NASA Logo

NTRS

NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
The lunar nodal tide and the distance to tne Moon during the Precambrian eraThe origin and early evolution of life on Earth occurred under physical and chemical conditions distinctly different from those of the present day. The broad goal of this research program is to characterize these conditions. One aspect involves the dynamics of the Earth-Moon system, the distance of the Moon from the Earth, and the length of the day. These have evolved during the course of Earth history as a result of the dissipation of tidal energy. As the moon has receded the amplitude of oceanic tides has decreased while the increasing length of the day should have influenced climate and the circulation of atmosphere and ocean. A 23.3 year periodicity preserved in a 2500 million year old banded iron-formation was interpreted as reflecting the climatic influence of the lunar nodal tide. The corresponding lunar distance would then have been approx. 52 Earth radii. The influence of the lunar nodal tide is also apparent in rocks with an age of 680 million years B.P. The derived value for lunar distance 2500 million years ago is the only datum on the dynamics of the Earth-Moon system during the Precambrian era of Earth history. The implied development of Precambrian tidal friction is in accord with more recent paleontological evidence as well as the long term stability of the lunar orbit.
Document ID
19860017414
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Walker, J. C. G.
(Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI, United States)
Zahnle, K. J.
(Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1986
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington Second Symposium on Chemical Evolution and the Origin and Evolution of Life
Subject Category
Space Biology
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Document Inquiry
No Preview Available