Place: Wisconsin Institute of Discovery, Orchard Room
Speaker: NIcolle Zellner, Albion College
Abstract: The first several hundred million years of Earth’s history are mysterious yet often characterized by heavy bombardment and generally hot and hellish conditions, the very essence of a Hadean environment. Evidence to the contrary exists, however, including terrestrial zircons that suggest the presence of water, land masses, and even a proposed biosphere. New investigations of the impact flux in the Earth-Moon system during this time period and into the Archean are refining our interpretations of the nature and extent of this bombardment. For example, recent advances in analyzing and interpreting lunar (and other) impact sample data are allowing us to better understand how impacts may have influenced Earth’s geological activities and whether or not Earth’s early life ever experienced an “impact frustration” that would have hindered its evolution. Results from multiple studies across multiple disciplines will be presented in an integrated manner that holistically provides new interpretations for understanding significant biological and geological events in Earth’s first billion years.