Plate Tectonics and Earth Evolution: A Conceptual Review

Arkady Pilchin, Lev Eppelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerous attempts have been made to understand the rules of Earth’s tectonic-geodynamic processes over the past centuries. While no paradigm has offered comprehensive answers to all of the questions, the present review aims to acquaint readers with the modern state of developments in the tectonic insights of Earth's evolution. A number of very interesting and unique processes and features took place during the evolution of early Earth. Most of these, however, were largely erased over the course of Earth’s ensuing evolution; some leaving only traces of their existence and some remnant phenomena, especially those taking place in the Hadean and Early to Late Archean. Among such processes and features are the planetary accretion of Earth, formation of unique rock complexes, initiation of the plate tectonics phenomenon, main forces driving plate tectonics, the significant influence of thermal parameters, the role of overpressure under different physical-geological environments, stratification of Earth's crust and lithosphere by density, and various other thermodynamic models. Nearly all of these remain enigmatic, due to considerable uncertainty in the timing and methods of their evolution, and the ambiguity of their secondary processes and tectonic-geophysical indicators. At the same time, the majority of tectonic-geodynamic processes and features are also interrelated, and the simultaneous fluctuation of myriad different factors played a significant role in their influence on the geological medium. Some of these intricate questions are discussed in this paper. For instance, what is the role of the plate tectonics phenomenon and when did this process initiate on Earth? Especial attention is paid in the review to the sophisticated methods of understanding tectonic processes over the course of various generations of geoscientists. In the conducted analyses, certain physical data derived from other planets of the Solar System were utilized as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-32
Number of pages30
JournalANAS Transactions, Earth Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 29 Nov 2020


  • Thermodynamic modeling
  • Density
  • Deep Structure


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