The last century has seen rapid advances in our understanding of how the Earth formed, and how the movement of continents through plate tectonics continues to shape our lands, oceans and mountain ranges. But geologists are yet to agree on one important question: what was the Earth like before the plates formed?

Catherine 'Katie' Cooper

New research by WSU associate professor of geology Katie Cooper and colleagues supports the theory that early Earth was highly volcanically active, and that evidence of the violent transition to plate tectonics can still be seen today.

They may also have solved a second geological mystery: Why are there parts of the Earth that are not affected by plate tectonics?

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