Supercontinents and Subduction

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Science  04 Jan 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5859, pp. 11d
DOI: 10.1126/science.319.5859.11d

Mapping of the ocean basin and geologic reconstructions provides direct evidence for subduction that occurred continuously back to a few hundred million years ago. Older mountain belts and arc volcanoes clearly indicate that subduction events occurred 2 to 3 billion years ago. Has subduction necessarily occurred continuously since then? Silver and Behn (p. 85) argue that it may have ceased during times of supercontinent assembly several times in Earth's history, with consequences for cooling of the Earth.

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