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Plate tectonics

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Over time, Earth’s plates went from static to dynamic. Modestas Jonauskas/Flickr

What a crack up: hefty continents got tectonic plates moving

Plate tectonics – the large-scale movement of Earth’s lithosphere or outer layers – started around three billion years ago, but how those movements started was a bit of a mystery – until today. With colleagues…
We’re learning how the earliest rocks formed, and they’re providing a pretty weird picture of the young Earth. Taran Rampersad

Keep a lid on it: the controversy over Earth’s oldest rocks

New evidence is shedding light on the processes that formed Earth’s oldest rock and mineral record – processes that influenced the early evolution of life. Over the past 30 years our knowledge of the earliest…
Lucy, born 3.2m years ago. Pat Sullivan/AP

How a changing landscape and climate shaped early humans

It should not be a surprise that East Africa was a hotbed of evolution, because over the last five million years everything about the landscape has changed. The extraordinary forces of plate tectonics…
The theory of plate tectonics is the foundation for understanding geodynamics. rgordon

Breaking new ground – the rise of plate tectonics

Exactly 100 years ago, German geophysicist Alfred Wegener presented his theory of continental drift – the idea that the continents of Earth are gradually drifting apart. And now we have some compelling…

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