Vast outpourings and injections of magma have scorched the planet and changed the atmosphere over the eons and epochs of Earth’s history. A unique signal of these are recorded by crystals of zircon, which can be dated by careful chemical analysis. Geologists rely on these crystals to get a record and fingerprint of the evolution of continents in geological deep time.
Here are some sample graphs of this ‘zircon signal’ of magmas in time. These fundamental variations are a primal pulse, or heartbeat of the planet.