Continent Formation Through Time
The continental crust is our archive of Earth history, and the store of many natural resources; however, many key questions about its formation and evolution remain debated and unresolved:
What processes are involved in the formation, differentiation and evolution of continental crust, and how have these changed throughout Earth history?
How are plate tectonics, the supercontinent cycle and mantle cooling linked with crustal evolution?
What are the rates of generation and destruction of the continental crust through time?
How representative is the preserved geological record?
A range of approaches are used to address these questions, including field-based studies, petrology and geochemistry, geophysical methods, palaeomagnetism, whole-rock and accessory-phase isotope chemistry and geochronology. Case studies range from the Eoarchaean to Phanerozoic, and cover many different cratons and orogenic belts from across the continents.
Gondwana margin evolution from zircon REE, O and Hf signatures of Western Province gneisses, Zealandia
Published:January 01, 2015
Joe Hiess, Keewook Yi, Jon Woodhead, Trevor Ireland, Mark Rattenbury, 2015. "Gondwana margin evolution from zircon REE, O and Hf signatures of Western Province gneisses, Zealandia", Continent Formation Through Time, N. M. W. Roberts, M. Van Kranendonk, S. Parman, S. Shirey, P. D. Clift
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U–Th–Pb dated zircons from Western Province paragneisses and orthogneisses were analysed for rare earth element (REE) concentrations, as well as oxygen and hafnium isotopic compositions. Experiments performed in situ using a sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) and laser ablation multicollection inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (LA-MC-ICPMS) allow better understanding of crustal growth on the Zealandia margin of Gondwana from the micron scale. Paragneiss zircons were probably derived from similar sources to those that supplied the regional Ordovician Greenland Group and correlative southern Australian and Antarctic meta-sedimentary rocks. Detrital zircon grains record variable REE patterns relating to magmatic and metamorphic...