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Precambrian Time - The Story of the Early Earth

Fact Sheet 2007-3004

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Abstract

The Precambrian is the least-understood part of Earth history, yet it is arguably the most important. Precambrian time spans almost nine-tenths of Earth history, from the formation of the Earth to the dawn of the Cambrian Period. It represents time so vast and long ago that it challenges all comprehension. The Precambrian is the time of big questions. How old is the Earth? How old are the oldest rocks and continents? What was the early Earth like? What was the early atmosphere like? When did life appear, and what did it look like? And, how do we know this? In recent years, remarkable progress has been made in understanding the early evolution of the Earth and life itself. Yet, the scientific story of the early Earth is still a work in progress, humankind's latest attempt to understand the planet. Like previous attempts, it too will change as we learn more about the Earth. Read on to discover what we know now, in the early 21st century.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Precambrian Time - The Story of the Early Earth
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
2007-3004
Edition:
Version 1.0
Year Published:
2007
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
4 p.