Early Earth evolution: a time of major geological, climatic and biological changes

Geotop’s expertise on the Archean (3800-2500 Ma) and Proterozoic (2500-541 Ma) is used to investigate major scientific issues related to these key time intervals of Earth’s evolution. The Archean is characterized by unique deposits (gold, banded iron). The start of plate tectonics causes the continents to grow and major changes in atmosphere and hydrosphere chemistry, which accelerates life development. When and how plate tectonics developed, however, is still open to debate. During the Proterozoic, Earth’s dynamics is similar to the present day and leads to planetary glacial periods that modify the evolution of the biosphere, even resulting in mass extinctions. These extreme conditions, linked to fluctuations of atmospheric CO2 concentration, are a unique opportunity to study Earth’s resilience in the face of global changes.