“Crucial for Life” –Ancient, Hidden Origin of Earth’s Plate Tectonics Unveiled

St Andrews Geology Team


Earth’s tectonic activity of some 15 moving plates may be crucial for life–and rare in our galaxy. The cycle of rigid tectonic plates in constant horizontal motion across the surface of the planet—makes Earth unique within the rocky planets of the solar system. Except, perhaps, for Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, regarded as perhaps one of the solar system’s best bets to host alien life, where massive slabs of ice are sliding over and under each other above a global ocean that reaches down 100 kilometers below the base of the ice –a depth 10 times greater than the Marianas Trench.