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Evolution of the Earth: An Introduction and Overview

Stevenson, D. J. (2015) Evolution of the Earth: An Introduction and Overview. In: Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Treatise on Geophysics (Second Edition). Vol.9. Elsevier , Amsterdam, pp. 1-9.

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Ideas for Earth evolution emerge from our recognition that the process of formation was one that was traumatic and hot but that a large part of the memory of this was lost by rapid subsequent cooling. A memory of this initial condition is nonetheless preserved in the geochemistry of the Earth, including core composition and perhaps thermal state. Some perspectives on the history of the field are offered, particularly on the role of Lord Kelvin and his incorrect estimate of the age of the Earth, and the role of the Soviet school of cosmogony in providing a view of Earth formation that invokes common rather than special processes. Some simple scaling arguments are offered to promote understanding of the timescales and energy budgets that govern Earth formation and evolution. A commentary is provided that links the topics covered in this volume, with emphasis on the interconnected nature of all aspects of Earth evolution, including life. Some outstanding questions are listed and debated.

Item Type:Book Section
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Stevenson, D. J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:© 2015 Elsevier B.V.
Subject Keywords:Accretion; Core formation; Evolution
Series Name:Treatise on Geophysics (Second Edition)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160726-091209118
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Official Citation:D.J. Stevenson, 9.01 - Evolution of the Earth: An Introduction and Overview, In Treatise on Geophysics (Second Edition), edited by Gerald Schubert,, Elsevier, Oxford, 2015, Pages 1-9, ISBN 9780444538031, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:69218
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Jul 2016 19:49
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 10:20

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