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Understanding the geodynamic processes that underpin the formation of continents is fundamental to decoding the complex evolutionary history of the Earth and the terrestrial planets. In the Phanerozoic Eon, the paradigm of plate tectonics and Wilson-cycle processes not only constitutes a robust and unifying mechanism to explain the orogenic processes of crust formation, recycling and preservation, but also the complex interactions among the solid earth, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere relevant to evolution of life and climate. However, there is yet no consensus on a global geodynamic framework for the Hadean and Archean Eons.