Barberton Greenstone Belt Drilling Project

Tectonics and Ecosystems on the Early Earth

This projects focusses on the interaction of tectonics and ecodynamics to characterise early Archean Earth systems, and to identify a possible site for a deep ICDP drill-hole through a 3.2 billion year old suture zone in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, around which to establish a rural centre for Geoscience studies and geo-tourism. We aim to design a deep-drilling project to test geophysical, geologic, biologic and geochemical models that imply plate tectonics is an integrate part of early Earth system processes, at least as far back as 3.5 Ga. This work will help unravel how the first stable continent of the world formed, and how life originated and survived on it.

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