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Post  Post subject: continents formed by life  |  Posted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:22 pm
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4883
Location: Cardiff, Wales

this is absolutely mind-boggling : models of how earth's crust forms continents seems to imply that the additional sedimentation rates caused by life such as bacteria, algal mats and lichen-like growths may have made all the difference between an earth with sizable continents (when life is present) and no or very small continents (when no life is present)

who would have thought that the amount of subduction and the rate at which the plate tectonics escalator moves (governed by water in the upper mantle) was so critically determined by the presence of life ?

Early life built Earth's continents

in a way this is a totally different take on the Gaia concept, and one i hadn't come across before

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)

drowsy turtle
Post  Post subject: Re: continents formed by life  |  Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:43 am
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:42 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Durham, UK

That's pretty cool. I'd never really thought about that before, but it makes complete sense.

"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." - Douglas Adams

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