The Earth of the early Archean (4,000 to 2,500 million years ago) may have had a different tectonic style. During this time, the Earth's crust cooled enough that rocks and continental plates began to form. Some scientists think because the Earth was hotter, that plate tectonic activity was more vigorous than it is today, resulting in a much greater rate of recycling of crustal material. This may have prevented cratonisation and continent formation until the mantle cooled and convection slowed down. Others argue that the subcontinental lithospheric mantle is too buoyant to subduct and that the lack of Archean rocks is a function of erosion and subsequent tectonic events.
Earth was initially molten due to extreme volcanism and frequent collisions with other bodies. Eventually, the outer layer of the planet cooled to form a solid crust when water began accumulating in the atmosphere. Outgassing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere. Condensing water vapor, augmented by ice delivered from comets, produced the oceans.
This image explores these ideas as I thought about the make up the the geological area in Watchet and the ways in which the Earth was produced, leading to ideas on the importance of Volcanoes and their contributing effect to the atmosphere and to climate changes throughout the ages. Through the work this lead to ideas exploring the role of rocks in theiir mineral content and their contribution to early forms of life in the form of plants due to the mineral and bacterial content of their composition.
This print uses the local rocks found in and around Watchet, Somerset.
Handmade Printing Ink made from Watchet Rocks, Medium, Linseed Oil, Dammar Varnish, Cartridge Paper.