A geotectonic paradox: Has the Earth expanded?

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P.W. Schmidt
B.J.J. Embleton


From the recognition of common apparent polar-wander (CAPW) paths for Africa, Australia, Greenland, and North America in the early Proterozoic, we have deduced that these continents today occupy approximately the same relative locations on the globe as they did in the early Proterozoic. However, there is abundant geochemical, geological, geochronological and tectonic evidence for landmasses having been much less dispersed in the Precambrian than they are now. It is shown in this paper that an Earth of about half the present radius accomodates the present continents in such a manner that this paradox can be satisfactorily resolved, and we propose that between about 1,600 Myr and 1,000 Myr ago, the Earth expanded to approximately its present dimensions. A change  from Proterozoic to Phanerozoic tectonic styles is supported.

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Schmidt, P., & Embleton, B. (1981). A geotectonic paradox: Has the Earth expanded?. Journal of Geophysics, 49(1), 20-25. Retrieved from https://journal.geophysicsjournal.com/JofG/article/view/34


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