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The uniformity of rare-earth element (REE) patterns in clastic sedimentary rocks, due to the low solubility and short residence times of REE in the oceans, provides overall average upper crustal compositions for these elements. Effects of weathering, diagenesis, and metamorphism are minor. Local provenance is recorded in first-cycle sediments, but is rapidly erased with sediment maturity. The REE patterns in Archean sedimentary rocks indicate that the Archean crust was not highly evolved. It appears to have been dominated by basaltic and Na-rich granitic rocks (tonalites and trondhjemites). The REE patterns in Proterozoic and later sedimentary rocks indicate a major episodic...

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