Crustal Recycling and Subduction: Systems Perspective

  • Jàn Veizer
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 258)


From the planetary point of view, the Earth can be imagined as a system comprised of intertwined natural populations propagated through time via recycling. This recycling, or “birth/death” process, imposes age patterns on natural populations of the solid earth, hydrosphere, atmosphere and living entities. Mathematically, the concept is analogous to that of population dynamics in living systems. The populations of the Earth system form a hierarchical structure. The hierarchy of crustal tectonic realms contains populations of <1024 to 1026 grams in size, with half-lives in the 107–109 years time range. The approximate parameters for major constituents of the oceans are <1024 grams and 102–107 years, for the atmosphere <1021 grams and 10−2–107 years, and for 1iving systems <1014–1019 grams and 10−3–102 years, respectively.


Continental Crust Oceanic Crust Solid Earth Passive Margin Genetic Category 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jàn Veizer
    • 1
  1. 1.Derry Laboratory, Department of GeologyUniversity of Ottawa and Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience CenterOttawaCanada

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