The Vaalbara continent, a continent dating from 2.7 to 3.6 billion years ago
Proposed redefinition(s)4031–3490 Ma
Gradstein et al., 2012
Proposed subdivisionsAcastan Period, 4031–3810 Ma

Gradstein et al., 2012
Isuan Period, 3810–3490 Ma

Gradstein et al., 2012
Name formalityFormal
Alternate spelling(s)Palaeoarchaean
Synonym(s)Early Archean
Usage information
Celestial bodyEarth
Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Chronological unitEra
Stratigraphic unitErathem
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionDefined Chronometrically
Lower GSSA ratified1991[citation needed]
Upper boundary definitionDefined Chronometrically
Upper GSSA ratified1991[citation needed]

The Paleoarchean (/ˌpli.ɑːrˈkən, ˌpæl-/ PAY-lee-oh-ar-KEE-ən, PAL-), also spelled Palaeoarchaean (formerly known as the early Archean), is a geologic era within the Archean Eon. The name derives from Greek "Palaios" ancient. It spans the period of time 3,600 to 3,200 million years ago. The era is defined chronometrically and is not referenced to a specific level of a rock section on Earth. The earliest confirmed evidence of life comes from this era, and Vaalbara, one of Earth's earliest supercontinents, may have formed during this era.[2][3]

  1. ^ Caredona, Tanai (6 March 2018). "Early Archean origin of heterodimeric Photosystem I". Heliyon. 4 (3): e00548. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00548. PMC 5857716. PMID 29560463. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  2. ^ Lepot, Kevin (2020). "Signatures of early microbial life from the Archean (4 to 2.5 Ga) eon". Earth-Science Reviews. 209: 103296. Bibcode:2020ESRv..20903296L. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103296. ISSN 0012-8252. S2CID 225413847.
  3. ^ Bradley, Kyle; Weiss, Benjamin P.; Buick, Roger (2015). "Records of geomagnetism, climate, and tectonics across a Paleoarchean erosion surface". Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 419: 1–13. Bibcode:2015E&PSL.419....1B. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.008. ISSN 0012-821X.

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