the Hadean eon (itself unofficially defined), as well as the Eoarchean and part of the Paleoarchean eras of the Archean eon.

This period of Earth's history involved the planet's formation from the Solar nebula via a process known as accretion. This period also included the formation of the earliest atmosphere and hydrosphere. The earliest supracrustals (such as the Isua greenstone belt) date from the latter half of this period, about 3.8 gya, around the same time as peak late heavy bombardment.

According to evidence from radiometric dating and other sources, Earth was formed about 4.54 billion years ago.[2][3][4] Within its first billion years,[5] life appeared in its oceans and began to affect its atmosphere and surface, promoting the proliferation of aerobic as well as anaerobic organisms. Since then, the combination of Earth's distance from the Sun, its physical properties and its geological history have allowed life to emerge, develop photosynthesis, and, later, evolve further and thrive. The earliest life on Earth arose at least 3.5 billion years ago.[6][7][8] Earlier physical evidence of life include graphite, a biogenic substance, in 3.7 billion-year-old metasedimentary rocks discovered in southwestern Greenland,[9] as well as, "remains of biotic life" found in 4.1 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia.[10][11] According to one of the researchers, "If life arose relatively quickly on Earth ... then it could be common in the universe."[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bleeker, W (2004). "Toward a 'natural' Precambrian time scale". In Felix M. Gradstein, James G. Ogg, and Alan G. Smith. A Geologic Time Scale 2004. Cambridge University Press. pp. 142–143. ISBN 0-521-78673-8. 
  2. ^ "Age of the Earth". U.S. Geological Survey. 1997. Archived from the original on 23 December 2005. Retrieved 2006-01-10. 
  3. ^ Dalrymple, G. Brent (2001). "The age of the Earth in the twentieth century: a problem (mostly) solved". Special Publications, Geological Society of London 190 (1): 205–221. Bibcode:2001GSLSP.190..205D. doi:10.1144/GSL.SP.2001.190.01.14. 
  4. ^ Manhesa, Gérard; Allègre, Claude J.; Dupréa, Bernard & Hamelin, Bruno (1980). "Lead isotope study of basic-ultrabasic layered complexes: Speculations about the age of the earth and primitive mantle characteristics". Earth and Planetary Science Letters 47 (3): 370–382. Bibcode:1980E&PSL..47..370M. doi:10.1016/0012-821X(80)90024-2. 
  5. ^ See:
  6. ^ Schopf, JW, Kudryavtsev, AB, Czaja, AD, and Tripathi, AB. (2007). Evidence of Archean life: Stromatolites and microfossils. Precambrian Research 158:141–155.
  7. ^ Schopf, JW (2006). Fossil evidence of Archaean life. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 29;361(1470) 869-85.
  8. ^ Hamilton Raven, Peter; Brooks Johnson, George (2002). Biology. McGraw-Hill Education. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-07-112261-0. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Ohtomo, Yoko; Kakegawa, Takeshi; Ishida, Akizumi; et al. (January 2014). "Evidence for biogenic graphite in early Archaean Isua metasedimentary rocks". Nature Geoscience (London: Nature Publishing Group) 7 (1): 25–28. Bibcode:2014NatGe...7...25O. doi:10.1038/ngeo2025. ISSN 1752-0894. 
  10. ^ a b Borenstein, Seth (19 October 2015). "Hints of life on what was thought to be desolate early Earth". Excite (Yonkers, NY: Mindspark Interactive Network). Associated Press. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  11. ^ Bell, Elizabeth A.; Boehnike, Patrick; Harrison, T. Mark; et al. (19 October 2015). "Potentially biogenic carbon preserved in a 4.1 billion-year-old zircon" (PDF). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences) 112: 14518–21. doi:10.1073/pnas.1517557112. ISSN 1091-6490. PMC 4664351. PMID 26483481. Retrieved 2015-10-20.  Early edition, published online before print.