Subduction origin on early Earth: A hypothesis. 2007. Vicki L. Hansen Geology 35: 1059-1062.
The spatial and temporal intersection of the triggering endogenic and exogenic processes could have occurred variably across early Earth; thus, plate tectonic mechanisms could have begun at different places and different times.
Hansen’s hypothesis postulates that the ability of a terrestrial planet to develop plate tectonics results from a balance between the strength of its surface layer and the size of bolide impact it can survive—both of these factors can be related to planet size. Hansen’s hypothesis may allow us to predict if other planets could have evolved plate tectonics, and as such, might be Earth-like in character. The tectonic evolution of early Earth likely played key roles in concentrating Earth’s rich resources, and perhaps the formation and evolution of life.